In this overly busy and bloody crime thriller from Irish playwright Hughes (Shiver), Edward Loy, an Irish PI transplanted to L.A., returns home to Dublin for his mother's funeral. A friend's request to locate her missing husband puts Loy on a trail that leads to a corpse found within the foundations of the city's town hall, a notorious family of brothers who head an organized crime ring, heroin funding, numerous murders, possible IRA involvement and much more. When the pace momentarily slackens, the author supplies some nicely observed pastoral views of Dublin and the Irish countryside, but the ongoing cacophony of violence deafens one to all but the most sanguinary details. Hughes has talent, but this caper, his first, doesn't whet one's appetite for more of the same. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
L.A. private detective Edward Loy has returned to Dublin to bury his mother. He's been away longer than he'd like to admit: the drab and seedy neighborhoods of his youth have given way to a buzz of gentrification, trendy cars, and new money. As he sifts through his mother's sparse belongings, he is contacted by the wife of a boyhood friend who thinks her missing husband may have been caught up in some questionable real estate and rezoning deals. Loy's initial query uncovers a quagmire of drugs, guns for hire, and mob-related dealings among those of his chums who have not done well in the high-tech economic upturn. Loy's boyhood friend turns up dead, Loy becomes a suspect, and his drug-running chums are sent to warn him off the trail of the real killers. And of course the police come after him for working without a permit. Much blood is shed before the case is solved, and Loy learns more than he bargained for about going home again. This debut novel from Dublin playwright Hughes is an intricately crafted tale of murder and betrayal in one of the most rapidly changing capitals of modern Europe. Recommended for most mystery collections.-Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A transplanted Irishman goes home to find that Thomas Wolfe pretty much had it right. Ed Loy had been doing okay as an L.A. shamus until a shattering personal tragedy put paid to his career, converting him into a lost, embittered husk who spent too much time seeking answers in a bottle. But now he's suddenly back in Ireland, a stranger in a land that's become strange, attending his mother's funeral and trying with limited success to pick his way through a thicket of ferocious hatreds ancient and modern. At the outset, his involvement is deceptively low-key. His professional services are requested by an old friend whose husband has gone missing. Loy, eager to dust off his neglected detecting skills, is easily persuaded to sign on. The old friend's kisses are persuasive, too, while causing Loy to wonder in less tempestuous moments just how deeply she regrets her husband's absence. Whatever the actual measure, a murder makes it academic-a murder that presages more to come and involves Loy in an investigation unsettlingly close to home. Warned off by thugs and Garda alike, knocked about at every turn, Loy persists, and in the time-honored Yank/shamus tradition takes his lumps and cracks his case. An overload of backstory burdens long stretches of dialogue in an otherwise promising debut.
“[Hughes] vividly conveys the sights, sounds, and smells of the Dublin streets.”
“Distinctive, witty, violent and moving...Irish crime fiction has come of age.”
“Declan Hughes breathes new life into the private eye story...[an] artful thrill ride of deception.”