OPENING LINE: The night of my mother's funeral, Linda Dawson cried on my shoulder, put her tongue in my mouth and asked me to find her husband.
Edward Loy, P.I. is a native Dubliner who returns to Ireland after twenty years away to bury his mother. He hasn't been a dutiful son; it's his first trip to his homeland since he left.
When Loy is hired by a well-dressed woman to find her missing husband in the first chapter, this reader immediately thought of Ross MacDonald's THE DROWNING POOL. POOL is the second novel in MacDonald's Lew Archer series and is about tormented and fractured families, buried secrets that fester through multiple generations, environmental destruction, and concealed paternity. So is THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD by Declan Hughes. With emphasis on family blood and betrayal.
Ed Loy as a boy was one of The Three Musketeers, a trio of Irish lads who grew up together in Dublin. And a trio of fathers, John Dawson, Kenneth Courtney, and Eamonn Loy. The fathers, two of which left their families, were all concerned with the booming construction business; at the time of the novel, Dawson is engaged in getting permits to build a Castlehill golf course in the trendy section of the South Dublin Bay area. There's bribery of councillers and murder and mobsters involved.
Toward the end of the book, Hughes tells us about blood.
Sometimes it's all down to blood.
Blood can be wrong in itself.
Blood can go wrong so easily.
Blood can be wrong from the very beginning.
The blood was never right in the first place.
An impressive debut novel of blood and betrayal.