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Wrong Kind of Blood, the [Hardcover]

Declan Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 23 2006
'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. Now she was lying dead on her living room floor, and the howl of a police siren echoed through the surrounding hills...' Ed Loy hasn't been back to Dublin for twenty years. But his mother is dead, and he has returned home to bury her. He soon realizes that the world waiting for him is very different from the one he left behind all those years ago. 'Tommy said you found people who were missing', Linda Dawson tells him the evening of his mother's funeral. Linda's husband has disappeared. She doesn't want the police involved. So reluctantly, Loy agrees to investigate. And suddenly in this place where he grew up - among the Georgian houses, Victorian castles, and modern villas of Castlehill - Loy finds himself thrown into a world of organized crime, long-hidden secrets, corruption and violence. And murder.

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From Publishers Weekly

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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

PI Edward Loy returns to Ireland from California to bury his mother and lands himself in a knotty thicket of iniquity, as the Irish real-estate boom unearths old corpses and creates a few new ones. Retained by a profligate lady friend to find her missing husband, Loy wades into the labyrinthine dealings of two conspicuous families, the land--developing Dawsons and the drug-dealing Halligans, who may have more in common than either would like to admit. Loy is the sort of brash PI who would as soon use his head for inflicting blunt-force trauma as for cogitation. Hughes lacks his countryman Ken Bruen's knack for making such feral types compelling, and his fine turn of phrase is marred by a proclivity for long expository speeches. On the other hand, he vividly conveys the sights, sounds, and smells of the Dublin streets. He's clearly a cut or two below such gritty Irish bards as Bruen, John Connolly, and Adrian McKinty, but he bears watching. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Story of Loss and Redemption Jan. 1 2008
By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Having left his hometown of Dublin for Los Angeles twenty years ago, P.I. Edward Loy has returned for his mother's funeral. The trip's brought back painful memories, including his father's disappearance before Ed left Dublin. It's also brought back a former schoolmate who wants Ed to find her missing husband, and an old friend who wants Ed to hide a gun for him. As Ed peels back layer after layer of lies and deception, he battles gangsters, lots of people with secrets, and his own past.

With a strong theme about things and people gone lost, in a variety of ways, THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD is a compelling, somewhat melancholy story about coming to terms with what can't be changed. Entwined with Ed's story are the changes Dublin has undergone over two decades. Author, Declan Hughes, does a wonderful job of describing the Dublin sites that Ed remembers and the sanitized mall-fest he sees now. I almost felt as sorry for Dublin as I did for Ed.

For a while, the increasing body count seemed a little far-fetched. But the more I learned about the area Ed grew up in, the more believable it became to read about folks solving problems through bloodshed. The gangsters are fairly run-of-the-mill thugs, yet other characters are well-rounded. Hughes takes his time tying up the novel's many threads to create a satisfying ending. THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD is one heck of an absorbing read. Enjoy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb start to a new series! April 10 2007
By Gabriela Perez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book primarily because one of my favorite authors, John Connolly, indicated in his blog that he had read a novel by this author. I looked up the information on Amazon and ordered the book. I love to read mysteries whose protagonists are situated in foreign countries because I like to get a feel for those locations.

This novel, the first in a series that so far numbers two books, is absolutely superb.

Tom Loy is back in Ireland after a 20 year absence, back to handle affairs after his mother's death. His return is not without all sorts of challenges, the main ones being his buried resentment and bewilderment over his father's disappearance and his mother's sexual relationship with another man shortly after that disappearance.

He is asked to look for the spouse of a woman he becomes involved with, and as a result of that search, he encounters people from his past, people who connect him once more to the country he left behind in order to disappear and reinvent himself in Los Angeles.

The strength of the novel lie in the excellent dialogue, complete with Irish-isms that bring that country to life through language; the solid development of the main characters (not just Loy, but his friend David, and various other characters who are extremely necessary to Loy's personal development and to the movement of the plot), and the strong narrative.

Excellent! I plan to buy the second installment as soon as payday rolls around!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good beginning Oct. 20 2006
By L. J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Private Investigator Ed Loy left his native Ireland 20 years ago. Now he is back to bury his mother and still wonders what happened to his father, who had disappeared many years before. Ed is asked by one former classmate to find her missing husband and another childhood friend turns up on Ed's doorstep with a recently fired gun, given into his care by a local mobster, he asks Ed to hide it. Soon Ed is immersed in bodies and a determination to unravel the secrets which started many years ago.

Definitely noir with lots of brutality and a few too many threads, but a very good debut nonetheless. I appreciated that Hughes tied up all the threads in a very satisfying way. Ed is an interesting character who was fleshed out quite well. The story was well paced but what stuck me most was the underlying that sometimes family is more than blood. It's not a perfect book, but good enough that I am looking forward to Hughes' next book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Story of Loss and Redemption July 13 2008
By Debra Purdy Kong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having left his hometown of Dublin for Los Angeles twenty years ago, P.I. Edward Loy has returned for his mother's funeral. The trip's brought back painful memories, including his father's disappearance before Ed left Dublin. It's also brought back a former schoolmate who wants Ed to find her missing husband, and an old friend who wants Ed to hide a gun for him. As Ed peels back layer after layer of lies and deception, he battles gangsters, lots of people with secrets, and his own past.

With a strong theme about things and people gone lost, in a variety of ways, THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD is a compelling, somewhat melancholy story about coming to terms with what can't be changed. Entwined with Ed's story are the changes Dublin has undergone over two decades. Author, Declan Hughes, does a wonderful job of describing the Dublin that Ed remembers and the sanitized mall-fest he sees now. I almost felt as sorry for Dublin sites as I did for Ed.

For a while, the increasing body count seemed a little far-fetched. But the more I learned about the area Ed grew up in, the more believable it was to read about folks solving problems through bloodshed. The gangsters are fairly run-of-the-mill thugs, yet other characters are well-rounded. Hughes takes his time tying up the novel's many threads to create a satisfying ending. THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD is one heck of an absorbing read. Enjoy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An author worth watching! March 5 2006
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Private Investigator Ed Loy has returned home to Dublin after twenty years. The purpose of his trip is not to visit. He's there to bury his mother, and then he intends to return to the United States where he left a former wife and the little girl they buried together.

At the height of Loy's grief, Linda Dawson, an old classmate, pleads (while tongue kissing him) with him to find her four-day missing husband, Peter. Loy agrees to investigate Peter's disappearance, and it leads him to secrets better left secret, organized crime, the IRA, numerous corpses (including one in the town hall's foundation) and drug deals.

The Wrong Kind of Blood is Irish theater director and playwright, Declan Hughes' debut novel. A number of subplots contribute to the feeling that Hughes had a lot of ideas and wanted to include them all in his first novel. That said, it is a fast-paced, exciting and suspenseful first novel with richly flawed characters, believable dialogue and a touch of Dublin thrown in for good measure.

Armchair Interviews recommends The Wrong Kind of Blood. Declan Hughes is worth watching as we suspect he will only mature as a writer. His next thriller is due out in 2007, so watch for it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Declan Hughes: An Irish Ross MacDonald... April 18 2010
By janebbooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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.
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