All The Dead Voices Paperback – Jul 14 2010
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'A gritty and realistic look at modern Ireland ... the fantastic thing about this book is the characters; they are so clearly depicted and authentic, you genuinely feel as if you have entered the gang-land Ireland ... highly recommended!'―RTE Guide
To call Declan Hughes "a natural" is to engage in understatement. Here is a crime novel that's both deftly plotted and truly character-driven. Like Chandler's Los Angeles, Hughes's Dublin is brilliantly atmospheric. The dialogue crackles and the characters have a truly lived-in authenticity. A great read―Douglas Kennedy
PRAISE FOR DECLAN HUGHES:―*
Hughes is in his element describing the sites and sounds of the places Loy visits―Sunday Tribune
Finally Ireland gets a hardboiled detective worthy of the name...- it's not hard to see why [Declan Hughes'] publisher placed so much faith in such a relative newcomer―Ireland on Sunday
Declan Hughes breathes new life into the private detective story―Michael Connelly
'With his terrific sense of place - it's a great, gritty vision of Dublin - and a convincing characterisation, Hughes goes from strength to strength as a writer. As the tension and suspense build, this tightly crafted novel does not disappoint'―Waterstones Books Quarterly
'What lifts it all out of the ordinary is Hughes' self-awareness ... there are plenty of highlights ... an enjoyable and satisfying read'―Sunday Tribune
'Top class . . . Fast moving, and paced with acutely observed dialogue, Hughes draws an accurate and decidedly dark picture of the changes wrought by Celtic Tiger Ireland on Seaview and its inhabitants. Highly recommended'―Irish Independent Review
'This is an extremely dark book, pushing the limits in terms of violence and morality'―Sunday Times
'There is no shortage of action ... well written and gripping, suitably bloody and with a bit of sex thrown in'―Canberra Times
'The authority of a writer who has found his stride: it's energetic, pacy and vivid'―The Times
'Seems like Declan Hughes has scored another winner'―Eurocrime
'Muscular writing, a smart line in self-deprecating humour, terrific dialogue and an engrossing portrayal of the sights and sounds of Dublin noir'―Marcel Berlins, The Times
'Loy is a winning combination of caustic cynicism and romantic idealism ... [Hughes] works with heavy resonant imagery [and] gives the reader an ending which confounds the expectations of the genre ... which is all the more satisfying for it'―Irish Times
'I'd be prepared to swear that there has never been a character in Irish crime fiction with a name so taut, muscular and slyly tongue in cheek as Ed Loy . . .'―Irish Times
'Ever-improving series ... Dublin's answer to Ian Rankin's Edinburgh-set Rebus books ... Hughes has always been a fine writer ... All the Dead Voices sees him up his game with impressive results ... gripping, beautifully written and occasionally wise'―London Lite
'Declan Hughes manages the extremely difficult trick of not only locating a credible thriller in Ireland but also casting an eye on the way this society has changed utterly in the past two decades . . . Hughes laces his plot with razor-sharp and frequently hilarious comments on Irish society'―Herald AM and Evening Herald
'Declan Hughes has written a thriller that is a hell of a good read . . . there's an energy to his writing that suggests he's in it for the long haul'―Irish Sunday Independent
'Declan Hughes has an unparalled grip on the parallel uiniverses of contemporary Dublin, and his Ed Loy series just keeps getting better ... this volume has an elegiac post-Tiger, post-Troubles feel - which just turns Hughes's stylish noir an even darker shade of black'―Irish Times
'An exuberantly written slice of Dublin noir'―The Spectator
'A tense, well-written thriller, very effective at conveying the undercurrent of danger to Ed's investigations. It weaves together the different threads of the story expertly, and every word counts'―Eurocrime
About the Author
Declan Hughes has spent twenty years working in the theatre in Ireland, as director, playwright and running Ireland's leading independent theatre company.
Top Customer Reviews
Private investigator Ed Loy is one of his most absorbing creations. Loy is, as he sees himself in All The Dead Voices, a man with "dead eyes telling me that my race was run, that there was nothing new under the sun except the next job of work, the next faithless woman, the next empty glass."
Well, his next job of work is rife with complexities and challenges. He's approached by a woman, Anne Fogarty, to find her father's real killer - a murder that was committed 15 years ago. She believes the police found the wrong man guilty. Steve Owen who was having an affair with Anne's mother was sent to prison and then released following an appeal. Anne has her own trio of suspects.
At the same time Loy is investigating the death of a soccer star, Paul Delaney, who may or may not have been selling heroin. As it turns out Delaney may also have been connected to one of the men Anne suspects of killing her father. It's quite one thing to solve a recent killing but another when one must dig into the past for answers.
Once again Declan Hughes has penned a compelling, plot and character driven narrative that's hard to put down.
- Gail Cooke
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
All The Dead Voices follows this formula. Our hero is initially tasked with keeping an eye on a friend's younger brother - a soccer player with possible underworld drug connections. He's quickly hired by another client to re-examine the cold case of her murdered father. This almost 20 year-old crime has Ed digging into Irish history, which of course means the Troubles and the IRA, with money and prominent personalities involved and a Pandora's Box which no one wants Ed to open. Meanwhile back on the soccer field, things come to a head, and now Ed is looking over both shoulders as he "investigates".
If this sounds a little complicated - well I'm just highlighting the plot here - there's more and this book is the most coherent of the series. Author Adrian McKinty can manage such twists and turns without losing the thread of the story using well defined characters. The Ed Loy books, more often than not, to the detriment of the story, tend to get tied up in one violent scene after another, with one cardboard character after another and Loy getting pummeled while uncovering one clue after another. The "action" will keep you reading, unfortunately remembering the plot after a good night's sleep may prove difficult.
But Loy also has a paying case. Anne Fogarty hires him to look into the murder of her revenue inspector father fifteen years earlier. The man convicted of the crime was released after appeal. Anne thinks her father's death was connected to one of the three men whom he accused of not paying taxes on criminal profits. Two of the men are former IRA fighters, Jack Cullen and Bobby Doyle (now a property developer). The third is George Halligan, a career criminal.
Like many modern fictional PI's, Loy is a tough and sometimes violent guy. He pushes his investigations despite attempted blackmail and threats from crooks and cops alike, risks both his life and career, absorbs a couple of severe beatings, wonders if what he does has any value and, despite everything, starts a relationship with Fogarty.
The difference here is the Irish context. In this society life today is deeply intertwined with the long term violence of the IRA and similar organizations. Many active fighters remained involved in violence and crime after the truce that finally came in Ireland. Many others became respectable citizens, concealing their pasts for obvious reasons but never fully severing the old ties and networks, leaving violence always a possibility. The whole society is complicit in this semi-fictional past, making it almost impossible to know what is real beneath appearances. No wonder Loy is depressed. He lives in an ocean of doubt and mistrust and is near burn out. The story is exciting and moves well, but it is very noir in approach.
Loy finds out Anne's father was a tax inspector who was investigating three men (Bobby Doyle, Jack Cullen, and Georges Halligan) on potential income tax evasion. Each was IRA; thus they had means and opportunity besides the obvious motive. However, Loy is caught unaware when his two cases seem to converge as Delaney apparently had ties to Cullen.
The latest Ed Loy Ireland investigative thriller (see THE PRICE OF BLOOD, THE COLOR OF BLOOD, and THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD) is a fast-paced violent tale that may have left blood out of the title, but not the narrative. The inquiry is top rate providing an insight into the Troubles and its aftermath. Ed is his usual self - getting beaten, battered and bruised while working both cases. ALL THE DEAD VOICES is a terrific Irish whodunit.
Actually there are two parallel stories unfolding amid the history of the fight for Irish independence. One is a simple case of murder, for which a man served five years before his appeal earned him a release from prison on a technicality. Unsure of the man's guilt or innocence, the victim's daughter retains Loy to find the real murderer, and suggests as the possible perpetrator any one of three persons who the murdered man, a government auditor, had suspected of tax evasion.
As it turns out, the three men were active in the IRA. In addition, Loy suspects one of them to be responsible for the murder of a friend's brother who Loy was supposed to "keep an eye on." The investigation, together with the entry of the IRA into the drug business, leads to a dark tale in this author's fourth Dublin thriller. Rich in Irish history, and written with an insider's knowledge, Mr. Hughes writes with passion, and the novel is recommended.