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The Dying Breed Paperback – Apr 2 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (April 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719567505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719567506
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,061,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'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' - Robert Mayes―Ireland on Sunday

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

This intelligent, often brutal thriller will have readers' hearts racing from start to finish.―Publishers Weekly starred review



Hughes is not afraid to take his references and run with them, he is not afraid to have a good time. Above all, he is not afraid of writing well―Anne Enright, Guardian

Hughes is an impressive talent―Irish Independent

As crisply written as his previous books, Hughes is definitely onto another winner―Dublin Evening Herald

A very fine writer―Sunday Telegraph

'Well-written and sharp'―Irish Sunday Independent

'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

'Think of Ed Loy books as contemporary Chandleresque but with an Irish setting and a more interesting, humane and sympathetic PI'―CrimeFest

'The book is rich in character and strong in narration and will keep the reader glued right through to the last line'―Expressit

'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

'Hughes is in his element describing the sites and sounds of the places Loy visits' - Ken Griffin―Sunday Tribune

'...Rising Irish crime star Declan Hughes turns his acerbic eye on the Irish horseracing scene'―Observer

'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 breathes new life into the private detective story with The Wrong Kind of Blood. This thrilling ride of deception brilliantly teaches us that the past is never far behind us, that it can reach out and grab us at any time'―Michael Connelly

'A deeply atmospheric writer . . . [Hughes'] keen ear for the demotic, his sharp eye for the damning detail, makes The Dying Breed a vivid, gripping, and . . . chilling read.'―Claire Kilroy, Irish Times

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Hired by Father Vincent Tyrrell to find Patrick Hutton, a jockey missing for 10 years, Ed Loy quickly finds himself investigating not one but two grisly murders in playwright Hughes's stellar third novel to feature the Dublin PI (after 2007's The Color of Blood). At the same time, Loy must stay on his guard against members of the Halligan family, who blame him for the incarceration of one of their own. An innocent fling with the mysterious Miranda Hart leads Loy ever deeper into the heart of a complex drama that spans decades and involves several members of the powerful Tyrrell family. At least one murder turns out not to be what it seems. Beaten up, warned off and yet undaunted, Loy uncovers a horrible series of secrets, leading to a violent and labyrinthine conclusion at a famous Irish horse-racing festival. This intelligent, often brutal thriller will have readers' hearts racing from start to finish. (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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Irish playwright Declan Hughes's third private detective Ed Loy novel, THE PRICE OF BLOOD, peers into the gritty sides of Dublin and families as Loy investigates the case of a missing jockey and a case of vandalism. In a suspense thriller with echoes of Greek tragedy set in modern life, Declan Hughes creates an innovative look into the darker sides of his characters and the underside of Irish horse racing. THE PRICE OF BLOOD is a suspense read full of local color from an Irish author who looks beyond the surface into societal changes and customs as well as into the shocking secrets hidden from plain view, secrets that when spoken can often lead to tragic consequences.

Father Vincent Tyrrell asks PI Ed Loy to look into a name, Patrick Hutton. The Catholic priest and horse racing devotee gives Ed Loy just the name without any other details, refusing to break the seal of confession. Now dying of cancer, the priest's conscience troubles him. Meanwhile, Ed Loy takes on a case, assisting Joe Leonard in catching vandals. As Ed Loy pursues the Leonard case, he discovers a body dumped, a body with some shocking details and a piece of paper that might just relate to his jockey case. When Ed looks closer into the history of Patrick Hutton, the body count increases. Each victim has 2 cryptic tattoos roughly engraved into their skin and certain other details in common which Ed discovers when he comes across a dumped body. While the papers claim the murders are the work of a serial killer, The Omega Man, Ed Loy knows that the clues and relationships just do not fit the serial killer scenario. His investigation of jockey Patrick Hutton takes him into the tumultuous world of Irish horse racing and the Tyrell family where passions run deep and secrets are hidden even deeper.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c0c5804) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bfb7e10) out of 5 stars An Irish Xmas May 23 2008
By Ted Feit - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The latest in the Ed Loy series has the Irish PI looking for a jockey who disappeared years before after holding back a favorite horse so it would lose. It brings him into the midst of deep dark secrets of a prominent horse-breeding and -racing family. Although there isn't enough information to even begin an investigation, such a lack doesn't seem to deter Loy.

Discovery of the first of several bodies opens the inquiry into the many mysteries of the Tyrell family. All this takes place beginning on Christmas Eve and leads up to the four-day Leopardstown Racecourse Christmas Festival. The story is set among the current and past Irish economic and social conditions, with observations on the people and the Catholic Church playing an important role. The plot involves, as usual, the sins of the fathers cast upon the children.

The drama is high, the writing solid. This third in the series is as gripping as its predecessors, and is highly recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bfb7edc) out of 5 stars strong Irish mystery March 21 2008
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In Dublin, Father Vincent Tyrrell hires private investigator Ed Loy to find missing jockey Patrick Hutton. The case is made complex by the fact that his client offers only a name and that Hutton disappeared about a decade ago. Loy wants to say forget it as he figures he has little chance of finding the man, but the fee is too good to ignore.

Loy knows he must tread the streets very carefully as the Halligan family plan to rough him and more because they hold him culpable for one of them residing behind bars. As he makes inquiries on another case involving a homicide that leads back to Father Vincent's brother affluent business mogul F.X. Tyrell, Loy soon finds himself investigating two other related homicides connected to the Tyrell family. Beaten severely and told to back off or else, Loy keeps digging until the trail takes him to the four-day Leopardstown Race-course Christmas Festival.

In his third appearance (see THE COLOR OF BLOOD and THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD) Loy does what he does best: gets tattered and threatened but keeps on ticking. The story line is fast-paced from the opening request and though filled with neat twists never slows down until the final altercation. Bruised, battered and beaten, Loy still conducts intelligent inquires whose link is F.X. Private investigative fans will enjoy Declan Hughes' strong Irish mystery.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bfb80cc) out of 5 stars TELL NO ONE. SAY NOTHING. It's an Irish family gothic tale... May 18 2010
By janebbooks - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a recent interview, Irish author Declan Hughes talks about his Ed Loy mystery series. The books, he says, are family gothic. "Despite the impression Irish people give that we're open and friendly and candid, there's a lot we don't want to tell you -- a lot of skeletons in our closets."

In this third Ed Loy P. I. novel, Hughes relates a family saga full of family blood, betrayal, and secrets. Keeping the secrets is THE PRICE OF BLOOD. (The UK title THE DYING BREED expresses the content well, too.)

Ed Loy, a private investigator, is asked to solve the disappearance of a jockey who worked for the prominent racehorse trainer, F. X. Tyrell. The Tyrells are well known in the region around north Wicklow and the Dublin Border. They, two brothers and a sister, are the usual rich Irish Catholic family: elder brother inherits the farm, younger becomes a priest, and unmarried sister comes home and keeps house for her older brother. Along the way Ed works closely with boyhood friend Dave Connelly, a detective sergeant with the Garda, as they try to solve three murders by the Omega Man, a vicious killer who cuts out the tongues of his victims. (Dave and Ed's trip to the morgue in Chapter Seven explains their camaraderie with a bit of humor.)

This powerful tale takes the reader into the midst of contemporary Irish life in Dublin and features one of Ireland's most anticipated sports events, the four-day Leopardstown Racecourse Christmas Festival.

And reveals the secrets of the industrial schools of yesterday. It seems F. X. Tyrell recruited his jockeys from the lads at the not-quite-an orphanage for wayward boys. After a chilling contemporary visit to the remains of one such school, Hughes comments:

...The basic components were all in place: half-educated Christian Brothers, some of whom had themselves been physically and sexually abused, inflicting that abuse on others; abuse among the boys themselves as the old turned on the young; a collective disbelief among the wider community, including priests, teachers, the Guards, a justice of the peace, and even journalists on the local paper, that amounted to denial...

Hughes has indeed written another Irish tale of family secrets. You'll enjoy reading his previous Ed Loy books, too.

The Wrong Kind of Blood

The Color of Blood
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bfb7fb4) out of 5 stars Tedious, overly complex plot Oct. 23 2012
By David W. Nicholas - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ed Loy is a private eye, in Dublin. He is hired to try and find someone who's littering on someone's yard (seems ridiculous, doesn't it?) and also hired to find a missing person, by someone else. Of course while following the litterbug, he stumbles on the corpse of the missing guy--the sort of coincidence that could only happen in a ridiculous novel, or reality. In even semi-well-written fiction, the author wouldn't be allowed to do something like this, but Hughes somehow thinks he can get away with it. It's a bit annoying.

I like books with foreign characters and settings as much as the next guy, but when you get to the point where everyone says "f---" as an adjective to everything it gets a bit much, and the whole cast smokes and drinks constantly throughout the story. You wonder how the guy is functioning by page 100 or so--he keeps drinking, at all hours of the day, for the rest of the book. It's annoying, even for someone like me who normally isn't bothered by that.

And the plot is ridiculous. It's overly complex, and very confused. It's hard to keep the characters straight, there are several twists that don't particularly make sense, and the end result is much less than completely satisfying. I frankly found the whole thing pretty boring, and couldn't wait for it to be done.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bfb8714) out of 5 stars Improbabilities taken to a new dimension Nov. 5 2009
By Palmi Moller - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ed Loy is suffering for the lack of cases. The lack of business has something to do with the fact that he's been too successful and well advertised! Would he do better if he was a failure with low recognition? In this story, he's looking for someone that likes to litter the private property of his 1st client, while taking up a missing person case from client #2. He feels honor bound to service client #1 first, thus he follows a probable litter bug suspect that leads him to a body that's tied to client #2 missing person. If Dublin had fewer than 100 people, this coincident might be overlooked in order to continue the story.

The story continues with more and more improbabilities, leading to a nonsensical climax. Contemplate this: Do you think you could cut someone's tongue out, someone probably twice your size, in a none premeditated moment of anger? Or better yet - could you cut your own tongue out? The book left me speechless.