- Publisher: John Murray
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0719567491
- ISBN-13: 978-0719567490
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 24.1 x 3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 440 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,850,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
THE DYING BREED Hardcover
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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 the Audio Cassette edition.
'...Rising Irish crime star Declan Hughes turns his acerbic eye on the Irish horseracing scene'―Observer
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
PRAISE FOR DECLAN HUGHES:―*
PRAISE FOR THE DYING BREED―**
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 --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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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.
From the very beginning of THE PRICE OF BLOOD, Declan Hughes takes the reader into an intimate vision of Ireland. Declan Hughes sections the book by date into Advent, Christmas, and St. Stephen's Day, thereby creating a temporal structure that relies on the Catholic calendar and focuses on Father Vincent Tyrell`s world. His moral dilemma introduces this work of suspense, allowing the reader to catch a glimpse at both the depth of this character, as a man tortured by a secret he must keep and also as a compassionate man willing to stand out as he brings Tommy Owens into the fold of his church and protection despite the congregation's displeasure. From the very beginning, the reader feels Ed Loy's ties to his youth and his independence from the Dublin of his past through the interchanges with Father Tyrell. Through the descriptions of the Joe Leonard case, Declan Hughes, takes the reader into Ireland's past and present as characters once isolated from one another by economics, now live in close proximity. Those who once thought of semi-detached housing as low class now are limited to council housing. Now, downcast, Joe Leonard is determined to protect his corner. To Joe Leonard, Declan Hughes juxtaposes F.X. Tyrell, a man for whom horse racing has improved his status and station in life.
As suspense, THE PRICE OF BLOOD delves into the dark side of horse racing, purebreds, and relationships as passions and past histories collide. The closer Ed Loy gets to answering the puzzles, the more surprising twists he uncovers. As St. Stephen's Day approaches with the exciting climactic horse race, even the best laid plans cannot prepare the characters for the shocking conclusions still to come. As with a previous past case, when the culprit is finally revealed, the revelations elicit unexpected actions. Secrets haunt but brought to light, do they bring comfort? Declan Hughes' suspense stands out precisely because answers are not easy or simplistic. Through the depth of the character of Father Vincent Tyrell, Declan Hughes creates a magnificent sense of pathos in his suspense that makes THE PRICE OF BLOOD a unique suspense read.
Declan Hughes is a must read for drama enthusiasts (particularly tragedy lovers) and literature enthusiasts. Father Vincent Tyrell recalls to mind Graham Green's memorable characters while simultaneously upping the ante several notches. While reading THE PRICE OF BLOOD, literature lovers might call to mind OEDIPUS REX and Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN, not so much in terms of plot or characterization where there are both some similarities and differences, but more so for the brilliant way Declan Hughes deviates from these classics. Declan Hughes creates an innovative work of fiction that pays tribute to previous literary classics while all the while transforming them, adding new twists as he places his tale in the suspense genre. The author invigorates the suspense genre with a new vision that will delight, indeed haunt lovers of both suspense and drama.
If you are looking for a light happy suspense read or a quick serial killer whodunit that you can easily put aside with disinterest shortly after finishing it, this book may not be the best choice. If you want a suspense read that glosses over the ramifications of actions or the pain endured by characters, search elsewhere. If you are looking for a unique read and one that stands out from all the books out there, in either suspense or literature, THE PRICE OF BLOOD is brilliant! Although tragic, THE PRICE OF BLOOD is hauntingly innovative --- the kind of book one remembers for its uniqueness.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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
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.
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.