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The Wrong Kind of Blood

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 over twenty years. But his mother is dead, and her only son, who has been working as a Private Investigator in LA, has come home to bury her. He finds an Ireland in the grip of an economic boom, where new buildings have sprung up on streets that are now unrecognisable and cranes line the horizon, an Ireland that feels completely new. But beneath the shiny facade lurk the same old enmities, the same old secrets, the same old blood feuds.

"Tommy said you found people who were missing," Linda Dawson tells him. Linda's husband has disappeared. She doesn't want the police involved. So, reluctantly,
The Wrong Kind of Blood
Loy agrees to investigate. And the case takes him on a journey through the world of Dublin's crooked local politics and corrupt planning, where the Halligan organised crime gang have builders and developers in their pockets, a journey into the past of John Dawson, Linda's father-in-law, one of Ireland's richest men... and the childhood friend of Loy's father, Eamonn, whose disappearance triggered Loy's flight from Dublin all those years ago.

The closer Loy gets to the truth, the more he realises its roots lie in the entwined family histories of the Loys and the Dawsons and the Halligans, that the murders and abductions and drug deals of today were caused by deals made and blood spilled long ago, that there are bodies buried—literally—beneath the concrete of his booming hometown, and that one of those bodies is almost certainly his missing father. A loy is a spade, and Loy's calling is to dig; what his first case back on home turf reveals is that his calling was steeped in blood, that his fate was cast before he was born, the latest stones in the family plot.

Prologue and first chapter

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"Declan Hughes breathes new life into the private eye story with The Wrong Kind of Blood. This artful thrill ride of deception brilliantly teaches us that the past is never far behind, that it can reach out and grab us at any time."
   —Michael Connelly

"Distinctive, witty, violent and moving, The Wrong Kind of Blood is reminiscent of the best of classic American crime fiction, yet ultimately Hughes's voice is utterly his own. With The Wrong Kind of Blood, Irish crime fiction has come of age."
   —John Connolly

"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

"A classic PI novel . . . Hughes's vivid characters, realistic dialogue and narrative drive make this a very successful debut . . . An exciting and thought-provoking thriller."
   —Sunday Telegraph, Susanna Yager

"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....the sort of crime novel you really want to read . . . The plot is well-constructed, the characters well-rounded. The dialogue is to die for."
   —Irish Times, Arminta Wallace

"Hughes's first novel is redolent with moody atmosphere, some vivid characters, and a fine playwright's keen sense of pacing...Compelling and entertaining and well worth reading."
   —Boston Irish Reporter

"An extraordinarily powerful novel of noir detective fiction...Hughes writes in the mystery tradition of Dashiell Hammett, Cornell Woolrich and Raymond Chandler...The Wrong Kind of Blood [was] written by a master."
   —Irish American News

"...Hughes deserves praise just for his evocative view of Dublin and the city's changes. But the author also delivers an engrossing plot supported by realistic characters whose motives are expertly mined...[Hughes] packs the novel with a steady stream of twists and action... a stunning finale..."
   —Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

"Hughes is a natural storyteller who uses a winning combination of original, fresh characters and uncanny suspense to create an absolutely brilliant novel. Edward Loy will soon be mentioned along other great characters in crime fiction as he is a truly great protagonist to front a series. Hughes writes from the gut and every word feels [personal]. I dare you to read this and not want more...It's gritty and moody and wonderful."

"[Hughes] vividly conveys the sights, sounds, and smells of the Dublin streets."

"[Hughes] crafts the narrative in a series of scenes with characters as distinctive as actors on a stage."
   —Mystery Scene

"A vicious, gritty, emotional shotgun blast of dark-hearted noir...Hughes vividly creates a landscape filled with bad guys and a hero who, on his best day, is just as tortured and prone to fits of sudden aggression as the men he rubs against...Hughes' master use of setting...It's a damp and dreary landscape and Edward Loy is the perfect guide through the underworld."
   —Las Vegas City Life

"A masterful debut."
   —Daily Ireland

"A fast-paced, tightly-written thriller . . . give it a whirl, it's worth it."
   —Irish Examiner Weekend

"Finally Ireland gets a hardboiled detective worthy of the name."
   —Ireland on Sunday

"Top class . . . Fast moving and packed with acutely observed dialogue... highly recommended."
   —Irish Independent

"A hell of a good read."
   —Irish Sunday Independent

"Arguably, the definitive Irish crime thriller... Thrills and social commentary too."
   —Glasgow Herald


The Wrong Kind of Blood (2006)
The Colour of Blood (2007)
The Dying Breed (US: The Price of Blood) (2008)
All the Dead Voices (2009)
City of Lost Girls (2010)
All the Things You Are (2014)