Sunday, October 16, 2011

All the Dead Voices, by Declan Hughes

I finished this fourth book in the Ed Loy series a couple of days ago and as usual with Hughes' work, I enjoyed it a lot. I'm not going to say too much about the plot here, as really you should start at the beginning of Loy's story with The Wrong Kind of Blood. The series starts with Loy returning to Ireland after twenty years away, ostensibly to bury his mother. But his American Dream is in tatters too, and he's not going back right away--as I guess you can tell from the fact that this current work is set in Ireland too and he hasn't been back to the States in between.

I like the homage that Hughes pays the late Ross MacDonald's work in the Loy series. Ireland has a lot of family secrets to dig up and apparently no tradition of P.I.s with shovels until the advent of Loy. This fourth novel is a bit outside the usual pattern, although there's no need to panic--a ruined family or two lies at the heart of the tale. But All the Dead Voices takes on the consequences of the Troubles and there's more mention of paramilitary organizations than we're used to dealing with in Hughes' works. Actually, a good companion novel from north of the border would be Stuart Neville's recent Collusion.

Personally, I missed seeing more of Loy's old friend Tommy Owens in this book, as he always provides a bit of comic relief, albeit usually of a criminal kind. He's there, though, for a few crucial plot points. And that'll have to do.

17 comments:

  1. I've only read on Declan HUghes but but I enjoyed it a lot. And this sounds like a good un.

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  2. It is. And the next one takes Loy back to L.A., which should be interesting as I was born down that way and know it well.

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  3. These Irish writers are far too tempting.

    Word verif = blerd (meaning Not good for my book budget)

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  4. Dorte, they are, and the worst of it is there are a heck of a lot of them.

    So start saving up those kroner. Or do you not use those at all anymore?

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  5. Yes, kroner for food, but dollars or pounds for books.

    I have a feeling Amazon is going to send me a couple of dollars soon, though, and then I can send them back & make the wheels go round :)

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  6. Unlike some things about Amazon, I like that cycling very much!

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  7. I've had Hughes on my TBR list for a while now, along with Stuart Neville. I guess I need to start at the beginning of the series.

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  8. Gavin, it isn't absolutely imperative, and this one can certainly stand alone, but it's probably more rewarding to start from the beginning.

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  9. I've got to begin this series! 2012!

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  10. Nan, I certainly hope you get to one of them.

    But beware. Reading Irish crime fiction is an extremely slippery slope. I've got a stack of great books ahead to read and no end in sight.

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  12. Me, again - I just ordered the first in the series. Thanks for the reminder!

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  13. Oh, this one is the strongest entry yet in a pretty good series.

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  14. Personally, I find them all pretty strong. But then, I'm a
    Ross MacDonald fan, so that helps. I do miss more of Tommy's dilemmas in this one. I think the next one takes Loy back to L.A., so I bet Tommy won't be too present there either.

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  15. I realized I erred in my previous comment. I thought that the first three books were good and that Hughes took a leap forward with All the Dead Voices and another with City of Lost Girls. I had not heard anything about a sixth book.

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  16. No, I haven't heard about a sixth either, but that's okay, because I still have City of Lost Girls to go.

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