- Series: Ed Loy Novels (Book 3)
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 26, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061763586
- ISBN-13: 978-0061763588
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,560,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Price of Blood: An Irish Novel of Suspense (Ed Loy Novels) Paperback – May 26, 2009
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About the Author
An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Declan Hughes is cofounder and former artistic director of Rough Magic Theatre Company. He was Writer-in-Association with the Abbey Theatre and lives in Dublin with his wife and two daughters.
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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
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.
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.
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.