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My Thoughts … ‘The Colour Of Blood’ by Declan Hughes


These synopsis words are taken directly from the rear cover of the book:


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“A spectacular house overlooking Dublin Bay isn’t where Ed Loy expected to uncover a trail of depravity and corruption leading to the upper ranks of a crime syndicate, but maybe he should have.

When daddy’s little rich girl goes missing and blackmail photos appear, even the jaded Loy – now on his second major case since returning home from LA – is shocked by what he finds.

Old money and new crime make a gritty mix in this race against time to find a killer concealed by dark family secrets”


About The Author:

Declan Hughes lives by the sea in Dublin, Ireland with his wife and daughters. For the last twenty years, Declan has worked in the theatre, becoming an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, as well as director and co-founder of  Ireland’s leading independent theatre company, ‘Rough Magic’.

Declan then introduced us to his character, Ed Loy PI in ‘The Wrong Kind Of Blood’, the first of a series of novels, of which ‘The Colour Of Blood’ is the second.

‘The Wrong Kind Of Blood’ was an indication of the success the series was to become, winning for it’s author the Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus Award for best first novel.


My Thoughts About ‘The Colour Of Blood’

Declan Hughes definitely brings the role of the Private Detective bang up to date and into the 21st Century, with his character Ed Loy.

The language, sexual references and violence, all accentuate the fast paced story and vividly drawn characters.

The story certainly highlights the seedy, depraved, gang run side of Dublin, that lurks not too far beneath the surface; of the people who will do anything for gain, enjoy what they do and have nothing to lose.

Much worse I thought, were the people from ‘the other side of the fence’, who did the hiring, but considered themselves to be squeaky clean, because they didn’t actually bloody their hands or see the results of their greed and hatred.

The thin veneer which personified the respectable face of humanity and philanthropic living, was quickly peeled away by Loy:

“… for all I told myself, I didn’t just make my living this way, and it wasn’t about justice; I seemed to need the chaos other people brought me so I could make a pattern from it, establish the connections they couldn’t see themselves. Not from envy, but from need”

Family image and an unforgiving religion are the pivotal points of the story; old money, old lies, old secrets, old grudges. One lie and half-truth, follows the other, until Loy starts to unravel the secrets they have been trying to hide as individuals, but that would bring the whole family dynasty to it’s knees, when pieced together.

“…. wondered whether the sins of the fathers could ever be washed away ….. or whether a legacy of tainted blood would always colour the lives of the children and the children’s children. I didn’t come up with any answers”

The climax of the story, forces the family to bring all of it’s skeletons out of the cupboard and face the consequences, in a spectacular way, whilst at the same time forcing Ed Loy to confront a few ghosts of his own and hopefully begin to lay them to rest.

I thought that the weaving together of the two stories at the end of the book, was very well done and I certainly hadn’t put two and two together.

I was a little confused about the kidnapping (not giving anything away, it is part of the synopsis), it didn’t seem to have any relevance or substance to it and was quite a weak part of the overall story.

As a murder mystery and an overview of the religious ferver in the Catholic Ireland of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, it lived up to expectations and earns a 3.5 out of 5.

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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Written by Yvonne