Friday, August 28, 2009

All the Dead Voices

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ed Loy has a way of ticking people off.

I've heard it said that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. But that's not the way it is with Ed. He's an equal opportunity offender. People on both sides beat him up.

Declan Hughes'
All the Dead Voices immerses the reader in Irish violence. Ed works to solve two murders, one in the past and one of a young football player he's been hired, not to protect, but to watch over.

Both murders involve the Irish mob, and the Irish mob, by and large, consists of the remnants of different groups who fought in the revolution.

People kill people out of passion, idealism, and because some people are just born to kill. This book has all three kinds of murderers.

I couldn't help but think of T.S. Eliot's comment in "The Hollow Men." The world ends "not with a bang, but a whimper."

That seems to be the way it is with the revolution. This book ends with a huge bang, a whole series of huge bangs, but in a way they seem to be little more than whimpers, little more than the screams of a dying time. Oh, in what sad ways these old enemies and comrades die.

At one point, Ed says, "I could hear the dead voices in my head, and I needed to bring it to a close so that we all could get some rest."

The voices he was talking about were the voices of the innocent killed in the revolution, but the comment applies to the guilty too.

This is a strong book. It brought me into a world I could hardly imagine. I struggled to figure out what the acronyms meant. Everything has an acronym, the revolutionary groups (they were easy or I already knew them), and all the parts of the Guard (those were harder).

But the book wasn't written for me. Thanks to Declan Hughes, I was given the privilege of being an onlooker, someone who marveled at this society and the way its history lingered.

I recommend this book.


Corey Wilde said...

I gotta make an effort to get caught up on the Ed Loy series. I really enjoyed the one I read. Sounds like I won't be disappointed in this latest one either.

Joe Barone said...

I certainly plan to read more.