Irish Crime Review: City Of Lost Girls By Declan Hughes
Declan Hughes (born 1963) is an Irish novelist, playwright and screenwriter most widely known for his crime novels center around the Irish-American detective Ed Loy. Hughes lives in Dublin with his wife and two daughters.
In City of Lost Girls, Dublin PI Ed Loy thought he had laid all his ghosts to rest. Two young women go missing from a film set and that brings back a piece of history: Twenty years ago, three girls disappeared while Loy’s longtime friend, film director Jack Donovan, was shooting a movie in Malibu. They were never found. Now Donovan’s filming an Irish historical epic on location—and production grinds to a halt when two female cast members fail to show up to work. Fearing that Donovan or one of his close associates is responsible, Loy races to uncover the truth before a third girl vanishes—a hunt that’s pulling him far from home, back to L.A., leaving a cunning killer free to strike at what’s dearest to Ed Loy’s heart.
This novel is certainly different from the previous Ed Loy books. The deranged people who have been a large part of his life are still there but on the edges of the story. In this book, Loy is dealing with a different kind of deranged killer, one who is a predator, enticing his victims by offering them help in the movie world where the line between pretense and reality is difficult to define.
Hughes has done a great job in creating a fine piece of mystery with a poetic feeling. The author has mixed the narrative with the thoughts of the murderer presented in some chapters but does it in a masterful way and doesn’t give away the ending or identity of the killer. I think Hughes wanted to tell an excellent tale about people’s fears, the nature of film-making business and its downsides and the mystery genre was a perfect genre to deliver that.
We enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to the readers who enjoy literary mysteries or novels with a touch of noir.