By Jake Tracer
Updated March 14, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

PI Ed Loy fancies himself a Dashiell Hammett throwback (picture Bogart with a brogue). But while tracking down a missing jockey in the third of Hughes’ Irish noir series, he uncovers a family history so bizarrely disturbing that he finally has to modernize his self-image. Like Ireland itself, Loy is stuck between a pugnacious past, where bloodlines dictate loyalty, and a moneyed future, where business is business. Since Declan Hughes suggests in The Price of Blood that those who remember Irish history are often doomed to repeat it, it’s no wonder his Dubliners are always after a drink: In Ireland, forgetfulness begets prosperity. B+

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