Thursday, May 08, 2008

Books: The Colour of Blood by Declan Hughes

I read this Ed Loy crime thriller for the following reasons:
1. I recall a trendy acquaintance going to see 'Digging for Fire', a play by the author, back in the early 90's. The title was taken from a Pixies song; the aura of cool has for me clung to Hughes ever since.
2. I like Hughes' contributions on 'The View' on RTE- he usually has something more considered to say than the other panellists.
3. The Irish Times carries a round up of crime fiction almost every week and even the 'great' John Banville has stooped to get in on the action. I was curious as to what all the fuss was about.
4. At €5.95 in Tesco it really was a bargain.
In the event, while still retaining respect for Hughes, 'The Colour of Blood' is an absurd book that left me at times utterly confused as to what the hell was going on. If about half the plot twists were excised, there was more of a focus on the vaguely Ballardian protagonist, and somehow the temptation to explain everything that happens in Ireland by reference to child abuse was avoided, then perhaps this novel would be more significant.

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