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City of Lost Girls (Ed Loy #5)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  211 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Dublin PI Ed Loy tackles a case that takes him back to Los Angeles -- his home of twenty years -- and a past he'd rather forget in this gripping new novel in the Edgar Award-nominated and Shamus Award-winning series.

Ed Loy has laid his ghosts to rest. He's been back in his hometown of Dublin for several years, his work is wearing but steady, and he's in his first loving re
Published April 1st 2011 by John Murray Publishers (first published January 1st 2010)
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May 13, 2011 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Hughes, a very talented Irish crime fiction author, has brought out a literate private eye tale heavy on the atmosphere and voice and like James Crumley in that way. The flowing sentences give us the insights about PI Ed Loy who's on the wagon and in love with a mother of two girls. The movie production company led by Oscar-wining film director Jack Donovan provides the backdrop of the young ladies working as extras also getting murdered. I enjoyed this read.
Apr 24, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
SETTING: Dublin, Ireland
SERIES: #5 of 5
RATING: 3.75

Irish director Jack Donovan is one of those men who exudes charm and is a powerful force that can’t be ignored. For many years, he has worked with almost the same crew to film his movies. Known as the “Gang of Four”, they’ve been together through great successes and great failures. They are currently shooting a movie in Dublin. When Jack receives a series of threatening letters, he turns to an old, but estranged, friend,
Feb 08, 2011 Tequila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Declan Hughes novel and I have to say it was great. I liked the modern touches including the impact of the financial crisis on Dublin, the fact that the characters develop and change, the dark and interesting plot.
Lukasz Pruski
"He wonders about the killing in threes, about the concept of the Three-in-One Killer. It is preposterous, on one level, like something from a comic book [...]"

Yet another crime novel with a promising setup that fizzles into a disappointing ending. This seems to be a rule these days with the bestsellers of the genre and I have a simple explanation: while the publisher can easily "sell" a book through blurbs that broadcast the enticing premise, for obvious reasons the failure of the ending can ne
Feb 06, 2017 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
This book sat on my bedside table for at least a year, maybe two. Something about the cover and maybe the title discouraged me from reading it. Finally I did and it was so well written, interesting and the twists kept coming. Thoroughly enjoyed it, worth the wait.

PI Ed Loy is happy to have his old friend Jack Donovan shooting a new movie in Dublin. They were mates when Ed lived in Los Angeles. He’s developed a good PI practice and has a woman to love, all’s good in Ed’s life.

Two girls go missi
Gail Cooke
Apr 09, 2010 Gail Cooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shamus Award winner Declan Hughes isn't just any noteworthy crime writer - he's an Irish one and for this reader that makes all the difference. There's a bit of a poet in him, as well as a richly developed descriptive technique. Now, add to this his two decades as a playwright and screenwriter, a background which he brings to the printed page, and you have CITY OF LOST GIRLS.

With this, the fifth in Hughes's Irish private investigator Ed Loy series we find Loy torn between tracking a psychotic mu
May 04, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hughes, Declan. CITY OF LOST GIRLS. (2010). ****. This is Hughes’ fifth novel, and features Ed Loy as a private detective who gets a call from an old friend, film director Jack Donovan, to look into a series of what might be threatening letters he has recently received. Donovan is in Dublin to shoot his latest film, and is worried about his past catching up with him. Loy has worked with Donovan before, and even played a small role in one of his films set in L.A.. Although they had been close fri ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much like the shift in narrative voices - Ed Loy telling his own events, the third person narrator relating the rest - and the creepy musings of the self justifying, deranged killer interspersed as he stalks his next victims.

Loy is enjoying a relatively peaceful interlude - new relationship going well, no immediate crises - when he is hired by an old friend - legendary film director Jack Donovan, whom he knew years earlier in Los Angeles, to find out what has become of a young actress who
Christina McLain
Liked this book very much though I found it very irritating as I can never tell how good Irish writers really are-- is it really them or just the magical way they have with words??? These micks can saddle up the English language and ride it like a dolphin across stormy seas. So here it is, just after the death of the Celtic Tiger, and begorra wouldn't you just know that our protagonist Ed Loy is a private dick (and has been in more ways than one) as well as narrator and Greek chorus to The Gang ...more
Okay, so having finally worked out that this review has never actually made it into the light of day, for reasons which, well no reason. Let's just say idiocy on my part and move on.

CITY OF THE LOST GIRLS deserves much better attention than I've given it. The fifth book in the Ed Loy series, Loy is one of those rumpled Irish PI types, part philospher, part hardman, and in this book he's walking the mean streets of Dublin and LA.

Quintessentially Irish in the descriptions and observations sprinkle
Jun 20, 2010 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Whoever buys the mysteries at my local library does a fabulous job and has added many new writers to my ever-growing TBR pile. This is apparently the fifth novel in a series, but it's a great read all on its own. I will caution, however, that if you read this one you're going to go look for the other four, as well.

Ed Loy is a wonderful character - an Irish P.I. - confronted by his past in the form of his former friend, Jack Donovan, a larger-than-life Irish film director. Jack needs Ed's help -
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Initially I had a hard time getting into this one but half way through I was setting it aside to read in spurts as it was getting so intense. Ed Loy reunites in Dublin a friendship with a temperamental and charismatic Irish film director with whom he had a falling out over three missing girls from his film set in LA ten years ago. He's back in Dublin on location shooting a new film and he's being threatened. Ed reengages with the director and starts checking out folks with an ax to grind against ...more
What did I miss that others who have acclaimed Hughes as a great mystery novelist? Adequate, I'd say, mostly in the atmosphere department, but definitely NOT in the actual sleuth department. There were no clues! We started on the first page knowing that the Gang of Four would be suspects, and we learned at the end which one. But only through a deus ex machina. Plus, I find alternating chapters in the voice of the (unknown) killer really annoying. Since the writer can't let us know who he is, the ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another involving mystery from Hughes. He's one of the best current mystery authors out there and the comparisons to Ross Macdonald are particularly apt, as his books tend to revolve around mysteries that have their roots in some traumatic, past incident. Here, it's the troubling disappearance of two female extras on a movie in process in Dublin, echoing the similar disappearance many years ago of a trio of extras from the set of a film by the same director and producing team. Hughes' detective ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Bondama rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***** Possible Spoilers*****

This is one of the very, very best Declan Hughes novels I've yet read. It reads very, very fast - totally engrossing - The story concerns a Dublin-born director, who, having gained fame in Hollywood, has returned to Dublin to make a new film... only girls keep disappearing. Hughes' detective, Ed Loy, who happens to be an old friend of the director, is hired to find out why. The whole story is truly fascinating, and keeps the reader guessing until the end.

I would high
Mar 26, 2013 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really, really, enjoyed this. Thoroughly entertaining, plus that sense of security when you read something written by someone at the top of his game. Additionally, although this is #5, there is no sense of laziness, no forced recycling of characters. Ed and Tommy have grown in stature, have not become caricatures of themselves; older villains make their appearances - one significantly - and there is a return to past history for Ed, but it all feels easy and right and fresh.
Much appreciated. As i
Nov 04, 2011 Scotchneat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like Ed Loy. He's been through it. He's Irish. He's got some shady friends.

In this one, his Hollywood past comes home to roost when he gets caught up in some detecting for Jack Donovan - local boy made good as big Hollywood director. Only his muse extras (girls of a certain type) have gone missing.

Circumstances remind Loy of similar missing girls related to the Donovan sets 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, we end up with some stereotypical bad guy moves and plot twists, saved only by the strong ch
Amy Paget
Another detective series featuring Dublin based Ed Loy. Set during Jack Donovan's filming of a Irish historical epic, there is much early Hollywood lore and Dublin lore in this novel. You get a pretty good sense of the film business...and of complicated friendships. Worth reading...and worth visiting the author's website at I'll be reading the other Ed Loy novels.
This mystery had a lot going for it -- Dublin atmospherics, a broad cast of possible villains, a reasonably interesting narrator, and a central device -- a film set dominated by an iconic Irish director -- that works. The supporting characters and suspects aren't well developed, however, and I found the italicized murderer chapters (a device I am getting tired of at this point, although that is not this particular author's fault) unilluminating.
The language is convoluted and hard to get through -- and I say this as someone who likes poetic language. And I figured out who the killer was a hundred pages before the author told us, and this is not a long book. I gave it three stars because I always appreciate the effort at a literary detective story and many of the characters are well-drawn, but I probably won't seek out more by this author.
Sep 20, 2016 Harvey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caught up with the last of this series (2010). I hope there will be more as enjoy Hughes writing and the noir poet PI Ed Loy.

Good use of the bubble-burst Dublin atmosphere as well as Ed visiting old haunts in Los Angeles as he investigates disappearance (murder?) of several extras off a movie set directed by old, estranged pal Jack Donovan.
Jul 15, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For a thriller/mystery it needed more thrilling information, not so much of this thick detail on the drunken main character and his on the wagon/off the wagon PI he hires. I liked that it was set between LA and Dublin Ireland. I could hear the brogue accent as I read. But that wasn't enough for me.
Derek Leedy
It's funny to say that less is more but the series takes a good turn here, where it had become bogged down by byzantine characterizations, lost plots (no pun) - etc - this is leaner and better - ed loy is still troubled and trouble, he may have some domestic trappings but i'm sure they'll be ripped apart soon enough - looking forward to the next installment
Erin Gray
This is the 5th book in a series that features Ed Loy, a private investigator based in Dublin. I've read all the books, and this was possibly the best of all of them. This book follows a current case, added with reoccurring characters from the Dublin organized crime world, plus a love interest and a touch of Hollywood. 4.5/5
May 31, 2012 Joe rated it liked it
A very interesting Ed Loy novel, slight departure and in a little more literate in comparison to some of the early novels in the series. The plot is interesting and takes elements of the classic 'who done it'. I am also looking forward to the next book in the series and seeing how the fued progresses with the Halligan gang namely Podge. 3.5 stars for me.
Aug 04, 2010 Tuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i just love this author. he's got nice pacing, a bit literary, or at least the lyricisms of irish english, believable lovable/hatable characters, suspense, and in this particular title, he just keeps getting more literate, more of what he is doing right to start with. yeah declan hughes.
Mar 18, 2012 Emily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while I'd read an adult mystery books since I last read Lake of Dead Languages. I was wandering in the library until this one caught my attention. I am a HUGE fan of mystery books. Can't wait to read this one!
Apr 22, 2011 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great. Written by the Irish author Declan Hughes, there was never the feel of a foreign author. The story was suspenseful and I would recommend this book to anyone not wanting the traditional mystery.
the tortured P.I has become a tired archetype. Hughes doesn't add anything to his protagonist while the story moves at a snail's pace. the saving grace is the Irish setting that brings in the Irish dialogue about drinks and drinking.
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Declan Hughes has worked for more than twenty years in the theater in Dublin as director and playwright. In 1984, he cofounded Rough Magic, Ireland's leading independent theater company. He has been writer in association with the Abbey Theatre and remains an artistic associate of Rough Magic. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

* Ed Loy Mystery
More about Declan Hughes...

Other Books in the Series

Ed Loy (5 books)
  • The Wrong Kind of Blood (Ed Loy, #1)
  • The Color of Blood (Ed Loy, #2)
  • The Price of Blood (Ed Loy, #3)
  • All the Dead Voices (Ed Loy, #4)

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