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The Blood Miracles

(Ryan Cusack #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  747 ratings  ·  128 reviews

The second novel from the author of the Baileys Prize-winning The Glorious Heresies

Like all twenty-year-olds, Ryan Cusack is trying to get his head around who he is.

This is not a good time for his boss to exploit his dual heritage by opening a new black market route from Italy to Ireland. It is certainly not a good time for his adored girlfriend to decide he's irreparably

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published April 20th 2017 by John Murray (first published April 6th 2017)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  747 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Not for the faint hearted or readers who believe Ireland is the land of Saints and Leprachauns, fairy forts and Fairies as Ryan Cusack and his cronies would instill a fear in St Patrick himself

Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney is the second installment in the Ryan Cusak saga and is a novel rich in wit and humor and a serious amount of profanity but I was expecting a little more second time around from this author. Having enjoyed The Glorious Heresies The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney I was looking forward to this novel by
Lisa McInerney follows the joy, wit and humour of The Glorious Heresies and its wonderful cast of memorable Irish characters residing in the port city of Cork with a more singular focus on the now 20 year old Ryan Cusack, a more troubled, disturbed and adrift man experiencing serious mental health issues in this sequel. The tone is darker as we follow the inevitable and tragic trajectory of Ryan's life in crime, his personal life a mess with his involvement with Natalie. It is barely surprising ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, modern-lit
Lisa McInerney's The Glorious Heresies was a very powerful debut, and this sequel in which she returns to its Cork location and many of the same characters, was keenly anticipated.

I was aware that many of the initial reviews were negative, and perhaps this lowered my own expectations, but my impressions remain largely positive - it retains the freshness, vibrancy and vitality of the original while narrowing the focus from a disparate group to a single character, the young drug dealer Ryan, and
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Apparently this is an unpopular opinion, but I loved this just as much as The Glorious Heresies. I understand why a lot of people didn't. The Glorious Heresies is dark but it still retains a lot of signature Irish humor, and some warmth along with that. The Blood Miracles on the other hand is just a black tragedy. It picks up where McInerney's previous novel left off, but it follows the thread of only one of the protagonists (though a few others play peripheral roles). And it was an interesting ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, ireland
The Blood Miracles - now available in German!
I see why McInerney has been called the Irish Irvine Welsh: This book is unapologetically dark and gritty, it depicts criminals and the poor working class without condemning violence, alcohol and drug use. Accordingly, the main strength of the novel is not the plot, but the character study of the protagonist, 20-year-old Irish-Italian drug dealer Ryan Cusack. Losing his mother at an early age and growing up with a violent, alcoholic father, Ryan drops
Paul Fulcher
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
You're the musician, echoes an ould wain, thumb pressing down on his hand. But you're not playing, are you?
The Glorious Heresies, which I read in early 2017, remains one of my favourite reads of the year - my review - and like many others I was really looking forward to this sequel, which has been very well received in the press (the New Statesman's review, while favourable, being the most balanced

However, the GR reviews by Neil, Gumble's Yard and Miste
Sonja Arlow
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read

This city, like all cities, hates its natives. It would rather be in a constant state of replenishment than own up to what it has warped

Where The Glorious Heresies had several plot lines this one mainly focuses on Ryan and while I really love Ryan as an ever more complex character, it started feeling as of the same old issues and dramas were rehashed in an endless loop.

The dark humor that I enjoyed so much in the first book was also noticeably absent from this one which made for a much grimmer r
McInerney's second novel about a group of drug dealers in Cork City, but so much more. Ryan Cusack has been dealing drugs for 6 or 7 years. He has been with his girlfriend Karine for 6 years. Things go sour between them and Ryan gets into even more trouble. I was not liking this much for the first part of the book. In general, I am not fond of stories of gangsters and thugs. Part of the story is whether or not Ryan is either. He is certainly into bad stuff. Eventually, I got pulled in.
This is wo
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
There's a problem with reading this book: either you read The Glorious Heresies first or you don't. If you don't, you will miss out on a lot of the references in the story. If you do, however, you may well come away feeling let down by the comparison. I did.

To be fair, it could go either way. For some people, the move from multiple story lines to a focus on just a single character will mean the book is tighter and more compelling because there is time to build the tension with everything related
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
My opinion is kind of torn on this one. A book full of characters who live on drugs, sex, booze and criminality. Violence is ever presence. It's not a pleasant read but at the same time I guess this is life for some.
The central character of Ryan edges on drug fuelled craziness as he juggles two girlfriends, one also being his violent boss Dan's latest lover, dodging the local mob boss, a missing drug shipment, his relationship with his father and his desire to somehow escape.
Like the first book
The Book Chief
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
‘This city, like all cities, hates its natives. It would rather be in a constant state of replenishment than own up to what it has warped. Ryan sees it well enough: the tribes in town, hipster baristas and skinny suits and the tides of students pushing the rest of them back up the hills.’

Let me start by saying that I was a huge fan of Lisa McInerney’s debut The Glorious Heresies. Back in 2015, this book grabbed everyone’s attention and took the literary world by storm. The following year saw awa
Eric Anderson
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's so intriguing coming to “The Blood Miracles” after reading Lisa McInerney's rhapsodic debut “The Glorious Heresies” about the lives of several disparate individuals in modern day Cork. This new book is a continuation of that story, but she narrows the focus onto Ryan who we first met as a teenager with his longterm girlfriend Karine. Ryan's initial involvement working for drug dealer Dan has morphed into becoming a key player in Dan's gangster circle. But these aren't the kind of modern gan ...more
Viv JM
The Glorious Heresies was one of my favourite reads from last year, so I was really excited to read this sequel. Unfortunately, although it did show McInerney's wit and attention to detail, the focus solely on Ryan just didn't work as well for me and I was a little disappointed. Not a bad book, just not a patch on the first.

The audio narration by Shelley Atkinson was superb though.

3.5 stars
Daniel Sevitt
I guess I would have preferred for this to go off in a new direction rather than offer a new perspective on characters we'd already met. It makes it a bit weird with a big reveal two thirds of the way through either coming as a complete surprise if you haven't read The Glorious Heresies, or a long overdue clanger getting dropped. The dialog is still top class, but the plotting got a little overwrought and Ryan's back and forth between the women who continuously want to have sex with him despite ...more
4.5* This sequel to The Glorious Heresies is not the same as The Glorious Heresies. It uses one narrator rather than many, it's darker and less humorous. But does any of that make it less? Absolutely not. It's another clever, layered story with richly-drawn characters, surprising twists and fabulous writing. There are fewer comic touches, but they are still there. McInerney's skill is once again evident and I won't hesitate to pick up the next thing she publishes. ...more
Ian Mapp
Jan 19, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
Follow up to the Glorious Heresies - which I loved enough to rate a 4 star.

What I loved about that book is largely missing from this one.... the pitch black uniquely Irish humour appears to have completely disappeared and we are left with a crime novel without suspense and a character drama that bores through deathly dull characters.

The book concentrates on Ryan - the 15 year old from book 1 is now 20/21 and fully immersed in the Cork drug smuggling ring. He has a long term girlfriend but takes
Ruby’s Edit
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
McInerney's sequel did NOT disappoint. Following the wonderfully absorbing The Glorious Heresies comes Blood Miracles where the reader is taken along a gripping tale of love, betrayal, dirty deals and survival. I devoured this book within a couple of days. Ryan is one of the most complex and intriguing characters despite the wonderfully easy prose in which McInerney describes him in. That is surely a testament to the author's skill. I cannot wait to read what happens next.

Full review up on my b
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, irish
The Glorious Heresies was one of my favourite books last year so I was looking forward to picking this one up too. We're introduced to the main character, Ryan, in the first book and while you can pick up this book without having read the first one, it's worth reading The Glorious Heresies for the background.

Ryan had it all. A job dealing drugs that gave him lots of money and kept him away from his father's violent hands, on the good side of his boss and an adoring and beautiful girlfriend. But
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
There’s a very good review of this on Goodreads by MisterHobgoblin. He says “All The Blood Miracles does is to cheapen the memory of The Glorious Heresies by flattening the original characters and dumbing down the original intrigue.” I couldn’t agree more. I loved The Glorious Heresies – (and incidentally I do think you need to read that one first as there’s so much backstory referred to in this 2nd part that doesn’t really make sense unless you know whence it derives) – which I felt was bold, o ...more
Feb 27, 2017 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy
Just can't get into this unfortunately, but think I have to be in a certain frame of mind - parking it for now but will return at some point. ...more
Sid Nuncius
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed The Glorious Heresies very much so it pains me to say this, but I got to about half-way in The Blood Miracles and gave up. I may go back to it at some point, but for now I've had enough.

The Blood Miracles picks up Ryan Cusack's story from the end of The Glorious Heresies. After a sort of recuperation period he is back at work with Dan, organising a new drug route from the Camorra in Naples. He continues to drink and use drugs, so his life continues as a series of mess-ups (not the exac
The Blood Miracles is the jaw-dropping sequel to the literary wallop that was The Glorious Heresies. One question that's usually asked when it comes to sequels is, do you need to read the first book to understand the sequel? In this case, I would say you don't have to, but you why would you not? You definitely should. Lisa McInerney's Irish is like English ignited with fireworks. It's English mixed with street slang and sparks and action so quick it's surprising the type isn't blurred. She light ...more
Mairead Hearne (
From the winner of the Baileys Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize for her first novel The Glorious Heresies, I am only too delighted to share my review of The Blood Miracles, the sequel, from Irish author Lisa McInerney.

Just recently published by John Murray, I can tell you immediately that I absolutely loved this book as much as The Glorious Heresies and I think best described in Lisa McInerney’s own words…‘The Glorious Heresies is a landscape and The Blood Miracles is a portrait.’

Please read
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, ireland
I really liked McInerney's The Glorious Heresies. It came before this one, and wove together 5 voices to show a messy, imperfect, lovely world. This time around, we only get one of the voices, and it just wasn't as fun for me. Some of the characters from the previous book do return, but we never get to hear their side of the story, and Ryan's drug dealing and love life troubles just weren't enough to keep me.

So definitely read The Glorious Heresies and give this one a miss.
Rhuddem Gwelin
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When one loves the first book by an author, one starts the second with some trepidation. This one started out with some confusion and for a while I wondered if I was going to be disappointed. But by the end I was not. This one is darker and filled with hopelessness but McInerny writes beautifully with many stunning formulations. Not for everybody but for me it pulled together leaving me with very strong feelings.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is the second of Lisa McInerney's books which I have tried, and the second which I have given up on. I find her prose style too matter-of-fact, and her plots too gritty for my particular taste. ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A slightly darker tale than The Glorious Heresies and oh so good. I am a big fan of Ryan Cusack.
Cathy Geagan
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I picked up Lisa McInerney’s debut The Glorious Heresies a few days after it was published based on the utterly brilliant cover. Shallow I know, but there you have it. Colourful graffitied Virgin Mary, glowing praise from Kevin Barry, and a blurb setting up a dark comedy realistically set in post-crash, post-Catholic Ireland – all these things were catnip to me. After practically inhaling it and pressing it on everyone who asked me for book recommendations (and many who didn’t!) I was totally co ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok

I loved The Glorious Heresies and picked up this follow up with the highest hopes. I wish I hadn't.

Because, the high points for The Glorious Heresies had been the blend of farce and crime; the balance between good people; inept people and bad people; the multiple viewpoints; the contrast between the Celtic Tiger and the organised crime. But these are all missing in The Blood Miracles. It is just a straight story of drug deals. The characters are the same - well some of them reappe
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Oh Ryan, how you have grown into a 'little gangster' who is juggling too many balls in the air and they somehow transform to eggs that go SPLATT! Splatter! SLAP! & Ouch!

It was a bad sign when I didn't care if Ryan was taken out.

Elements of this story I did enjoy was Ryan writing to his mother, which exposes his anger and vulnerability over her death.

There is great prose:

'So she seeks gory details, stories about rebellious users and gangsters cleaning guns in underground strip clubs. Would she mi
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Lisa McInerney’s work has featured in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, Granta and BBC Radio 4 and in the anthologies Beyond The Centre, The Long Gaze Back and Town and Country. Her debut novel The Glorious Heresies won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize. Her second novel, The Blood Miracles, is published by John Murray in April 2017.

Other books in the series

Ryan Cusack (3 books)
  • The Glorious Heresies
  • The Rules of Revelation

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