The author of a brace of highly regarded novels of Irish suspense chats with January Magazine contributing editor Kevin Burton Smith about his influences — both literary and musical — his letter from Pete Townshend and how we’re all walking in Snoopy’s shadow. Says Hughes:

I think it’s Ross Macdonald I’m most influenced by. If Hammett took murder out of the rose garden and put it back in the alley where it belongs, Macdonald told you about the kid who’d been dumped in the alley, found out that he was from a family with more than a little loot, and then took you into their house to leaf through the family album and trace the deep history that led to that kid’s death. That “family gothic” spoke to me, because Irish society is still pretty tribal, and because, despite the impression Irish people give that we’re open and friendly and candid, there’s a lot we don’t want to tell you. A lot of skeletons in our closets. As it says in The Wrong Kind of Blood, “Whatever you say, say nothing.”

The interview is substantial and it’s here.

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