The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2)

The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2)The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2) by Ed Duncan
on January 1st 1970
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four-stars

The Last straw is the second book in the Pigeon-Blood Red series and in my opinion, it is better than its predecessor.

Sandra, a teenager girl, has witnessed a carjacking which resulted in a man being shot and killed. Normally this would be a cut and dry issue where she would testify as to what she saw in court, but her eye witness account has put her under the radar of a crime boss that wants to silence her. The young man who committed the carjacking has no prior arrest history and no ties to organized crime so why does a crime boss want to silence this teenage girl?

Sandra’s father approaches Paul Elliott, an attorney, who lives in their building for advice and then Sandra’s father is shot and killed in an attempt on Sandra’s life. Paul attempts to keep Sandra safe while trying to figure out who is gunning for them, why and how much danger is everyone connected to this case in.

Rico, a hit man/enforcer who has been asked to take Sandra out. He has a code of ethics: he does not believe in hurting women or killing kids. Besides, he has his own fish to fry in this book – a female friend has been attacked and he wants to bring her attacker to justice while at the same time dealing with his nemesis – another hit-man named D’Angelo.

Both story-lines collide brilliantly in this book. Paul Elliot and Rico are not stranger to readers who read the first book in the series. They are back and once again interacting in this book. Both characters are likable and can handle themselves. There is more to both men than meets the eye. Being able to write a likable hit man takes some skill. Barry Eisler did it with his John Rain series and Duncan does it here with Rico. A hit man who has ethics, is likable, cares about other characters in the book and keeps his word.

There are several layers to this book and a couple of plot twists and revelations along the way. I found this book to be a fast read. It’s not a secret who the bad guys are in this book and it is entertaining and fun watching Rico and Paul try to keep those they care about safe as well as settle old debts and right some wrongs.

This book moves at a nice pace and although there are killings and deaths, nothing is too graphic, so most readers will be able to read and enjoy this book without being turned off by gore. This book is well written with just a few minor transition issues i.e. one sentence is about Paul and then next sentence has Rico in a new scene. Perhaps a new paragraph would have helped with such transitions. Overall, a very enjoyable book and as I stated, I thought this was much better than the first book in the series. I enjoyed the plot and subplots in this book. The characters are well written, and the dialogue is engaging.

I received a copy of this book from Book Publicity Services and the Author in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars

Pigeon Blood Red

Pigeon Blood RedPigeon Blood Red by Ed Duncan
Published by Smashwords Edition on February 25th 2016
ISBN: 1943549508
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three-stars

Robert McDuffie is a businessman addicted to gambling and is in over his head with a loan shark. He owes a lot of money and has two weeks to settle his debts. When he is being driven home he seizes the opportunity to steal a necklace that it is priceless. It is a Pigeon blood-red ruby necklace that the loan shark “owns.” Rico Saunders is an “enforcer” who has been tasked with getting back his bosses precious pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach Robert a lesson for stealing.

Rico follows Robert to Honolulu where Robert has met up with his wife and his mistress who are vacationing together. Sticky, right? When Rico attempts to bring Robert to justice and bring home the necklace, some “innocents” get in the way. As Rico attempts to pursue his next victims, secrets, lies & revelations come out. What will Rico do? Does he have a conscious?

Rico is a no-nonsense enforcer who is likable in the way that he does not take crap, does not back down, and is comfortable in his own skin. He is okay with what he does and makes no excuses for himself, yet at the same time, he does have a conscious. Robert is a cheating, lying, failing businessman who is willing to do whatever it takes to save his own skin. Evelyn and Paul were likable but I felt their characters could have been flushed out a little more. I figured out Rachel’s angle right away.

I wish this would have been cat and mouse, more suspense, more thrilling. This was pretty straightforward crime/gangster book.

I received a copy of this book from Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.

three-stars