The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2) by Ed Duncan

The Last Straw

Published: November 25th 2017

Publisher: Creativia

Read Date: February 23th 2018

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Pages: 229

Stars: 5/5

5 star_crop

The Last Straw by Ed Duncan, is a suspenseful crime thriller. This is the second book in the Pigeon Blood Red series. If you missed my review on the first book of the series you can check it out here ⇒ Pigeon Blood Red by Ed Duncan

I suggest to read it in order.


It started with a run-of-the-mill carjacking.  An inner-city kid with no priors and no experience with a gun fumbled the ball, and the driver ended up dead.

A teenage girl witnessed the whole thing, and now a target has been placed on her back. The carjacker’s father, a notorious crime boss, is willing to move heaven and earth to prevent her from testifying, even if that means hiring a hitman to kill her.

Richard “Rico” Sanders, the best in the business, was his first choice for the job.  But there was a problem.  He was a “killer with a conscience” and a killer with a conscience doesn’t murder teenagers.  The crime boss reluctantly turns to someone who has no such qualms, John D’Angelo.  There was bad blood between him and Rico, so knowing that Rico had passed on the job, he eagerly accepted it.

Rico and the girls lawyer, Paul Elliott, form an uneasy alliance to try and protect her from the hitman. As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.


The Last Straw was character driven gangster thriller that revolved around Rico, Paul, and Sandy and the case in which she was a witness that again brought both Paul and Rico face to face. Blurb says it all about the book and what’s in it.


Rico was professional killer, hit man, a bad guy but had his ethics and principles in his line of work who cared about none but his girlfriend. He was intense and left good impression with least use of words. I loved his crisp dialogues in the book. I’m so happy to see little changes in him because of Jean.

Paul was lawyer and was protective for his girlfriend, Evelyn, who he met a year ago at Honolulu on vacation where both Evelyn’s husband and girlfriend were shot by Rico. Paul was great throughout the novel, I liked his skills and was so practical than Evelyn.

Evelyn was bit irritating compared to first book. She wasn’t over what happened a year ago and was constantly edgy and angst, arguing with Paul regarding his recent habit of carrying gun. The way she argued I was shocked that she wasn’t lawyer. I couldn’t understand her point, why she had a problem if Paul was being hero tried to protect his, her and Sandy’s life! She was totally being silly and got plenty of eye-rolling from me, but what she did for Sandy was remarkable and deserves appreciation.

New characters in the book were great. They all were realistic and likable to an extent and played their part nicely in the story.

What I liked_edited

Beginning of the book was engaging- attack on Rico’s girl and then his hunt for the man. It was refreshing to see Rico back in action. I loved his style and it was kind of cute to see his caring side in the book.

It was third person narrative from the perspective of all important characters. Conversations and the events were realistic. Switch between the perspectives, flow of the story, and writing was smooth. Book pointed out the prejudice and stereotype nature of people at that time and how it affected life of characters.

I forgot to mention this in characters above. Most admirable character of the book was Beverly– she was strong, independent and influencing lady. I loved the way she carried herself and how she kept her dignity in the past. I totally respect this woman. And another strong character was Sandy, the way she handled the toughest situation of life was remarkable. I would have loved to read her thoughts more.

“Brave people are frightened all the time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t brave. What makes them brave is standing up for what they believe in or risking their own safety despite being scared.”

Most interesting part of the book was the backstory of new characters especially of Beverly and the story Rico told about his history with his arch-enemy, D’Angelo and reason behind their enmity. The small twists in the story were interesting and made me read more in the story. It was not that hard to predict the story and I knew early in the book what will happen but still I wanted to see how it was going to end. What happened to Forester and his wife Diane was surprising. I couldn’t see it coming.

Climax and the turning point was full of action. All the actions were vivid and sounded plausible. I like the end and epilogue.

I couldn’t find any negative point in the book. Predictability never bothered me much and overall I liked the story so it deserves full star.


Overall, intriguing gangster thriller with strong developed characters. I strongly recommend this book to all who love this type of books.


About Author:

ED DUNCANEd Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the third installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red series. To learn more, go to

Readers can connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Buy Here: /

*** Note: I received review copy of this book from the author via Kelsey @book publicity services, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author and Kelsey for giving me chance to read this book. ***

What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already or any book by this author before? Have you read something similar to this book? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (18)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Hello Book Lovers! I hope you all had great week. My week in reading was good.

Last week, I read and reviewed∼∼

Prithviraj Chauhan: The Emperor of Hearts by Anuja Chandramouli

Stepping Out of Time by Renée Paule

9 Chocolatey Bites: A Short Story Collection for Children by Ananya V. Ganesh

Currently Reading∼∼

A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit

36307043Raehan and Amolika come from two very different worlds. And for the time that their worlds overlap and stick to one path, life seems beautiful. Between projects at college and hanging out with friends, the two of them come to a startling revelation that involves a bond of love between them.

Unbeknownst to the both of them, there lies a leviathan of espionage that eventually consumes the bond they share, driving them apart by force.
Sixteen years pass, when fate decides to rekindle their bond – only this time, the challenges are exacerbated by the unresolved baggage of the past. Do the two of them find each other? Does the dull, grey, long-standing spell of winter rise to give way to spring?

I started this yesterday, has finished 25% of the book and I’m enjoying it. So far, it’s more good than I expected.

Next this week∼∼

The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2) by Ed Duncan

36671089When a teenage girl witnesses a carjacking gone bad, she is marked for death by a crime boss with no apparent motive. A black lawyer and a white enforcer with an unlikely history forge an uneasy alliance to protect the girl from a hit man with an agenda of his own.

After they find out that the crime boss is the father of the black teenage carjacker, Paul Elliott – lawyer and close friend of the witness’s family – begins counseling them.

As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

I read first book of the series last year and I enjoyed it. This one sounds good as well.

What are you reading this week? How was your last week? Have you read any of these books before or planning to read in future? What do you think about them?? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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Pigeon Blood Red by Ed Duncan


Pigeon Blood Red by Ed Duncan

Published: February 25th 2016

Read Date: October 8th 2017

Pages: 250

Stars: 4/5

4 star_crop




Books was centered on its gem ‘Pigeon Blood Red ruby necklace’ and how characters got involved directly or indirectly to this necklace. Basically this story was character driven set in Chicago, narrated in third person view and very gangster type.

Story was quiet straight actually. Robert was under neck deep debt, stole Pigeon Blood Red ruby necklace from Litvak’s man, ran away to Honolulu and indirectly involved his wife, Evelyn in this. All characters gathered at Honolulu with different purpose and get involved in the necklace chase. Now how they got involved with necklace, who will get it in the end and what will happen to them… Well, that’s the story.


There were many characters in the book and all of them had almost equal role and importance. In short, all character were flawed, no one was perfect. I bet, every person’s view will be different about these characters. I didn’t actually connect with them, I knew them and their life by the end of the book but I couldn’t understand their thought process and so I couldn’t say who actually developed or whether they learned anything or not except Rico. It was like everyone were going with the flow, and so I with them, until end decided where they will stand.

Characters involved with necklace were- Rico– man on field, Anti-hero doing all dirty work of Litvak but likable. I liked the principle he sat in his line of work that he won’t change in any condition. Evelyn– Robert’s wife, idealistic but was just okay until the climax, and then I didn’t like her much. Paul –Lawyer who was on vacation also got involved in this. He was nice and genuine in this whole affair.

Litvak – money lander, Rico’s gangster boss, who orchestrated all the chasing thing because necklace was his possession. Robert– gambler who stole this necklace in the beginning of the story and Rachel. Nothing was good about these 3 characters.

What I liked_edited

Story directly took to the world of gangster and main point of the book- the necklace chase. After first 40% of the book, this chase became thrilling and I actually loved the story from this point on. Till that it was all about knowing the characters and their situation better. It was good thing but took a little time to connect with everything.

There was very detailed life stories of all characters, even those who had very little role and related to characters. Right from family back ground to how they got into job they were doing, how they met the person whom they considered near to them to the present situation. all through information which helped to know them and was required to connect with the main story.

I liked relationship of Rico and Jean. The conversations was less but the way they understood each other’s work was something we rarely find between couples that made these unruly characters admirable. Paul and JoAnne were also good together. Did I mention detective in the book? First time I liked a detective who was side character and actually did his work thoroughly and quickly and most importantly was not stupid.  😉

Best thing in the book was Pigeon Blood Red ruby necklace. Yes it was very beautiful but that’s not I’m talking about. All information related to it was brilliant- Where they are found, how rare they were, why they were priceless and who actually owned them and how it reached to Litvak. That was fascinating piece of the book.

Short chapters and so fast paced book. Story progressed very quickly with nice turning points. Few I could see coming, have guessed very early and some things were shocking. Creative climax. I actually didn’t know what will happen from here on. End was fair enough. So yes I’m happy with the end.

why not 5 stars_edited

There wasn’t actually major negative points in the book. The story was enjoyable but as I said earlier it took little time connect situation and characters, and couldn’t understand thought process of characters.

Pretty straight for me. I was not on the edge, chewing my nail while watching the story unfold which I expected in this book. I had cozy mystery type of feeling.


Overall, refreshing, gripping, fast paced, gangster thriller. Though it was straight for me, I enjoyed it. Something new and different. I recommend it? Yes.


About Ed Duncan

Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. To learn more, go to

Connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

*** Note: I received this book from the author via Kelsey @bookpublicityservices, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got chance to read this book. ***

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any of the books by this author?  Share you thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

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Book Promo: Pigeon Blood Red by Ed Duncan

Book Blitz _ Book Promo

Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced and suspenseful crime thriller by Ed Duncan.

Duncan says, “It’s always been said that you should write what you know. I am a lawyer – as is a pivotal character in the novel who is being pursued by a hit man – and I’m excited to be able to use my legal training creatively as well as professionally.

BOOK COVERPublished: February 25th 2016

Category: Suspense, Thriller, Crime Fiction


For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?


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