Adult Fiction book review

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan

Librarian Laura’s Review of Pigeon Blood Red by Ed Duncan

If you like fast-paced, urban crime noir stories, then his well-written series starter set in Chicago by Ed Duncan is perfect for you! Duncan blends diverse characters and multiple narratives seamlessly to create a hard to put down thriller. The story follows underworld enforcer (hitman) Richard “Rico” Sanders on a job that started out as a simple retrieval job, but ends up being a little more than he anticipated. Rico’s job keeps him on the move and always watching his back. He’s smart and dependable, but he doesn’t let people get past his hardened exterior. The only exceptions are his partner and driver, Jerry and his beautiful ,down-on-her-luck girlfriend, Jean. Rico’s gangster boss, Frank Litvak, tasks him with retrieving a priceless, rare pigeon-blood red ruby necklace which is stolen right out from under his nose. When the thief takes off to Honolulu to follow his estranged wife, Rico must leave the dangerous streets of Chicago for the unfamiliar streets of Honolulu. While Rico is pursuing the targets in an attempt to retrieve the necklace for Litvak, someone from his past comes knocking, forcing Rico to develop an unlikely respect and connection with a couple vacationing in Honolulu. Will Rico follow Litvak’s orders and complete the job, or will he risk the life of the woman he loves and take matters into his own hands. You’ll have to read it and find out. The story reads very quickly, and it hooks readers in from the very first page. If you enjoy Pigeon-Blood Red, there are two more books in the series, The Last Straw (book 2) and Rico Stays (book 3).

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced, suspenseful, crime thriller. It is the first book in the Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy, followed by The Last Straw (book 2) and Rico Stays (book 3). Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.

Pigeon-Blood Red tells the story of underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, who believed his next assignment to be 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?

About the Author

Ed Duncan lives outside of Cleveland, OH. He 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.

Ed Duncan is the author of the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. The first book in the series Pigeon Blood Red was released in September 2016, followed by The Last Straw, the second book in the series, released in December 2017. The third book in the series Rico Stays was released in May 2020, published by Next Chapter. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.

“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,” says Duncan.

Praise for the Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy

“…It rips along like a .45 bullet rushing past your head….a crime novel in a style you don’t … see too often… a juggernaut of a story that just won’t quit.” – Monkey’s Book Review

“A fast-paced read with complex and morally ambiguous characters that leaves you on the edge of your seat!” –

“Readers in search of a tight, well-written…crime/action/adventure will find…an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” – Mike Siedschlag’s Review

“This charming, classically-told crime thriller is a must for noir fans…refreshingly old-school pulp, inhabited by a familiar cast of gamblers, con men and hustlers found in Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard novels” – 5 Stars, Best Thrillers

“This Chicago set thriller is a pacy read, written with an edge and style… Ed Duncan’s series will sweep up fans as it goes along.” – Crime Thriller Hound

“With danger looming in every chapter… Duncan skillfully draws the reader into a complex web of characters… A few key twists within the storyline keep the reader intrigued… an outstanding crime thriller…” – 5 Stars, Red City Review

“…suspense from start to finish… a fast-paced read… Entertaining, Gritty and Nailbiting.” – The Bibliovert

Readers can connect with Ed Duncan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to

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