Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Pigeon-Blood Red - Ed Duncan

Sent to me by the Author in exchange for an honest review

Publisher: Ed Duncan, Self Published.

Copyright: Ed Duncan, 2015

ISBN: 978-0692769478

Format: Paperback, 238pp

Genre: Action/Thriller

Rating: 3.5/5

Summed up in a few words
Risk. Conscience. Gambling. Jewels. The Hunt.

First Impressions
I was intrigued with this piece, an interesting and thrilling plot idea written by an independent author. Ed Duncan has written a solid and entertaining book though I would have liked a little more development and depth in the characters and story. I am keen to see where he is taking this series over the course of the trilogy, so I will be seeking out the sequels in the future. Thank you to Ed Duncan for my review copy.

Book Synopsis
After an unfaithful husband and his lover try to double-cross a loan shark, they endanger the lives of the man's unsuspecting wife and an old flame who comes to her rescue. Pursued by a "killer with a conscience", the wife and her newly found protector must decide what to with a stolen ruby necklace worth millions. And their pursuer must decide what to do with them: murder them as ordered -- although one of them saved his life -- or refuse and risk the life of the woman he loves. Pigeon=Blood Red is the first in a trilogy. Each successive title re-unites the main characters in a new and exciting life and death struggle. 

My Thoughts
After finishing Pigeon-Blood Red I found myself intrigued about where Duncan could take this series with the next two instalments. I felt that P-BR  was fairly basic in terms of plot. The story is rather brief in length so you don't really get much of a chance to settle into the characters but once it was finished I felt overall that I appreciated Duncan's writing style and several characters enough to be able to re-visit the series in the future.

I think the term basic is slightly harsh, but in my opinion the plot doesn't develop much past what is described in the synopsis. The characters on the other hand are nicely developed and work well with each other to make the story believable and entertaining. I thought that both Paul and Rico complemented each other, even though they are essentially enemies, and I look forward to seeing how their dynamic develops in the next instalments.

P-BR follows the events surrounding Robert (a gambler in for a significant amount), his wife Evelyn (given up on her marriage and trying to move away from it) and an enforcer called Rico who is tasked with returning the necklace that Robert has stolen from his boss. The chase takes the characters to several locations including Honolulu and though it is filled with action and suspense, I never found myself overly gripped by it.

Ed Duncan has focused on character choices and interactions in P-BR and it was a great choice to do so because I don't think he could have added much more depth to the plot. If he can evolve all the characters well across other books then this may turn out to be a pretty awesome trilogy. P-BR fits in the thriller/suspense genres neatly but doesn't knock any other books of my top ten just yet. The themes are realistic, reasonable and entertaining. Having a killer who is unpredictable but not always so eager to kill on demand is an interesting element and the fact that Duncan highlights that there are no real winners in the gambling world was meaningful enough to keep me invested until the end.

Overall, P-BR won't blow thriller lovers away but for an independent author it is a great start and I hope to see more of Ed Duncan's work in the near future. I have given the book 3.5/5 stars because I was impressed by the way Duncan crafted and developed his characters but I was not won over by the plot. Thank you for checking out this review, there are plenty more reviews, interviews and giveaways at Always Trust In Books.

Pick up a copy of Pigeon-Blood Red here: Amazon UK/Amazon US/Goodreads 
About the Author: Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law from in Cleveland, Ohio, for many years. He is the original author of a highly regarded legal treatise entitled Ohio Insurance Coverage, for which he provided annual editions from 2008 through 2012. Ed, originally from Gary, Indiana, lives outside Cleveland. He is at work on the second instalment in the trilogy that began with Pigeon-Blood Red.

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