Pigeon Blood Red – Entered in 2017 Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Ed Duncan

In Ed Duncan’s Pigeon-Blood Red, Rico is a hit man tasked with finding his boss’s stolen ruby necklace and punishing the man who took it. However, what should have been an ordinary job quickly becomes complicated. The thief he’s pursuing has run off to Honolulu, taking the necklace with him. When he’s found, the necklace is already long gone, leaving Rico scrambling to find a solution before it’s too late. Meanwhile, the constant bloodshed and ruthless life of crime is wearing on Rico; part of him wants to leave and never look back, but disobeying his orders could mean death – or worse.

For the most part, Pigeon-Blood Red was an excellent crime novel. However, it did have a less-than-pleasant tendency to shift between different characters’ perspectives often and without warning. This is typically jarring or confusing for readers; devoting an entire chapter to a single perspective and only maintaining the perspectives of the main characters would have been more effective. Also, the main character, Rico, seemed a bit of a cliché, James Bond-style male protagonist; it would have been interesting to see him be developed with a bit more depth.

Regardless, Pigeon-Blood Red was highly entertaining, with Ed Duncan’s casual narrative style and plenty of well-written detail. The pacing, action scenes, and dramatic conclusion all contributed to this novel’s ability to captivate its readers. It has a certain sense of familiarity, without stepping into copycat territory, that guarantees that fans of crime thrillers will fall in love with Pigeon-Blood Red, too. Pigeon-Blood Red may need some organizational editing, but the rest of it is well-done and well worth the read.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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