Published: November 25th 2017
Read Date: February 23th 2018
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
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.
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.
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 third installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red series. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/
*** 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.