‘RICO STAYS‘ – (Pigeon – Blood Red – Book #3)
After enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders stepped in to protect his girlfriend from a local mob boss’s hot-headed nephew, all hell broke loose.
When the smoke cleared, the nephew had vanished, but three goons who had tried to help him lay dying where they’d stood. Fighting for his life, Rico was alive but gravely wounded.
Out of the hospital but not fully recovered, he needed a place to crash – a place where he wouldn’t be found by men who surely would be looking. A place like the cabin owned by lawyer Paul Elliott, whose life Rico had saved more than once.
Trouble was, Paul’s girlfriend hadn’t forgotten Rico’s dark history. Or Paul’s fascination with him.
Using Rico’s girlfriend as bait, vengeful killers soon would be coming for him. The only question was whether he would face them alone or with help from Paul.
Ed is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. For more than 37 years, he was a partner and practicing trial lawyer, with a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to an occasional trial, he wrote reams of briefs and opinion letters. He specialized in something called “insurance coverage,” which in general meant it was his job to evaluate whether or not a particular accident or loss was, or was not, covered by an insurance policy.
In 2008 he wrote an original, highly regarded legal treatise, called “Ohio Insurance Coverage,” but he didn’t count that text as fulfilling his quest to become a published author, since it isn’t fiction, and what he really wanted to do was to write fiction, especially crime fiction.
Originally from Gary, Indiana, Ed now lives outside Cleveland, Ohio
“It’s always been said that you should write what you know. I may not have been on the run from an underworld hitman, but I do know law and I’m excited to be able to use that knowledge creatively as well as professionally.”
“It was a nice day for a ballgame: sunny and mild in the mid-seventies with a slight breeze blowing in from left field. Rico inhaled, appreciating the sweet scent of steaming hot dogs that hung in the air just above the stadium seats.”
“His motto was: all things being equal, tackle the hardest job first. That way, whatever is left will always be easier and, therefore, relatively speaking, something to look forward to.’
“One rule I live by is I never threaten to do somethin’ I’m not prepared to do if I hafta.”
“What they learned would have deterred most men, but there were two kinds of men who, under the circumstances, refuse to be deterred: Men who were too dumb to appreciate the danger they faced and men who were too foolhardy to care.”
“Counselor, you and I are alike in some small ways. I like words and I like jazz, for instance, and tonight I found out we both like the same kind of food. I think we both keep our word and we both pay our debts. But I’m sure none of those similarities are what make Evelyn here a little nervous.” He turned to her and this time a hint of a smile played at the corners of his mouth. “Evelyn, all I can say is I am what I am. I make no excuses. But that’s me, not him.”
“’Please, no psychoanalysis,’ Rico said. ‘What I do is what I do. I’m good at it. I like it and I got scruples – not your kind maybe – but my own, which suits me fine.’”
“Does Rico always find trouble, or does trouble just come searching!”
This is the third and supposedly final part of the Pigeon – Blood red trilogy, although each book is a neatly self- contained unit, which can be read as a stand alone story. Yes! there is a backstory which lies in the background of all three books and draws them together into a series, however the author does an amazing job of filling in the pertinent details at just the right time, so that the continuity of the story and the narrative are never compromised. I never felt that I was missing out on anything, even if I hadn’t read all three books in double quick time, as the series grabbed me and soundly sucked me in!
As the result of a seemingly innocent accident, Rico is back in the action, which kicks in right from the first few pages and continues on relentlessly throughout the book, although there are plenty of short ‘down time’ moments, when I could examine the characters more closely, as they interacted with one another, before yet another incident kicked off and it was ‘back to business’ as usual! The ending was as I like them to be, decisive and conclusive, although Ed cleverly managed to combine that finality, with just enough glimmers of hope that ‘normal service’ might be resumed in the future, as these two couples from very different sides of the track, yet more alike than they had realised before, vow to remain arms-length friends.
The by now compelling and familiar format of the storyline, which is both equally plot and character driven, blends Rico’s self-styled form of justice and unwritten code of ethics, which will always only ever see him accept a contract on someone he deems to be worthy of dying, with his desire to keep all that he holds dear, safe and never to target directly, or indirectly involve anyone he sees as vulnerable, unless his back is so far up against the wall, for it to be an unavoidable circumstance. He tries his best to avoid collateral damage, but accepts that as one of the shortcomings of his volatile lifestyle.
The mature narrative and dialogue was always relevant, crisp and clean and kept everything moving along at a pace, whilst at the same time, the great use of visual language and descriptive words, drew me in so that I was always part of the intense action and right there at the scene, as the bullets were flying all around and the bodies piled up! I never needed to take time out to try and work out who did what, to who, why and when. I only needed to decide who was going to make it out alive to fight another day and who was hopefully going to get what they deserved!
Ed has manufactured a great cast of four complex and dynamic central characters, who for all their differences in ethics and life experiences, gel so well together as a team. I think that all the way through the series, they have each uncovered their own vulnerabilities and have individually been searching for a sense of belonging, however with the closing of this final case, the synergy between them has been so strong, that they have each discovered a purpose to their lives, which may re-define them in some small way.
Rico, with his fascinating contradiction of traits, is learning that he doesn’t need to be a loner all his life, although the very nature of his job means that is sometimes an inevitable consequence. He is learning to give as well as to take, although I get the feeling that he will never change his lifestyle completely, as it is all he knows and he is good at it, so he realises that he cannot afford to become too soft, or he will not be able to operate at his best, making him vulnerable, which may ultimately put his own life and that of others, in danger! He is definitely an anti-hero, who even against my better judgement, morals and ethics, I have in a strange way, come to connect with, like and admire.
In a recent Guest Post, published here at Fiction Books, author Ed Duncan revealed that he has already written three screenplays with corresponding storylines to those in each of the books in this amazing trilogy.
If Ed can now only be persuaded that a trilogy is not nearly enough coverage for the excellent characters and storylines he has created, then the series definitely lends itself amazingly well to being optioned for a television series, with accompanying feature film!
So Ed, if you are listening to your readers! …
A Kindle download of this book, was kindly gifted to me by Book Publicity Services.
Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article which promotes this book or its author.
I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a well deserved 4 out of 5 stars!
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