*Special thanks to Zharmae for allowing us to review Ed Duncan’s Pigeon-Blood Red.
Ed Duncan‘s thrilling new mystery novel, Pigeon-Blood Red, captured my attention through his witty dialogue, crisp writing, and well-developed characters.
What fascinated me the most about this novel was the way Duncan constructed his characters. He slowly unraveled each character to show us the people behind them through excellently written dialogue, simple actions and gradual flash backs from their past. With only 238 pages, Duncan puts so much life into each and every character that they seem incredibly realistic, to the point that I am halfway convinced that they were real people.
However, character development is not the only highlight of the story. The fascinatingly complex plot took me through a rollercoaster of events. I found myself completely engrossed in the book after just the first page. Duncan has seemed to master the art of writing a mystery novel. While in other mystery books, in which the plot seems to grow weaker and less interesting as the pages go by, Duncan added clever plot twists to keep readers on their toes.
The story starts out innocently enough, yet the story grows darker and darker as Duncan leads readers through the lives of shady business shark, Frank Litvak, and his henchmen, Rico and Jerry. The plot only grows thicker when the theft of a valuable pigeon-blood red ruby necklace is thrown in. Tension rise tenfold once innocent bystanders are brought into the midst of everything and characters must make decisions with life-changing consequences. Duncan practically has readers clinging onto his every word as they wait with bated breath for the ending.
Still, every book has faults, and Pigeon-Blood Red is no exception. Duncan continuously switched perspectives, in a way that was almost distracting. There was one moment in particular where we had finally caught up with the adventures of one character, only to be suddenly plunged into the thoughts of another. I felt transitions like these could be a little smoother, and although I understand it seemed necessary at times, Duncan often introduces readers to completely new characters almost out of nowhere.
Another major complaint I have is how the plot was tied up a little too neatly. The book is set in reality, and sometimes, certain events from the book seem quite impossible when you look at them from a realistic point of view. Clearly, it was more convenient for the author to do it this way, but from a reader’s point of view, it was simply unrealistic. I don’t want to spoil other bits of the book by revealing which parts those were, but rest assured, many readers will be left feeling unsatisfied.
Pigeon-Blood Red was an interesting and complex mystery novel that would be perfect for anyone wanting a good read. Despite its minor faults, Duncan does an excellent job at creating a compelling novel made all the better by its characters. Overall, I highly recommend this book.