Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced, suspenseful, crime thriller. It is the first book in the Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy, followed by The Last Straw (book 2) and Rico Stays (book 3). Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.
Pigeon-Blood Red tells the story of underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, who believed his next assignment to be an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.
As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?
Praise for the Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy:
“…It rips along like a .45 bullet rushing past your head….a crime novel in a style you don’t … see too often… a juggernaut of a story that just won’t quit.” – Monkey’s Book Review
“A fast-paced read with complex and morally ambiguous characters that leaves you on the edge of your seat!”– AllieReads.com
“Readers in search of a tight, well-written…crime/action/adventure will find…an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” – Mike Siedschlag’s Review
“This charming, classically-told crime thriller is a must for noir fans…refreshingly old-school pulp, inhabited by a familiar cast of gamblers, con men and hustlers found in Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard novels” – 5 Stars, Best Thrillers
“This Chicago set thriller is a pacy read, written with an edge and style… Ed Duncan’s series will sweep up fans as it goes along.” – Crime Thriller Hound
“With danger looming in every chapter… Duncan skillfully draws the reader into a complex web of characters… A few key twists within the storyline keep the reader intrigued… an outstanding crime thriller…”– 5 Stars, Red City Review
“…suspense from start to finish… a fast-paced read… Entertaining, Gritty and Nailbiting.” – The Bibliovert
Excerpt from Chapter 1
When Rico knocked on Jean’s door he was happy to hear the sound of footsteps. At least she was there. Maybe it was a good omen. Jean, a stunning redhead with a figure that made the heart leap, looked through the peephole, opened the door, and greeted him wrapped in a towel. She was even more tantalizing than she’d been in the car earlier that day. She wasn’t completely dry, and here and there tiny droplets of water glistened on her arms and shoulders. Rico inhaled the subtle fragrance of her shower gel, but before it could distract him, a voice in his head reminded him, “Point one percent.”
“I wasn’t expecting you back so soon,” she began, a playful, sultry smile on her face.
From the doorway Rico scanned the living room and saw nothing amiss. He walked in and closed the door behind him. Too bad. He only knew how to do this one way. “Jean, how long have you known me?” he asked stoically.
She was baffled. “You know as well as I do. What kind of a question is that?”
“I never tried to hide from you how I make my living, true?” They stood face to face, inches apart, before she took a few halting steps backward. “So you know what happens to people who don’t tell me what I want to know, don’t you?”
“Rico,” she stammered, her voice trembling, “you aren’t making any sense. What’s this all about? I don’t know what you’re accusing me of, but I haven’t done anything, I swear.”
He took a straight razor from his coat pocket and opened it. As he walked toward her, she covered her face with her hands. He stepped behind her, thrust his left arm through the triangle formed by her hands pressing against her face, and grabbed her right shoulder. With his right hand he held the blunt side of the open razor against her right cheek.
“Where is it?”
“Please, Rico,” she sobbed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He pressed harder and tightened his grip on her shoulder. “Please, please!”
“I don’t believe you.” He turned the sharp side to her cheek.
“Rico, not my face, please! I swear I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her tears puddled where the razor met her skin.
As Jean cried out he let the razor fall from his hand and, in one uninterrupted motion, expertly muzzled her scream with the same hand before the razor hit the floor. She fainted.
When she came to, she was lying on the couch where Rico had carried her. He stood with his back to her, talking to Jerry on the phone. Jerry hadn’t been able to get past lobby security in Robert’s building.
“He palmed it, right?” Jerry asked.
Rico glanced over his shoulder at Jean. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.” He hung up. “I had to be sure,” he said unapologetically.
She shivered in her towel and glared at him, anger roiling in her eyes. He went to the bedroom and returned with a blanket, which she allowed him to drape around her shoulders.
“Sorry, baby. It was just business.”
Still too furious to speak, she defiantly turned her back to him and silently dared him to say anything about it. A small victory but it was something. Ignoring the gesture, Rico walked out and closed the door softly behind him.
She was enraged, as much at herself as at him, because she knew that the next time he called she would answer. She tried to justify her emotions by telling herself that he’d stopped short of actually harming her and that he never would have. But who was she kidding? She could hope but she could never know for sure.
When the cab pulled up in front of Robert’s building, Jerry was standing outside smoking a cigarette. It was an expensive high rise on the city’s Gold Coast along Lake Michigan’s north shore, with a security guard on duty twenty- four hours a day. There was no way around it; if they wanted to get into Robert’s apartment, one way or another they’d have to deal with him. This was admittedly a minor detail, more of an annoyance than anything else.
Jerry knew Rico hated cigarette smoke. An icy stare from him whenever Jerry lit up was as effective a deterrent as a punch in the gut, so he put the fag out as Rico left the cab. Rico kept his body rock solid by lifting weights at a neighborhood gym, jogging regularly, and minimizing his intake of junk food. He didn’t like the idea of second-hand smoke undoing any of his hard work.
“So what happened?” Jerry asked.
“She didn’t have it.”
“I could’ve told you that. She’s good people.”
“Don’t start with me.”
“But nothing. Anybody can cross the line.”
“Including me?” Jerry hoped Rico might exempt him
but didn’t expect it.
“Yeah, including you.” The two men stared at each
other for a long moment before Rico smiled. “No, not including you.” The smile vanished as quickly as it had appeared and his eyes narrowed. “You know better.”
The comment stung and Jerry hung his head a little, but it was true and he knew it. It wasn’t easy to get close to Rico and not many people did. He was loyal to a fault, yet distant and brooding. Deadly as a cobra but with a dry, sometimes biting sense of humor. Brutally honest, he lacked guile. Hated hypocrisy. Loathed arrogance. If you were in a fight for your life against hopeless odds and could pick just one person to help even them out, he would be your choice every time. But if you needed a shoulder to cry on or even a pat on the back, you’d have to think long and hard before you settled on Rico.
“Now, about this guy…” Rico said, ignoring Jerry’s reaction.
Jerry snapped out of it. “You have to tell the security guard who you want to see. He rings the apartment. If the person answers, the guard buzzes you in.”
“No wonder he’s always out of money.”
“How much traffic in and out?”
“Not too bad so far.”
Taking in as many details as his eyes could process in one sweep of the area, Rico slowly turned in a circle, looking for anything out of the ordinary, anything that counseled against getting on with the business at hand. Outside, there were pedestrians and cars passing everywhere, but it was a busy street, so there was nothing unusual about that. Inside, the foyer was empty except for the security guard. Nothing looked menacing. Nothing looked out of place. He nodded. “Okay?” Jerry nodded back. “Let’s go and talk to the man.”
They walked briskly to the entrance, donning sunglasses almost in unison, then glanced behind them one last time before opening the door. Rico nodded to a spot inside. Jerry planted himself there. Without slowing, Rico continued toward an oak-paneled counter facing the door, behind which sat an unarmed security guard casually reading a newspaper. He was about forty, with a gaunt face and stringy hair reaching below his collar. He was the kind of guy who went through life trying to keep from stepping on anyone’s toes and hoping everyone would try to avoid stepping on his. He looked up in time to see Rico, advancing quickly in his direction, throw open his coat and jerk a .45 out of a powder-blue shoulder holster. He leaped to his feet and raised his hands above his head. Rico slammed the gun on the counter.
“Put ’em down,” Rico said. Eyes bulging and hands shaking, the guard complied and his face took on the look of a condemned man who had just received word of a reprieve. “That’s right. Relax,” Rico said. “Now buzz Robert McDuffie’s apartment.” There was no answer. “Try again.” Still no answer. “Get the key and take me up there,” he ordered, then nodded in the direction of the .45 resting on the counter under his hand. “This’ll be pointed at the back of your head on the way. Any questions?” The guard shook his head. “Then let’s go.”
About the Author
Ed Duncan lives outside of Cleveland, OH. He 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.
Ed Duncan is the author of the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. The first book in the series Pigeon Blood Red was released in September 2016, followed by The Last Straw, the second book in the series, released in December 2017. The third book in the series Rico Stays was released in May 2020, published by Next Chapter. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.
“It’s always been said that you should write what you know. I am a lawyer – as is a pivotal character in the novel who is being pursued by a hit man – and I’m excited to be able to use my legal training creatively as well as professionally,” says Duncan.
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Ed Duncan, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.
October 22, 2015 (Weston, FL) – Eric Matheny announced today that he will be at the Starbucks in Weston, FL on Sunday, November 8th from 4-6pm to discuss and sign copies of his latest legal thriller The Victim.
Eric is a criminal defense attorney that lives in Weston, FL. He has handled everything from DUI to murder. Eric writes crime fiction, drawing from his experience working in the legal system.
His latest novel The Victim tells the story of Anton Mackey, a criminal defense attorney in Miami whose life was altered drastically at the age of 21 when his decision to get behind the wheel despite being in no condition to drive claimed the lives of two people. When Daniella Avery, the beautiful wife of a man accused of a heinous act of domestic violence, comes into Anton’s office seeking his services, Anton thinks he’s landed a great case with a great fee. But when he succumbs to temptation, he realizes that Daniella is a figure from his past.
Anton finds himself caught between the possibility of being exposed and the fact that his client – Daniella’s husband – may be an innocent pawn in the victim’s attempt to carry out her revenge against Anton. As Anton struggles to balance defending his client while concealing the secret he has sought to forget, he uncovers the truth behind what really happened on that highway eleven years earlier.
BestThrillers.com calls The Victim, “a staggeringly well-crafted mystery…you’ll hear your own heart thumping loudly as Anton begins to lift the veil on his curious client.”
Michael A. Draper says, “[Anton] Mackey is a character who could be taken from one of John Grisham’s excellent novels…It’s a thrill to find a new author who stands out and Eric Matheny is an author with a bright future.”
If you are a fan of John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Harlan Coben, The Victim may be your kind of novel.
The Starbucks is located at 310 Indian Trace, Weston, FL 33326. Copies of The Victim will be available for sale at the signing event. However, personal copies may be brought for signatures as well.
To learn more, go to: EricMathenyBooks.com.
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irvine, CA (September 21, 2015) – Author J. Frank James announced today that he will be offering a Kindle Countdown Deal for his book Rainbow Games. The eBook will be discounted on Amazon from September 21 through September 28, 2015. Rainbow Games is an action packed crime thriller. It is the fourth book in the Lou Malloy Crime Series.
Lou Malloy never expected to hear from his brother, Sam, and especially not under such strange circumstances. Though he was convinced his brother was in trouble, Lou was torn between wanting to help and his ability to trust him. Hilary, on the other hand, was not convinced. Lou had never mentioned a brother and as far as she was concerned he needed to stay lost. After learning of his brother’s recent acquisition of a seafood operation in a place called Unalaska, Lou begins to question the legitimacy of his brother’s recent enterprise.
However, any doubts he had needed to be put aside because Lou had bigger problems. He had a small job to do for Max Reynolds at Homeland Security. It seemed that Russia was working to get Alaska back from the United States because they claim they were never paid for it, and Malloy and Kelly had to find proof that they did. In addition, there was another shipment of gold sent by the United States in 1869 to back up the initial payment fiasco that had been lost as well.
If things weren’t complicated enough, an heir to the great Mongol leader, Genghis Khan, rightfully named Sala Khan, now wants to restore the lands of eastern Russia to its prominence on the world political stage. To do this he needs to start World War Three and Malloy and Kelly have to figure out how to stop him.
“James takes the general world of suspense and turns it on its head, looking at it from the opposite side. He polarizes the world and makes it palpable and enjoyable. Suspense and plot twists abound as we journey alongside these characters.” – Jonel Boyko
About the Author:
Frank James has a passion for writing, and he certainly has the knowledge and experience to write realistic crime thrillers, thanks to his extensive background in law. Jim attended law school, where he was a member of the law review. He even went on to pass the state bar and started his own law practice that specialized in complex litigation. Jim’s experience in law helps lend credibility to his crime fiction books. He has also traveled extensively and gains inspiration for his crime thrillers from his travels. From observing other cultures and gaining new experiences, Jim is able to infuse new life into his books and develop believable characters that readers can identify with.
James writes crime thriller novels that are gripping and suspenseful. He is the author of the Lou Malloy Crime Series and the Indigo Marsh Detective Series. To learn more, go to http://www.jfrankjamesbooks.com/
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or email@example.com.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney who enjoys writing crime fiction, drawing from his experience working in the legal system. He has handled everything from DUI to murder.
Eric’s latest novel The Victim was released on August 13, 2015, published by Zharmae. The Victim is a tense, fast-paced, legal thriller/psychological suspense novel that centers around a young defense attorney whose horrifying misdeed from his college days comes back to haunt him.
In the spring of 2003 on a desolate stretch of Arizona highway, Anton Mackey’s life was changed forever. A reckless decision to get behind the wheel when he was in no condition to drive spawned a moment that threatened to destroy everything the 21 year-old had spent his life working toward. In an instant, Anton made a decision to save himself. A decision that claimed the lives of two people.
Eleven years later, Anton is a rising star in the Miami criminal defense community. He is married and has an infant daughter. He is earning a good living and steadily building a name for himself as an aggressive advocate for the accused. Anton shares an office with veteran defense attorney, Jack Savarese. A mentor of sorts, Anton strives to model his practice – and career – after Jack’s. A Miami criminal defense legend, Jack’s accomplishments in the courtroom are second to none. However, Jack remains burdened by the conviction of Osvaldo Garcia, a mentally-ill client from ten years earlier found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the death of a troubled teen.
When Daniella Avery, the beautiful wife of a man accused of a heinous act of domestic violence, comes into Anton’s office seeking his services, Anton thinks he’s landed a great case with a great fee. But when he succumbs to temptation, he realizes that Daniella is a figure from his past.
Anton finds himself caught between the possibility of being exposed and the fact that his client – Daniella’s husband – may be an innocent pawn in the victim’s attempt to carry out her revenge against Anton. As Anton struggles to balance defending his client while concealing the secret he has sought to forget, he uncovers the truth behind what really happened on that highway eleven years earlier. The truth that may be connected to the conviction of Osvaldo Garcia.
Praise for The Victim:
“The Victim by Eric Matheny has a fast moving pace and a skillfully conceived plot with quite a few twists and turns… A page turner, this legal thriller has all the elements to hold reader interest from the first page to the last.” – Reviewed by ReadersFavorite.com
“An astounding legal thriller that is full of surprise, mystery and moral dilemma. Matheny may well be the next Scott Turow.” – Reviewed by BestThrillers.com
March 16, 2003
He thought he was dead.
Steam hissed from the crumpled front end of the RV that had folded accordion-style against the guardrail. His face stung from the punch of the airbag. His lungs burned from that awful talcum powder that drifted through the cabin as the bag deflated. The chemical dust, suspended in the air, seemed to be frozen in time.
His nose was numb and swollen. He tasted blood trickling down the back of his throat like a cocaine drip. He peered through the cracked windshield, his eyes adjusting to the reddish glow of a desert sunrise. The crushed-in hood had jarred upward. The chassis was off balance. The whole vehicle wobbled as he shifted his weight in his seat.
Oh my God.
He cranked the door handle and heaved his shoulder into it to pop it off the jamb. He hopped down onto the highway. The winds were heavy and dry, rustling the sage and scrub oaks that dotted the rugged landscape along the Beeline Highway. A sliver of fiery light barely illuminated the peaks of the Mazatal Mountains, which rose and fell against the horizon. Giant saguaros stood like sentries.
The back half of a red two-door sedan lay beneath the shredded front tires of the RV. Flattened like an aluminum can. On impact the RV must have bucked forward, rolling up onto the rear bumper of the smaller car, coming to rest on its roof. The significant weight of the RV crushed the sedan into something you might see stacked in a junkyard.
The highway was quiet. Just the rush of hot wind crackling the delicate spines of the sagebrush. He got his bearings quickly, the initial shock of the crash having passed. A sobering experience. Literally. Half a handle of Jack Daniels coursing through his veins had been replaced by something stronger.
He saw long hair, a young female’s. How he could tell her age by the back of her head, he would never know. Maybe by its length and sheen—bright, yellow-blond. Slick with blood. Her forehead propped on the steering wheel. The driver-side window blown out. The windshield was a shattered web.
The man beside her—or boy, he was arguably young—was out cold, his body positioned in the passenger’s seat in a gimpy, off-kilter fashion. The passenger side had been thrust into the guardrail, which molded itself to the frame of the car. His head lolled against the door. Blood leaked from his ear and ran down his neck.
“Are you okay?” he screamed, although he knew he would get no reply. His voice resonated throughout the valley. “Hello?”
He braced himself against the ruined front end of the RV. He felt a surge of bile and whiskey come up in the back of his throat. He heaved forward but held it in. He was lightheaded.
Oh God, please let this be a dream. Oh God, please…this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening…
Eric Matheny was born in Los Angeles, California, where he lived until he went away to college at Arizona State University. At ASU he was president of Theta Chi Fraternity. He graduated with a degree in political science and moved to Miami, Florida, to attend law school at St. Thomas University. During his third year of law school, he interned for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, where he worked as a prosecutor upon graduation. In 2009, he went into private practice as a criminal defense attorney. He is a solo practitioner representing clients in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida. He has handled everything from DUI to murder.
In his free time, Eric enjoys writing crime fiction, drawing from his experience working in the legal system. He published his debut novel Home in 2004, which centers around a successful drug dealer catering to the rich in Orange County. His second novel Lockdown, published in 2005, follows a law student trying to prove that an inmate serving a life sentence in one of California’s toughest prisons might actually be innocent. Eric’s latest novel The Victim, is a tense, fast-paced, legal thriller/psychological suspense novel that centers around a young defense attorney whose horrifying misdeed from his college days comes back to haunt him. It was published by Zharmae in August 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon.
Eric lives outside of Fort Lauderdale with his wife and two young sons.
To learn more, go to EricMathenyBooks.com
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Eric Matheny, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.807.9027.
Los Angeles, CA (June 1, 2015) – J. Frank James announced today that his latest novel Finders, Keepers is now available for sale on Amazon. Finders, Keepers is an action packed crime thriller. It is the seventh book in the Lou Malloy Crime Series.
Lou Malloy and Hilary Kelly have just returned from a very tough assignment for Max Reynolds. Hilary wants to take some time off and go to Italy for a vacation. Lou thinks it’s a good idea, but when he calls Max to get clearance, he tells Lou that while they are there he has a small request to make. It seems that a scientist has gone missing and Max would like to have Lou check to see if he is still around. Max also tells Lou that to find this scientist he has to find a ghost ship named the Arctic Queen. It is important that this scientist be found because he is the inventor of a new type of weapon called an electromagnetic device. Follow along as Lou and his team search for the Arctic Queen and the scientist, while encountering many obstacles along the way.
Previously published novels in the Lou Malloy Crime Series include: Dead Money Run (Book 1), Only Two Cats (Book 2), Blue Cat In Paradise (Book 3), Rainbow Games (Book 4), Two Birds to Kill (Book 5), and Last Flamingo (Book 6). There is also a prequel novel – The Run Begins.
About the Author:
J. Frank James has a passion for writing, and he certainly has the knowledge and experience to write realistic crime thrillers, thanks to his extensive background in law. Jim attended law school, where he was a member of the law review. He even went on to pass the state bar and started his own law practice that specialized in complex litigation. Jim’s experience in law helps lend credibility to his crime fiction books. He has also traveled extensively and gains inspiration for his crime thrillers from his travels. From observing other cultures and gaining new experiences, Jim is able to infuse new life into his books and develop believable characters that readers can identify with.
Frank James writes crime thriller novels that are gripping and suspenseful. He is the author of the Lou Malloy Crime Series and the Indigo Marsh Detective Series.
Frank James is also an artist and he creates all of his own book covers.
To learn more, go to http://www.jfrankjamesbooks.com/
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by J. Frank James, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at email@example.com or 805.807.9027.
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- Orange County, CA