Book Review: The Last Straw by Ed Duncan

Cover ImageAuthor: Ed Duncan

Series: Pigeon-Blood Red (Book 2)

Paperback: 227 pages

Publisher: Independently published (December 2, 2017)

ISBN-10: 1973444003

ISBN-13: 978-1973444008

Buy it here: Amazon | Amazon UK

Source: I received The Last Straw from the author, Ed Duncan, at the request of his publicist, Kelsey Butts of Book Publicity Services. In return, I will provide a fair and honest review.


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. Unfortunate for all concerned, but not uncommon. But there was more – a lot more.

A teenage girl witnessed the whole thing, and a Chicago crime boss with no apparent motive was willing to move heaven and earth to prevent her from testifying. But why? No one knew except him and he didn’t have to say.

Richard “Rico” Sanders was the crime boss’s first choice for the job. He was the best in the business but there was a problem. He was a “killer with a conscience” and a killer with a conscience doesn’t murder teenagers. John D’Angelo, the crime boss’s second choice, had no such qualms. There was bad blood between him and Rico, so knowing that Rico had passed on the job, he eagerly accepted it.  Then he bungled it by mistakenly killing the girl’s father.

Paul Elliot, a respected attorney and close friend of the girl’s family, happened to be present when her father was gunned down while walking her home from school. Paul and Rico, from different sides of the tracks, had an unusual history together. A year earlier Paul had saved Rico’s life and Rico hadn’t forgotten. So, when a vengeful D’Angelo, with the help from two confederates, set his sights on both men, they were drawn together in an uneasy alliance against a common foe.

My Thoughts

I was so excited to be asked to review this book!  Any book that has a mob tie-in, my interest is peaked. The first thing I do when I receive a book is to read the back cover. I have to say I found the synopsis confusing. There were so many characters and brief explanations of each of the situations and it was a bit overwhelming.

Upon starting The Last Straw, I would have liked more information on Rico, and Rico’s history with Paul. In learning that there is a book that proceeds The Last Straw (Pigeon Blood Red), I think if I had read this book first, the initial interactions in The Last Straw would have made more sense to me.

Thus I would recommend reading Pigeon-Blood Red prior to reading The Last Straw.

Overall, The Last Straw is a book that I had a hard time putting down. When I did, I found myself thinking about it. The characters, and the storyline pulling me back in. The Last Straw is packed with plenty of action and excitement. Who doesn’t like a tangled mob story with intriguing characters, that I ended up adoring (Rico 😉 )?



About the Author

Image of Ed Duncan, author of Pigeon Blood Red and THe Last Straw

Ed 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 is the original author of a highly regarded legal treatise entitled “Ohio Insurance Coverage,” for which he provided annual editions from 2008 through 2012.

Ed currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH.

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