Ed Duncan’s Books

About The “Pigeon-Blood Red” Trilogy:

Each installment in this edge-of-the-seat trilogy depicts a different violent encounter between two men from different sides of the tracks, Paul Elliott, a black lawyer, and Richard “Rico” Sanders, a killer with a conscience.  The two men seemingly have nothing in common but each secretly harbors a grudging admiration for the other.

The plots of the three novels serve as devices to bring the men together in ways neither could have anticipated, obliging them to join forces in an uneasy alliance against a common foe.

In Pigeon-Blood Red a loan shark tasks Rico with recovering a priceless “pigeon-blood red” ruby necklace and at the same time sending a message to the thieves.  Trouble is, the neckless falls into the hands of Paul’s girlfriend Evelyn, and Rico mistakenly believes she is one of the thieves.

In The Last Straw Paul and Evelyn shelter a teenage girl, a witness to a carjacking gone bad, from a hit man dispatched by a crime boss with no apparent motive.  There is bad blood between Rico and the hit man, who, believing Paul and Rico to be friends, sets out to eliminate both of them.

In Rico Stays, after Rico is grievously wounded in a gun battle, his girlfriend Jean convinces Paul to let him hide out in Paul’s cabin while he recuperates.  Using Jean as bait, gunmen seeking revenge come for Rico.  The question becomes whether he will face them alone or with help from Paul.

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan.

Pigeon-Blood Red Book 1.

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job: retrieve his gangster boss’s stolen goods, and teach the person responsible a lesson.

But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu. There, the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory, when innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in a crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, hunter and prey develop an unlikely respect for one another.

Soon, he is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the very people who have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

★★★★★ “Duncan crafts a twisted thriller in his gangster-laced debut.”

★★★★★ “This charming, classically-told crime thriller is a must for noir fans.”

★★★★★ “I would love to see this book made into a movie.”

RECOMMENDED by the US Review: “Duncan crafts a twisted thriller in his gangster-laced debut. The first in a trilogy, Duncan’s three-part plot is replete with a handful of colorful characters, many of which are dissimilar to a genre of this type. Additionally, Duncan’s style of storytelling is a product of strong cast development, plot fillers, engaging dialogue, and shifting character scenes… enough twists and turns as well as cliff-hanging chapters to keep his audience not only hooked until the end but also anticipating the next work in his series.”

Product Details:
Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy Book One
Paperback: 212 Pages
Print Publisher: Independently Published (January 16, 2018)
E-Book Publisher: Creativia; 2nd Edition (August 23, 2016)
Christopher Hassett (Editor)
Karen S. Davis (Editor)
Language: English
Pigeon Blood Red Thriller Trilogy by Ed Duncan
Thrillers (Black & African American Mystery)
Thrillers (Organized Crime)
Thrillers (Heist)
Thrillers (Suspense)

Amazon Print:




The Last Straw by Ed Duncan.

Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2.

When a teenage girl witnesses a carjacking gone bad, she is marked for death by a crime boss.

A lawyer and an enforcer forge an uneasy alliance to protect the girl from a hit man with an agenda of his own. Soon after, Paul Elliott – lawyer and close friend of the witness’s family – begins counseling them and becomes entangled in the murder plot.

As the long-simmering feud between Rico – the white enforcer – and the hit-man John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

5 Stars, Red City Review: “With danger looming in every chapter, The Last Straw is an action-packed and nerve-racking read. Duncan skillfully draws the reader into a complex web of characters… A few key twists within the story-line keep the reader intrigued in this fast-paced thriller…The Last Straw is an outstanding crime thriller…

Review by Crime Thriller Hound: “This Chicago set thriller is a pacy read, written with an edge and style… For me, this is even better than the first in the Pigeon-Blood Red series and it does work well as a stand-alone… Ed Duncan’s series will sweep up fans as it goes along.”

Review by The US Review: “Contract killers seem like such affable chaps. Sure, there are the homicidal psychopaths that bring down the profession, but among them, if fiction is any indication, walk a community of upstanding, morally sturdy gentlemen who may commit murder for hire but who uphold ethical standards and airtight loyalties that make them handy guys to know in a pinch. Rico is this kind of guy. Sure, he kills for cash, but he has lines he won’t cross. When asked to take out the teenage witness to a crime, the ride with Rico begins. He declines the job, his rival volunteers, and into the fray explodes an onslaught of alliances, vendettas, collateral damage, and no small amount of spilled blood. In the margins, race and gender hover thoughtfully, suggesting they matter yet not stealing the show away from Rico and the action. Why is it so much fun to hang with crooks like Rico? As his prostitute girlfriend learns in the opening scenes when he avenges her from a violent john, characters like Rico live in their own separate universes where they define and mete justice. They defend those they love and accommodate the extremes their situations require. They can handle themselves in a physical showdown, they shoot to kill, and they walk away from fights victorious. Knowing that and living vicariously through either Rico or the loved one Rico is protecting is an entertaining fantasy. That temporary taste of aggressive amorality is heady stuff, and the body count is conveniently forgotten with the turn of each page. Like so many crime thrillers, Rico is a fun, fast pop through an imaginary world of tough guys, lamenting ladies, and a world-weary anti-hero. He may be a killer, but he’s one of the good ones.”

Midwest Book Review: “Realistic characters, suspenseful action, twists and turns that prove satisfyingly unpredictable, and an attention to creating full-faceted characters (whether they be women or men, victims or investigators, or hit-men) lends to an absorbing read highly recommended for those who like their thrillers complex and their characters fully developed.”

Product Details:
Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy Book Two
Paperback: 227 Pages
Print Publisher: Independently Published (December 2, 2017)
E-Book Publisher: Creativia; 2nd Edition (November 25, 2017)
Donna Rich (Editor)
Language: English
Pigeon Blood Red Thriller Trilogy by Ed Duncan
Thrillers (Black & African American Mystery)
Thrillers (Organized Crime)
Thrillers (Heist)
Thrillers (Suspense)

Amazon Hard-Cover Print:

Amazon Soft-Cover-Print:


Audio Book:


Rico Stays by Ed Duncan.

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 and three goons 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. 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. Vengeful killers would soon be coming for him.

The only question was whether he would be ready to face them.

Reader Editor-5.0 out of 5 Stars:  Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer. Rico Stays, is the third story in Ed Duncan’s Pigeon Blood Red series, although it is also a stand-alone story as well. The plot continues with the life of Rico, a hit-man who is cold-blooded but astute and smart. He’s as exact as you can imagine of a killer at the top of his game. To protect Jean, his girlfriend and confidant, Rico has killed again as in the previous stories. Then there is always another crime boss ready to come onto the scene. Gus Chakiras is next. He seems to sympathize somewhat with Rico’s plight.

Rico is being pursued by Larry Cosgrove, a young psychotic wanna-be dirt bag who just happens to be Gus’s nephew. Rico prevented Larry from harming a teen who colliding with him accidentally in a parking lot. So, can the tired, retiring crime boss Gus convince Larry to let go of the excitement of retaliation and grow a set? Gus knows his nephew is out to kill Rico or Jean. But who does he kill instead?

Paul Elliott, who appears in the previous stories, is a razor-sharp attorney who harbors an attraction to Rico’s lifestyle. He’s even bought a blue shoulder holster like Rico uses. Paul has only recently started carrying. Our author slowly reveals the inner workings of Paul’s mind and this takes much talent to accomplish, but we see Paul changing. Ultimately, Paul helps Rico stay hidden while he heals from the near-death shooting in the parking lot. Paul can’t do enough for Rico, who previously saved his life at least twice. If Rico, a loner, could trust anyone to cover him, it would be Paul. Paul would have an opportunity to prove himself. But would he jeopardize his accomplished law career to protect a hit-man? There are plenty of tight situations, especially as a crazed Larry brings his incredible schemes to life.

This story continues the series with nail-biting action without let up. If you like fast-paced thrillers, read Duncan’s books. They leave me breathless.

James Amps-5.0 out of 5 Stars: One of the best crime books I have read. Great job on pulling these characters together. Anyone that wants to be in suspense and not put this book down needs to read this One of the best crime books on the market. Great read. Could not put it down once I started. Great job.

Eva Duncan-5.0 out of 5 Stars: Satisfied Customer.

JennlyT-5.0 out of 5 Stars: A debt repaid; a friendship made. Full disclosure, I was provided with a copy of this book by the author or their representative, however, I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.

Chicago enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders just wants to listen to the ball game in peace, but when he gets called to drive his girlfriend and her geriatric friend home from the supermarket his peaceful afternoon turns into a shootout in the parking lot and a stay at the hospital. With a bum leg and the brother of one of his victims hot on his trail with revenge on his mind, Rico finds himself in an all too familiar situation. But he is not one to hide from his enemies, and it is only due to Jean’s quick thinking that Rico agrees to lay low for a few days at a cabin of a “mutual friend”. Rico’s convalescence, however, is short-lived when the bad guys start to play dirty. Against his better judgment, Rico forms an alliance with an unlikely partner to put an end to their games. But will this uncanny pairing be the start of a beautiful friendship or the beginning of the end for more than just Rico and Jean?

Rico Stays is the final book in the Pigeon Blood Red trilogy by author Ed Duncan. Set sometime after the close of The Last Straw, Rico, Jean, Paul, and Evelyn have returned to what passes for their normal everyday lives. Little do they know that their paths will cross one more time but with the tables turned in an incredibly unique way. As Rico and Jean try to stay below the radar and not become the target of a grieving brother, Paul steps up to the plate as an unlikely benefactor. Hiding Rico and Jean at his cabin in the woods is brilliant, but not without consequences as Paul finds himself defending his actions to more than just a flabbergasted Evelyn. In this final installment, the action is fast-paced, the tension is high and the ending, for me at least, was oh so satisfying.

After initially not being a fan of Pigeon Blood Red, I stuck with the series and I was rewarded with witnessing the beginnings of what I hope in Rico’s world will be a lifelong friendship between the four main characters who started not just as “enemies” but as a target, then evolved into a debt to be repaid and an eventual partnership. This concept itself is so foreign that it is endearing. Watching Jean and Evelyn warm up to each other was heartwarming and proves that no matter what your race, profession, upbringing, or social status that friendship can be achieved if an effort is made. While this marks the end of the trilogy, I cannot help but long for a one-off short here and there to check in with Rico and the gang to see how they’re doing. I cannot help but be curious to see how their budding friendship is cultivated and developed. Also, I would be lying if I did not say that I am curious to see if the influences on the other couples are for the better, the worse, or maybe a little of both. Honestly, I am hoping for a little bit of both!

Product Details:
Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy Book Three
Paperback: 189 Pages
Print Publisher: Independently Published (May 6, 2020)
E-Book Publisher: Terminal Velocity – A Next Chapter Imprint; 2nd Edition (May 5, 2020)
Karen Crombie (Editor)
Language: English
Pigeon Blood Red Thriller Trilogy by Ed Duncan
Thrillers (Black & African American Mystery)
Thrillers (Organized Crime)
Thrillers (Heist)
Thrillers (Suspense)

Amazon Hard-Cover Print:

Amazon Soft-Cover Print:


Audio Book:


About The Author: 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 is the original author of a highly regarded treatise entitled Ohio Insurance Coverage published by Thomson West in 2008 which he updated annually through 2012.

Ed currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and recently completed the third installment of the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy, Rico Stays.

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