Pigeon Blood Red is a mystery set in Chicago with a second setting in Honolulu. Robert McDuffie is a poor businessman, a gambler and he is in deep debt to a loan shark. After an enforced visit to Frank Litvak to discuss his outstanding loan, Robert seizes the moment when he picks up an expensive necklace that Litvak’s thugs were guarding.
Robert decides to follow his wife to Honolulu with the necklace and attempts to use it to save his crumbling marriage. However Litvak’s henchman pursues him. A mix up and clumsiness allows the necklace to miss Rico’s grasp in a cat and mouse like chase. By the end of the book there is a sizable pile of dead bodies and justice metered out to all.
This is a light mystery but there was little tension or suspense, no sudden twists and it has a neatly sewn up ending. The dialogue is too long winded and clumsy in places, slowing the pace, I was longing for short snappy vital dialogue. I thought the author handed all the answers to the reader on a plate, with no lose ends, forgetting the intelligent mind of the reader of mystery who often enjoys a bit of intrigue. There is a fatal flaw, this book is supposed to be about Rico, however for me, he is overshadowed by the other characters in the book and he becomes a secondary character. There is too much telling and little showing and a tendency to use the back stories as info dumping areas, one or two paragraphs of back story would have been sufficient, much added little to the story, however opportunities to drop precious hints and clues with backstory as the story progressed were missed, these would have added layers of intrigue, depth and suspense as readers could have been slowly seduced by the characters, particularly Rico.
This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author via Book Publicity Services.
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