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Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced and suspenseful crime thriller by Ed Duncan.


Duncan says, “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.”




For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like 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 Pigeon-Blood Red


 “Pigeon Blood Red has a dramatic and satisfying conclusion, leaving the reader nodding his head with approval.” Readers’ Favorite


“In a novel with as much action as love, it is sure to be a story that will fulfill the desires of readers of all ages, genders, and areas of interest.”Red City 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”Best Thrillers




What initially got you interested in writing?


I have enjoyed writing since English composition days in high school.  My teachers regularly complimented me on my writing, but my eleventh grade English teacher gave me the ultimate compliment when she wrote on a term paper that my writing was seldom if ever equaled among the school’s students.  That was really the spark that lit my writer’s flame, although it remained barely an ember for quite some time.  Over the years I kept my teacher’s compliment tucked away in the back of my mind, but it was only after a career practicing law that I found the time and inspiration to act on it.  It was then that I finished my first novel, Pigeon-Blood Red, after many fits and starts over several years.


What genres do you write in?


I write crime fiction and Pigeon-Blood Red is my first novel and the first in a trilogy.  I hope to have the next installment finished in the spring of 2017.


What drew you to writing that specific genre?


Crime novels have always intrigued me.  I don’t recall how Ed McBain first came to my attention, but several years ago I read a number of his 87th Precinct police procedurals and really liked them.  Another favorite was The Godfather by Mario Puzo before it became a hit movie.  The novel that really caused me to want to write crime fiction, however, was The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet, which I think is superb.  After reading it, I wanted to try to write something that approached its brilliance.


How did you break into the field?


Since Pigeon-Blood Red is my first novel, it’s hard to say whether I’ve actually broken into the field yet.  That said, the idea for the novel first came to me in the mid-1990’s while I was attending a seminar in Honolulu.  Again, I worked on it off and on over the years and finally was able to finish it after I retired.  Afterwards, a small company in Los Angeles that was trying to interest producers in turning the novel into a movie introduced me to a fledgling publisher that sadly has since ceased operations.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?


I want readers to be as captivated by both the story and the writing in my novels as I was by those elements in The Maltese Falcon.  My only goal is that the reader have an enjoyable and memorable experience.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?


What I find most rewarding about writing is the satisfaction of having created something I can be proud of, something I hope will keep readers turning the pages until they come to the last one and will leave them wanting more when they do.


What do you find most challenging about writing?


I find descriptions of place and atmosphere to be most challenging.  As a result, I spend comparatively more time on dialogue and action sequences and sometimes shortchange setting.


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?


Read widely, not just in your chosen genre and not just fiction.  I think that all good writing helps writers become better at their craft, if only by osmosis.  Do multiple drafts and don’t be discouraged by the quality of your first draft.  Most writers I’ve heard express an opinion on the subject say that their first drafts are almost uniformly terrible.  I know mine certainly are. So revise as much as is necessary to come up with something worthy of your talent.


What types of books do you enjoy reading?


Duke Ellington used to say there are only two types of music:  good music and bad music.  That’s the way I feel about books.  I read both fiction and nonfiction.  I’m a bit of a Civil War buff and two of my favorite books on that era are The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara and A Stillness at Appomatox by Bruce Catton.  I also like big period novels like From Here to Eternity by James Jones and An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.  In addition I enjoy historical/biographical books, especially relating to Civil Rights struggles, such as Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.  Relative to crime novels, I like most novels by Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, and Walter Mosley, and almost everything by Lee Child.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?


In college I majored in Spanish so I’ve traveled to a number of Spanish speaking countries, including Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, and Cuba, to try to brush up on my language skills.  I also enjoy traveling in general and just returned from a trip to South Africa.  I’m going to Honolulu next April and hope to visit Hong Kong, China, and Japan soon.


What are the best ways to connect with you or find out more about your work?


Readers can check out my author page on Amazon (www.amazon.com/author/edduncan) and they can visit my web page (www.eduncan.net).  I’m also on Facebook (www.fb.com/ed.duncan1210), Twitter (@pigeonbloodred), and Pinterest.



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 currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/


Readers can connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


1 Comment

  1. Ed Duncan

    A belated thanks for hosting me to talk about Pigeon-Blood Red!

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