Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan

One of the pivotal scenes in my novel, Pigeon-Blood Red, takes place in what used to be a well-known landmark in Honolulu: the historic International Market Place.  Midway through the novel two of the main characters duck into the marketplace while attempting to elude a hit man.  Here is how I described the scene:

“Although it was late, as usual the downtown streets were choked with traffic and the sidewalks packed with shoppers and revelers.  They blended into one of the many groups and walked several blocks in silence, ending up on the Kalakaua side of the entrance to the International Marketplace, a cavernous bazaar filled with shops and eateries from the mundane to the exotic.  One twisting aisle after another overflowed with all manner of clothing, fine linens, jewelry, brac-a-bac, souvenirs, and practically anything else.  They went in.”

“Along the streets they’d checked behind them as inconspicuously as possible and seen no one.  They continued their vigilance inside, while stopping occasionally, pretending to admire the wares.  At the opposite side of the market they exited on Kuhio Avenue.  Compared to Kalakaua it was practically deserted.”

That brief description from memory was based on a trip I took to Honolulu in the mid-90’s to attend a legal conference.  I returned to that city a few days ago and decided to pay a visit to this iconic site.  To my surprise, it was unrecognizable.  It had been completely renovated and converted into an upscale shopping mall filled with high-end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, and Abercrombie & Fitch.  Other stores and shops have yet to open, so at least around noon on the week day I was there the mall was not very crowded.  Certainly, it was not teeming with the throngs of people I recalled from my earlier visit.  Needless to say, therefore, it would have provided much less cover than the old marketplace for two people seeking refuge from a killer hot on their trail.

The International Market Place is, of course, an actual place and it is (or was) something of a tourist attraction.  I fear, therefore, that anyone learning about it for the first time through my novel will be in for quite a shock if they visit the current incarnation.  However, a bit of the old marketplace is preserved inside, starting with the ancient banyan tree around which the original structure was built.  It was planted in the mid-1800’s and stands over sixty feet tall.  On the second floor, mounted on railings surrounding the tree, are placards with narration and photos describing the history of the marketplace.

Its predecessor was Waikiki Village, which was created by Donn Beach “with the goal of building a Polynesian-themed village.”  It opened in 1957.  Tahitian entertainers performed under the banyan tree, and drinks were served at Beach’s famed Don the Beachcomber tiki bar while  Rickshaws transported tourists around the marketplace in the evenings.  The banyan tree supported a tree house where Donn Beach actually lived and worked and a small version of it sits in the banyan tree today.

There is one interesting aside to my visit.  Unlike the International Market Place, another Honolulu locale in the novel is entirely a creation of my imagination.  I needed a site for two of the characters to meet and I created a small generic park.  In retrospect, I always wished I had used a real park so that readers could find it if they looked.  On my return visit I discovered such a park.  It’s on Kalakaua street and it’s called Queen Kapiolani Regional Park.  Readers of the novel won’t be sure but now I know they can at least speculate that this is the park I had in mind.  It’s a small point but I hope this makes Pigeon-Blood Red just a little more authentic.

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

“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.” – 4 Stars, Red City Review

Pigeon Blood Red at 238 pages, is not particularly long as books go, but Duncan packs a lot of story into those pages. Readers in search of a tight, well written, good guy versus bad guy, crime/action/adventure will find Pigeon Blood Red by Ed E. Duncan, 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

“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

About Ed Duncan

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/

Connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Stuart R Brogan – Jackals Review

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review as part of the Confessions Publicity book tour

Jackals by Stuart Brogan takes you to a dark and disturbing world of killers on the loose in a small town in England. But this group, known as Jackals, is only the tip of the iceberg. This is part of the larger and insidious group known as the order.

Jackals is action packed and thrilling as Jesse struggles to survive the days following the attack on her and her husband. The group of killers only have one goal, to terrorize and insight fear.

The lead detective is an interesting character. He is filled with flaws and defects making his only job, to solve the case, a serious challenge. But his usual lack of interest is replaced by a new found drive to solve the murders and identify this group.

The history of the Jackals makes for an engrossing storyline. I loved the authors ability to create a secret society and make it feel completely legit. The order is a social club for serial killers and they are everywhere.

The character development solid. The plot contains interesting twists. There are several misdirections and double crosses leaving you unsure whom can trust. The level of crazy written into the multiple antagonists is comparable to America psycho.

I found the killers to be convincing and their actions disturbing with the level of graphic violence. I really enjoyed the fact that no one is off limits, any character is a possible target for death. The ending of Jackals was perfect, a complete surprise and came at me from left field. Stuart Brogan has written a solid debut novel with Jackals and I look forward to reading his work in the future.

Book Info

Length: 356 Pages

Release date:  January 7, 2017

To Purchase Jackals Click Here

From the aftermath of a brutal massacre at a rural police station, two survivors leave behind a swathe of bodies and a cryptic sigil painted on the wall, in blood.

A disgraced Detective Inspector begrudgingly starts to investigate the crime scene but as the facts begin to emerge the trail appears to lead into the highest echelons of power, making the policeman himself the next target.

As the conspiracy spirals ever deeper and with no-one to trust, both prime suspect and policeman are forced into an unlikely alliance to prove, not only their innocence, but the existence of a force so ingrained into our society, it could rewrite the very fabric of human nature.

Stuart R Brogan, Biography-

Stuart R Brogan is a former nightclub bouncer and unwaveringly proud Heathen who loves nothing more than expanding people’s minds with Pagan related Non-Fiction or blowing people’s brains out with fast paced, gut wrenching, thrilling horrors.

​Harley lover, extreme metal drummer and avid movie nerd, Stuart has never followed the crowd but instead carved his own path and danced to his own tune. Since his early years, Stuart found escapism in both the written word and the silver screen. A huge fan of 80’s Action / Horror movies such as The Thing, Aliens, Predator & Die Hard and literary heroes such as Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, Richard Layman and Brian Lumley, Stuart endeavours to bring an unapologetic cinematic eye to his fiction in the hopes of rekindling his childhood sense of wonder, all whilst blowing through vast amounts of ammunition down his local shooting range.

​Stuart currently resides in Glastonbury, UK with his long-suffering wife and man eating Shih-Poo dog “Poppy” where he co-owns a kick ass Viking / Asatru shop, fiercely named “Shield Maiden”

Jayden Hunter – Undressed at Sea Review

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

In Undressed at Sea Drew has left her dysfunctional family behind. She now lives in California to pursue an education. She’s finally starting a new chapter in her life. She wants to earn a degree in bioengineering after leaving her modeling career behind. On her first day of class she meets her professor and within minutes has sex on her mind. Shortly afterward she’s sleeping with him, not a surprise. Drew’s poor choices in the relationship department hasn’t improved. She hasn’t learned from her past mistakes and it nearly costs gets her killed.

For the following reasons Drew is a character I didn’t like. She complains about her relationships and does little to improve them. She jumps from one guy to the next, each time saying she isn’t going to get involved with a married man, but does so anyway. She acts like a seventeen year old instead of a thirty year old. She’s also walking contradiction who can’t get out of her own way. I had hoped she would have grown in some small way from the first book. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. Undressed at Sea is supposed to be a thriller, but he thriller aspects were missing for me. I didn’t feel the tension or build up I was looking for. Instead the focus was violence towards women, countless sexual encounters, abuse and rape.

The positive was Chip, who was most well written character. Chip is seeing his therapist to work through his sexual issues. They are result of his dysfunctional upbringing from an abusive father. This was a well thought out and well written character. You can easily believe his life and understand how he ends up being a monster. This kind of character isn’t new but it fits the story well. The mystery was good and author has also gained ground on his character interactions. But there were excessive explanations instead of letting the story unfold. This really slowed down the momentum to a crawl. Overall Undressed at Sea was a mixed bag and a book I can’t recommend.

Book Info

Length: 290 Pages

Publisher: Zeke Media

Release date: November 18, 2016

To Purchase Undressed at Sea Click Here

A year has passed since Drew Stirling escaped a professional killer.

Her career as a supermodel behind her, Drew seeks to avoid unwanted attention as classes begin, but a pair of coeds who look as if they could be Drew’s little sisters have disappeared.

A professor is seduced by Drew’s charisma.
An FBI agent catches her eye.
And Drew’s notoriety plunges her into the media spot light, intrigue, and danger.

This suspenseful psychological thriller delves into the psyche of the hunted and the hunter; exposing readers to inner darkness and the determination to survive.