Wednesday, June 9, 2021

A Review of Book 1 of a Mystery/Thriller Trilogy

Pigeon-Blood Red, by Ed Duncan, is Book 1 of his Pigeon-Blood Red Thrillogy (his word).  I was sent this book (pub 2015) by the author through his publicist, Kelsey Butts of Book Publicity Services.  Here is the storyline:

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 sideway 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 order to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves? 

This book reminds me of another trilogy, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. That one is about a young KGB officer on the rise who suddenly gets a conscience.  It's a very good trilogy.  Pigeon-Blood Red has a ways to go before it reaches that level.  But what started out as a pretty unexciting start definitely picked up as it got rolling.  As the plot became more intricate, I became more interested in where it was going and what was going to happen.  By the end, I have to admit that I would be willing to read Books 2 & 3 (both are already on the market).  That speaks more volumes than anything else I might have said.  Ed and Kelsey, let's see where Rico, Paul, and Evelyn go from here.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Peeps, by Erin Gordon - You're Going to Want to Read This One!

Peeps, by Erin Gordon, is a terrific book.  In fact, I was sorry when I finished it.  I really wanted it to keep going.  Once I got over my disappointment that I was done(!), it was time to cogitate a bit before I wrote my review.  There is a LOT to think about with Peeps.  Let me start by giving you a brief synopsis:

A coming-of-middle-age novel, PEEPS is the story of Meg, a 51-year-old podcaster who’s spent her life afraid of “what ifs.” Single after an unexpected divorce, Meg might finally have the chance for what she calls a Big Life, but isn’t sure she can pull it off. After her mother’s death, Meg gathers the courage to seek answers about her disinterested and cruel mother from her uncle. To get to him, she moves out of her Santa Monica home and drives across the country in a new RV she nicknames Irv.

Along the way, Meg conducts interviews for her podcast Peeps, in which she asks everyday people the same seven questions to “peep” into their lives and uncover shared humanity. Meg’s narrative is peppered with lively “transcripts” of her interviews with the ordinary yet fascinating people she meets. The podcast enables Meg to process the complicated grief and relief related to her mother’s death, her divorce, and her only child leaving home for college.

Isn't this a great storyline?  Let me answer that for you...It sure is!  But let me tell you what I really liked (okay, loved) about this book.  And bear with me because it's going to take a while:

1.  I love that Peeps is a "coming-of-middle-age" novel.
2.  I love Meg's interviews with everyday, regular people.  I got very excited every time I saw a new interview was coming up. 
3.  I love the writing.  It's very visual and very thought-provoking.  Here are just a couple of examples:
"Ah, he said, with the drama of a magician about to reveal your card."  
"I felt a little like an energetic puppy called back indoors just moments after being let out into the yard."
"I've always appreciated the notion that what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while."
4.  I love the 7 questions that she asked every interviewee, especially the one where she asked "Who is someone you never saw again?"
5.  As you all know, I love when I get a takeaway from a book.  I actually got 2 from Peeps.  The 1st one is #4.  Think about all the people in your life who just disappeared. I think we all have those who we wonder about.  And the 2nd one is that there are disappointments in our lives that we just have to let go. Otherwise, they can continue to shape who we are.
6.  I love the whole cross-country road trip in her RV, Irv (my father-in-law's name, by the way).  How brave and eye-opening it was for Meg.
7.  I LOVE the interviews!  Have I already told you that?

As you can see, I loved this book.  It's a combination of a whole bunch of things that resonated with me, and that I think will do the same for you. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Peeps right away!