Title: The Last Straw
Author: Ed Duncan
Hi guys and a Happy New 2019 to you! Apologies I haven’t posted in a while and this is my first book review of 2019.
I do just want to start with a quick shout out. As I had decided to commit to a 30 day Yoga practice called Dedicate: A 30 day Yoga journey which is on the Yoga with Adriene YouTube Channel which I’ll link to here (it has just finished in terms of doing it “live” with the community but it was great fun and I’ve felt myself have far less aches and pains already and has helped me to de-stress from the day job!). I’ve also been reading a couple of books which I hope to have reviews for in next few weeks.
Anyway one book which landed in my inbox to review was The Last Straw by Ed Duncan so here goes:
The book is the second novel in the Pigeon-Blood Red series. It is set in Chicago and opens with a prostitute called Jean bringing one of her clients back to her apartment for sex when things turn nasty, quickly as he tries to rape her and physically assaults her before a neighbour intervenes. We soon learn she is the partner of ‘killer with a conscience’ Rico who goes after him to extract revenge.
In the meantime, we meet Paul Elliot who is a successful district attorney who has been asked by his neighbour to help look after his daughter, Sandra. Sandra was a witness to a car jacking where the driver was killed by the car thief.
However it soon turns out that the perpetrator, Jeffrey Philips, is the son of a big-time gangster boss who had an affair with his mother many years ago and, up until recently, had managed to keep her son a secret from him. Now though, his father will stop at nothing to keep him out of prison – even if it means murdering the only witness to the crime…
Overall I found the Last Straw to be an entertaining and enjoyable thriller.
The book has a very fast pace which makes it easy to read and the book handles several plot strands overall very well, with all the strands neatly tied together by the novels’ conclusion. My favourite plot strand was the story around Beverly Philips and the racism she encounters throughout the novel which was handled by Duncan well and I found her character the most relatable of all the characters within the novel.
However, the novel does have some flaws.
Some of the flaws I partly put down to the fact that I read this book first rather than it’s predecessor. Duncan throughout the novel drops in references to some previous events like Rico being tasked to kill Paul which initially I thought it was made up as it went along before I realised there is an existing book in the series so I would say it would possibly be worth reading the first novel as the way the information jumps up here is a bit jarring and it may not work as well as a standalone novel.
Also, the book does have a very fast pace which is always good for a thriller and makes it easy to read but a few times where the book switches between plot strands I did find I had to re-read sections to pick up where I was again and what was happening which suggests maybe the book had a few too many plot strands to handle for me. I have to admit some sections are a little bit predictable such as the Rico vs D’Angelo rivalry which ends up exactly how the reader expects it to end.
Overall, an enjoyable thriller novel that is good fun to read whilst it lasts, if a little predictable and the fast movement between plot points can be jarring.
If you disagree with my review then leave your thoughts in the comments below.