Pigeon Blood Red

Pigeon Blood RedAuthor: Ed Duncan

Publisher: Smashwords Editions

Release Date: February 25, 2016

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Different. Interesting.  Reminds me of Tarantino.

Rico and Jerry are enforcers for a crime boss in Chicago’s underworld. They take care of things, tie up loose ends, and when needed, make people disappear.  So when a debt ridden cheat steals the boss’s priceless red ruby necklace, they are tasked with getting it back.  But things are not always as they seem at face value.  He suddenly skips town to go to Hawaii to patch things up with his wife.  She is traveling with a friend and ready to pull the plug on her marriage.  And Rico?  He just wants to get the necklace back and teach the guy a lesson that he won’t need to remember.  But in Hawaii things go horribly wrong and the necklace disappears.  Can Rico find it?  Or will it be his skin on the line if he comes back empty handed?

So, this little story reminded me of Pulp Fiction in many different ways.  John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson open the story as Jerry and Rico.  Uma Thurman shows up as Jean.  And Ving Rames makes an appearance as Litvak.  So, the characters pretty much all fell into place.  However, there were some other stories that make this one a little more interesting.  Don’t think you know the story until you’ve read it, because it will surprise you.

There is some strong language throughout and some implied sex in several scenes, but nothing graphic. Even so, I still recommend this book for mature audiences.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Catching Heat

Catching HeatAuthor: Janice Cantore

Series: Cold Case Justice #3

Publisher: Tyndale

Release Date: September 1, 2016

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

As the final installment in the Cold Case Justice series concludes, Abby and Luke look for closure in the case that has haunted them for decades.

It has been 27 years since the deaths of Detective Abby Hart’s parents and she still searches for answers and justice for them. She can’t prove it yet, but she knows the governor’s wife, Alyssa Rollins, is the one behind her years of pain.  She has teamed up with PI Luke Murphy on the cold case squad and together they head to San Luis Obispo to try and solve the cold case murder of a college student.  Their new investigation will put them near the town where Alyssa Rollins grew up. Hoping to find more information that will help put her behind bars, Abby and Luke try to work their cold case along with the investigation into Rollins.  As they continue to work closer together, their feelings develop even further putting a personal stake into all that they do.  Abby goes over the top in the investigation and Luke is afraid her obsession might be too much to handle.

Janice Cantore has become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is clean, and always keeps me turning the page.  With Catching Heat, I was looking forward to a nice conclusion to the Cold Case Justice series.  While questions were answered, I found this to be my least favorite of the series.  It was still a great read, I just found myself bothered by the amount of time spent focusing on the relationship and romance aspect of the story.  There wasn’t as much suspense as I would have liked.  The end took it up to a nice level but throughout there wasn’t the normal suspense Cantore normally provides.  Abby and Luke were meant to be together, that was obvious, they both spent too much time trying to deny their feelings for each other instead of facing it head on.  There was a lot to this story.  Not only were they trying to solve the murder of Abby’s parents, but they were also looking into multiple other cases at the same time.  It seemed as if Cantore was trying to bring up the suspense with the extra cases but instead it took away from the main focus of the story.  Cantore is a great writer of the police procedural if she sticks with the formula that works and doesn’t try to put too much into the story.  Overall my favorite aspect of the whole series was the way Abby was a female but didn’t have to rely on a male to keep her safe or do any of the dangerous work for her.  Just like all of Cantore’s characters she is strong, and capable of handling whatever she encounters.  I look forward to the start of the next Janice Cantore series for another great read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest and thorough review.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.