Full disclosure, I was provided with a copy of this book by the author or their representative, however, I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
A debt repaid; a friendship made
Chicago enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders just wants to listen to the ball game in peace, but when he gets called to drive his girlfriend and her geriatric friend home from the supermarket his peaceful afternoon turns into a shootout in the parking lot and a stay at the hospital. With a bum leg and the brother of one of his victims hot on his trail with revenge on his mind, Rico finds himself in an all too familiar situation. But he is not one to hide from his enemies, and it is only due to Jean’s quick thinking that Rico agrees to lay low for a few days at a cabin of a “mutual friend”. Rico’s convalescence, however, is short-lived when the bad guys start to play dirty. Against his better judgment, Rico forms an alliance with an unlikely partner to put an end to their games. But will this uncanny pairing be the start of a beautiful friendship or the beginning of the end for more than just Rico and Jean?
Rico Stays is the final book in the Pigeon Blood Red trilogy by author Ed Duncan. Set sometime after the close of The Last Straw, Rico, Jean, Paul, and Evelyn have returned to what passes for their normal everyday lives. Little do they know that their paths will cross one more time but with the tables turned in an incredibly unique way. As Rico and Jean try to stay below the radar and not become the target of a grieving brother, Paul steps up to the plate as an unlikely benefactor. Hiding Rico and Jean at his cabin in the woods is brilliant, but not without consequences as Paul finds himself defending his actions to more than just a flabbergasted Evelyn. In this final installment, the action is fast-paced, the tension is high and the ending, for me at least, was oh so satisfying.
After initially not being a fan of Pigeon Blood Red, I stuck with the series and I was rewarded with witnessing the beginnings of what I hope in Rico’s world will be a lifelong friendship between the four main characters who started not just as “enemies” but as a target, then evolved into a debt to be repaid and an eventual partnership. This concept itself is so foreign that it is endearing. Watching Jean and Evelyn warm up to each other was heartwarming and proves that no matter what your race, profession, upbringing, or social status that friendship can be achieved if an effort is made. While this marks the end of the trilogy, I cannot help but long for a one-off short here and there to check in with Rico and the gang to see how they’re doing. I cannot help but be curious to see how their budding friendship is cultivated and developed. Also, I would be lying if I did not say that I am curious to see if the influences on the other couples are for the better, the worse, or maybe a little of both. Honestly, I am hoping for a little bit of both!