Date of publication: November 25th, 2017
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Series: Pigeon-Blood Red
Pigeon-Blood Red – Book 1
The Last Straw – Book 2
Where you can find The Last Straw: Amazon
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
When a teenage girl witnesses a carjacking gone bad, she is marked for death by a crime boss with no apparent motive. A black lawyer and a white enforcer with an unlikely history forge an uneasy alliance to protect the girl from a hitman with an agenda of his own.
After they find out that the crime boss is the father of the black teenage carjacker, Paul Elliott – lawyer and close friend of the witness’s family – begins counseling them.
As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.
I like suspense/mystery/thrillers/crime books. I like them because most of the time they can get my pulse running. Also, I am unable to put the book down. That was the case with The Last Straw. This book had me hooked. You know a book is good when you start dreaming about the characters.
As much as I liked The Last Straw, I felt lost at times while reading it. I didn’t understand the connection between Rico and Paul until Paul explained it. I don’t like being in the dark about backstories. I don’t like starting a book and thinking to myself “What are they talking about? What happened?” Unfortunately, that happened in this book. So, if you are to read The Last Straw, you need to read Pigeon-Blood Red first.
I thought the characters were well written. They were 3D and had depth to them. I liked Rico. He was an uneasy anti-hero. He came across as first as an unfeeling killer but as I read the book, he definitely had feelings. He had a strong moral compass. He had no problem killing people but drew the line at killing children. He didn’t have any friends yet he felt compelled to protect Paul against a rival hitman. If there is a 3rd book, I can’t wait to see where the author takes his character.
I didn’t get that same sense of development in Paul. I didn’t feel the connection to him that I felt to Rico. I do think that Paul wouldn’t want to be a person to tick off. That’s for sure. Because he can definitely take care of himself. The end of the book showcased that perfectly.
The Last Straw’s plot was intriguing. Teenaged girl witnesses a botched carjacking. The carjacker is the illegitimate son of a notorious crime boss. She is marked for death but the first attempt takes out her father instead. Paul is determined to protect her from whoever is killing her. Rico is on the hunt for the person who attacked his escort girlfriend when his boss pulls him aside and asks him to take a job. The job: To take out a girl who will be testifying at the murder trial of his son. Rico passes, only to be brought back into it when he realizes that the girl’s protector is Paul. Determined to protect Paul and the girl from the hitman contracted, Rico has to go against a hitman who hates him. And one who is willing to do whatever it takes to finish the hit and take Rico down. Can Rico thwart him?
This book is bloody. So, if you don’t like violence and blood in a book, don’t read it. I liked it because it was a no holds bars books. It didn’t hold back or pussyfoot around things. Instead, it was in your face and made you think about things. It also made me value the boring life that I live…haha. I also did wonder at one point in the book how the police were dealing with all the bodies.
The secondary characters definitely made the book. But the one that stands out for me was Beverly. She loved her son but she also wanted to see justice done. She went out of her way to make sure that the girl wasn’t going to be touched by her son’s father (which was a lie). She made herself into something from nothing. A strong woman who tried to instill right from wrong in her only child. I liked her.
D’Angelo was freaking nuts. When it was revealed why he hated Rico, I laughed. All that hatred over a woman….smh. He held onto that hatred like a dog with a bone. I could see that he was becoming unhinged towards the end of the book. I did wonder if he was going to go after Rico or try to harm Rico’s charges (can’t say, friends, because Rico didn’t have any). You have to read the book to what he does. I will say that he deserved what was coming to him at the end of the book.
Speaking of the end of the book, it was an explosive bloody end. There were a lot of deaths. Some deserved, some not. But it was the end of the book that put a smile on my face. A classy way to end the book!!!
What I liked about The Last Straw:
A) Well written characters
B) Intriguing plotline
C) Secondary characters that made the book
What I disliked about The Last Straw:
A) Need to read book 1 first
B) Paul’s character wasn’t as developed as Rico’s was
I gave The Last Straw a 4-star rating. This book was a great read with well-developed characters. But you do need to read book 1 first to understand the relationships between Rico and Paul.
I would give The Last Straw an Adult rating. There is sex. Not explicit but it is there. There is graphic violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread The Last Straw. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank Kelsey from BookPublicityServices for allowing me to read and review The Last Straw.
All opinions stated in this review of The Last Straw are mine.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**