1949: Rudy, A Jewish New Yorker snatches a briefcase of cash from a dead man in Los Angeles and runs away from his old life, into the arms of the Boston mob.
1966: Hinako, a young Japanese girl runs away from what she thought was the suffocating conformity of a life in Japan. Aiming to make a fresh start in America, she falls into the grip of a Hawaiian gang dubbed ‘The Company’.
1967: Rudy and Hinako’s lives collide in the city of Honolulu, where there is nowhere left for either of them to run, and only blood to redeem them.
Online Blanket Fort Review
First things first. Thanks to Red Dog Press for having me on the Book Tour for Say Goodbye When I’m Gone and also for providing me with a complimentary advance review e-copy of the novel.
So, you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover. The cover for Say Goodbye When I’m Gone is unique. A sideways book cover – cool!
Second things… well, second. I never struggle to start a book review. It’s usually just a case of opening up WordPress and having a manic typing spree until somehow it’s done. Especially with the books I adore, while it’s a struggle, a semi-coherent review usually forms. Struggling a bit with this one… the cover alone deserves overtures of wonder, exclamations of it being a work of art, a little bit different, a little bit ‘wow!’. I’ll maybe come back to the cover later.
Say Goodbye When I’m Gone is brutal. There’s violence, there’s murder, there’s sexual assault and rape. It is NOT for the faint of heart. But once you get past that, Say Goodbye When I’m Gone is a really quite wonderful story.
Rudy has been forced to flee to Honolulu following the brutal murder of his eldest daughter. Her murder was in direct retaliation to a crime Rudy had carried out so, fairly understandably, he carries considerable guilt over her death for the rest of his life.
Hinako also finds herself in Honolulu after answering a job advertisement for hotel staff in her native Japan. Promised a job, accommodation and the chance of a new life away from Japan, Hinako is excited to make the change and leave her old life behind.
Say Goodbye When I’m Gone follows Rudy and Hinako until their paths inevitably cross in the city. I believe Rudy sees a little of his daughter in Hinako and wants to shield and protect her from the life she has found herself in. He puts everything on the line to protect a woman he barely knows.
Another factor of the novel I particularly enjoyed was the fact that while Rudy has done many awful things in his life (theft, murder, deceit) we still feel for him and only want the best for him. For me, it’s because he remains devoted to his family and especially to his wife. The love between them is evident and has been written in such a way that while Rudy is still the ‘hard-man’ he’s also shown as not being afraid to be a big softie.
Say Goodbye When I’m Gone has very readable short chapters jumping back and forth through time and from character to character. However, all the jumping isn’t jarring – it’s very well written and incredibly easy to follow.
Golds has written quite a book and is a massively talented addition to the Red Dog kennel. I cannot wait to see what comes next.
In short – I loved this book. It’s something a little bit different but definitely not for those with a weak stomach.
PS: According to Red Dog the cover for Say Goodbye When I’m Gone is: “… an homage to the James M. Cain covers for Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice … we’re not just a pretty face, see?”
PPS: The above references went completely over my head.
PPPS: I really like the cover.
About the Author
Stephen J. Golds was born in London, U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. His novel Say Goodbye When I’m Gone was published by Red Dog Press on 21st October 2020 and another novel Always the Dead will be released by Close to The Bone Press January 2021.
The best way to get your grubby little paws on a beautifully wrapped copy of Say Goodbye When I’m Gone is directly from Red Dog Press: https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/say-goodbye-when-i-m-gone
Alternatively, you can buy a copy from Amazon: https://amzn.to/37l1DCU or Kobo https://www.kobo.com/fr/en/ebook/say-goodbye-when-i-m-gone
I received a complimentary e-copy of Say Goodbye When I’m Gone in return for my honest and unbiased opinion as part of this Red Dog Press Book Tour.