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Kiss Her Goodbye

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  328 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Finalist 2006 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original — Finalist 2006 Anthony Award for Best Paperback — When people in Edinburgh need to borrow money, they go to Cooper. When they don't pay it back, they get a visit from Joe Hope. — But now Joe's got troubles of his own. His teenage daughter's found dead, an apparent suicide. Then the police arrest him for murder. But for ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 223 pages
Published March 6th 2005 by Hard Case Crime
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Best Noir of the 21st Century
32nd out of 164 books — 287 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 633)
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Dan Schwent
Oct 21, 2010 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: hardcase, cool-covers
Joe Hope is the muscle for an Edinburgh loan shark. When his daughter dies, an apparent suicide, he's heartbroken and wants revenge for whomever is responsible. He flies up to Orkney, only to find himself wanted by the police. A passage in Gemma's journal seems to indicate Joe raped her and to top it off, Joe's wife Ruth's body was found in the trunk of his car at the airport. Joe spends the rest of the novel running from the cops while trying to figure out what the hell is going on and get reve ...more
Oct 22, 2009 Johnny rated it really liked it
I didn't think I would ever say this about a Hard Case Crime book, but this cover does not do the book justice. It's a fun cover, don't get me wrong. And it actually represents a moment in the book. However, in my opinion, it misrepresents the tone of the book completely.

Perhaps it is in the spirit of the vintage paperbacks that Hard Case emulates to sell the sizzle rather than the steak (can you get more sizzle in hard-boiled terms than a woman wielding a bat).

The reason I go on about the cover
Aug 09, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Speck
Jun 10, 2013 Jason Speck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Hope is a 'hard man': as an enforcer for his loan-shark best friend, he doesn't do the killing but he's no stranger to inflicting pain. It's not a great life but it gets him through. He takes what little solace his life possesses in the arms of Tina, a prostitute with whom he never has sex out of loyalty to an alcoholic wife who hates him deeply.

Yet life only has more pain for Joe. First his daughter, his only other bright spot, commits suicide. Then his wife is found dead in the trunk of hi
Sep 02, 2011 Gregory rated it liked it
The intelligent thug. One of crime fiction's favorite characters. Joe Hope is just such a character. He did some college. He got a girl pregnant. Dropped out of college and took an enforcer job with a loan shark buddy. At the heart of this story is family tragedy (suicide and murder). The book feels a bit different than previous Hard Case Crime novels partly because it geographically takes place in the UK which provides the reader with some of those fun British words that we Americans find amusi ...more
Dec 17, 2007 Justinthunderliger rated it it was ok
This was a little less formulaic in parts than other books of this imprint. Still have the anti-hero, but this was more of a whodunit, than a straight crime/noir novel. After a while, I stopped caring about finding out who had actually dunit. Still, an ok mystery ride. One method of the genre is beginning to wear thin-- the villain's exposition. It comes off as lazy. You're already writing in third person omniscient, why do you need the villain to explain everything at the end through dialogue? ...more
Sep 25, 2014 John rated it liked it
A fun and quick read that in the end I found a bit too predictable. I was waiting for a flash-change ending that never quite came. Nevertheless, Guthrie does a great job at capturing main character Joe's essence.
Keith Nixon
Jan 14, 2014 Keith Nixon rated it it was amazing
Joe Hope sorts problems out, usually by the application of violence with a baseball bat, on behalf of his loan shark boss, Cooper. But for once it’s Joe that has the problem, first his daughter, Gemma, commits suicide. Joe immediately flies to the Orkneys where she’s been living at a writer’s retreat with a relative, Adam. But as soon as he arrives Joe is arrested. The accusation? The murder of his wife, battered to death with Joe’s work tool.

But, there are further complications, Gemma kept a di
Nov 28, 2014 DeWayne rated it it was ok
Based in Scotland we have a kind hearted yet highly quick tempered ruffain Joe Hope, who is bestfriends with a concieted of a bastard sidekick Cooper and his subterfuge ways. The story starts off decent becomes some what predictable throughout. The characters are great and the storyline is too. The book lacks in the emotions of those characters, and their positions in the story. Joe Hope for instance goes through horrific situations but, his feelings are some what blank. It's almost as if he doe ...more
Michael Mallory
Jul 20, 2013 Michael Mallory rated it did not like it
Allan Guthrie has author blurbs to die for on the back cover and inside. Maybe his other books have warranted those, but "Kiss Her Goodbye" does not. On the surface, the book is written in Brit-speak, which takes a bit of getting used to for us Yanks. But that's not really the problem: the problem is that its story about a bad guy who's framed for the murder of his wife has only a short-story's worth of actual plot. The other 200 pages are filled up with sometimes contradictory inner narrative a ...more
Connie Haag
Sep 05, 2011 Connie Haag rated it it was amazing
As a reviewer, once in a while I dream at night that I am on the witness stand and somebody is asking 'Are you NOW or have you ever BEEN a member of the trashing-second-novels club!?'


It's true, many writers knock it out of the ballpark on their second try, and as a result everyone's patience is sorely tested. To avoid all this, Guthrie was judicious enough to make KISS HER GOODBYE yet another altogether extraordinary, lullaby-free Noir Classic. Again the total absence of all the word 'mercy
May 01, 2011 Trekscribbler rated it really liked it
If you can get thru the first half-dozen chapters (or so) of the author calling every other character and/or street character the same name (starts with T, has a W, and ends with T) then you'll be pleasantly surprised with the double murder mystery that develops over the course of the rest of KISS HER GOODBYE, a double-dose of tough love for the main character, a small-town Scottish mob enforcer ironically named Joe Hope.

The lowdown: after spending a night away from his estranged wife, Hope is
Feb 18, 2011 Anthony rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-case-crime
Joe Hope is an enforcer for his friend Cooper who is a loan shark. Joe is not afraid of violence, but he's always drawn the line at killing someone. Then his daughter, who had suddenly moved from Edinburgh to Orkney to live with a distant relative, commits suicide and Joe loses his reason. Then he's accused of a murder, and life really takes a turn. Can Joe rely on his friend, or is his only hope for salvation a hooker with a heart of gold and a well-used baseball bat?

Joe Hope could have been a
Jun 09, 2012 D M rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
this is another in the Hard Case Crime (HCC) series. (hopefully i won't say this in my remaining 77 reviews in the series, but i might.) this one has a Scottish hardboiled/noir/mystery thriller thing going for it. i read it with a Scottish accent and a pint in me hand, of course. it was brilliant! also picked up some new Scottish slang curse words which will definitely come in handy with all the pitas in my life. LOL

this was not as good as HCC#1 but better than hammett's 'maltese falcon.' OMG! (
James  W. Powell
Jun 08, 2014 James W. Powell rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
While I enjoyed the mystery of this crime thriller, the main character was just too much of an ass for me to care. I needed to see less of the thug and more of the concerned parent if I were to buy the whole premise. By the time I learned enough about him to actually begin empathizing with him, it was too late...I just didn't care much for any of these bad people, and I finished the book simply to see how the mystery was solved.
Jul 13, 2015 Jure rated it it was ok
Mediocre and forgettable. Skip it unless you're trying (like I do) to complete your Hard Case Crime collection.

More here (review includes spoilers!):
David Cain
Jun 21, 2014 David Cain rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Decent story. Quick, pulpy, and full of action. Takes place in Scotland but - aside from a few stray details - does not establish a strong sense of place. True to the spirit of the Hard Case Crime series.
Jul 30, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
A well written book with some totally unexpected twists and a few that were totally expected. Rather too violent for me but strangely compelling.
Sep 03, 2015 Alice rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Labeled "Hard Case Crime"

just a much violence and non redemption as other Gut
Claudette Gabbs
Jan 08, 2015 Claudette Gabbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story. Didn't slow down.
Alan Pottinger
Mar 25, 2014 Alan Pottinger rated it liked it
Not my normal reading genre - gritty and violent but I must admit although it dragged a bit the last 40 pages had me gripped!
It is a tribute to the quality and strength of Allan Guthrie's writing that despite being wholly populated with nasty characters - some more so than others - it is impossible to stop reading, all the way to the end. The writing I really liked, the story, not so much, hence the three not four stars. Perhaps it would be more generous to rate it the other way round ...
Apr 05, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
This novel is fairly juvenile, but certain parts, including the tricky plan to capture the villains in the end, are entertaining. And the main character is a rather surprising sort of person. We start off with him hitting someone with a baseball bat for money, and end up thinking he's a fairly nice guy who actually seems largely against violence. Oddball.
Jun 07, 2013 Benjamin rated it really liked it
Joe Hope is an enforcer for an Edinburgh loan shark. He has received news that his daughter ha commited suicide. Within a day, he finds out that his wife has been murdered, and he is arrested and charged with the crime. Who did it? Why? Read the book and find out. These are not nice people, but they are well-portrayed. A good not of hard-boiled fiction.
Jun 05, 2012 Kenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-boiled
Well-paced plot and strong characters. I guessed part of the mystery before the main character, but given what kind of person he is, it fits the story. My view of the characters changed during the novel, sometimes turning 180 degrees. A bit of British slang will throw me from time to time, but this is just a great read. Highly recommended.
Chris Rhatigan
Jan 11, 2014 Chris Rhatigan rated it it was amazing
A freakin master class in noir writing. Full review in the next issue of All Due Respect.
Elijah Kinch Spector
Nov 19, 2015 Elijah Kinch Spector rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
One of the better modern efforts from Hard Case. I guessed the big reveal fairly early on, but that never really bothers me. Interesting to see such a story in a different setting (Scotland).
Derek Schneider
Jul 17, 2010 Derek Schneider rated it it was amazing
What I liked most about this book was the dialog. It was a very smart crime novel with some intense and often hilarious interaction between the characters. A cool story, good read.
Dan Beaver
Dec 30, 2012 Dan Beaver rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, mystery-noir
Pacing was good and the characters were complex enough to make them real. The "twist" was readily identifiable, however, and Guthrie cld have spent a little more energy working on motive.
Nov 08, 2012 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books-read
I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this book but I'm happy to report that I did. I have never read anything by this author previously and would definately like to read more by him.
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