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Kiss Her Goodbye (Hard Case Crime #8)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  48 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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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  429 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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James Thane
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a deliciously nasty, noirish, early entry in the Hard Case Crime series. The protagonist, Joe Hope, walks the mean streets of Edinburgh, working as an enforcer for a loan shark named Cooper. Joe is especially effective wielding his baseball bat, the sight of which leaves delinquent borrowers terrorized.

Joe's a heavy drinker, especially when he's been out collecting with his buddy, Cooper, and after one of these all-night sessions, Joe returns home to discover that his teenage daughter i
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
"In my world, everybody's guilty."

If you borrow money from an Edinburgh loan shark, and can't pay it back, you may just get a visit from Joe Hope and his trusty baseball bat. It's rather a strange profession, but in Joe's mind - somebody's got to do it.

He hurt people and he could live with that.

But not long after his daughter commits suicide, Joe finds himself charged with murder.

"Did you love your wife, Mr. Hope?"

"I hated the bitch." Joe twisted his wedding ring a fraction. He tugged it towards
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, fiction, noir
Career criminal Joe has his life turned upside down following his daughter Gemma’s unexpected suicide. Holding his cousin Adam responsible for his daughter’s untimely death, Joe travels to Adam with annihilation on his mind. However, upon arrival, Joe is told of his wife’s gruesome murder and due to their rocky relationship as well as some damning evidence, Joe is believed to be a prime suspect. Pleading his innocence, can Joe clear his name? And what did Gemma write in her diary prior to her de ...more
Dan Schwent
Mar 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: cool-covers, hardcase
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
Geoff Smith
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, novels
I found this book through the Pulp Fiction group on Goodreads.

Joe Hope is a debt collector who's good at his job, and seems to rather enjoy the violence that goes with it. When his daughter commits suicide things take a turn for the worse and Joe is in trouble with the underworld and the law.

I gave this four stars in the end. I was hanging around three for a while there. It's accessible and an easy read. Just good, fun, hard-boiled genre fiction. Characters cartoonish at times. For a while that
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Kiss Her Goodbye” was one of the earliest of the Hard Case crime publications, eighth if you are keeping count. What makes this novel stand out from the rest of Hard Case Crime’s gallery of rogues is that it is neither a reprint of a fifties/sixties pulp novel nor a newer novel that sets out to attain the feel and atmosphere of the fifties/sixties pulp world. It is decidedly modern in that it involves cellphones and it is one of the few HCC novels that is not American. (Obviously, AC Doyle’s Va ...more
Oct 14, 2009 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
Ron Chicaferro
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You won't find writing much better than Allan Guthrie's Kiss Her Goodbye - - - The story is pretty basic and you guess the villain pretty quickly but the writing is delicious - - you actually don't want the book to end because the writing is so terrific - - - The writing reminds me of Elmore Leonard - you end up drooling over the words! - - That's how good a writer Allan Guthrie is - - I'm looking forward to reading more.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick, dirty read! Joe Hope finds out his daughter is dead, his wife is murdered, and he's the one being blamed! But he didn't do it! So he's off to prove he's innocent, and to find out who is responsible! I enjoyed this read, as I do almost all of the Hard Case Crime books I've picked up! They sure seem to know their audience - me!
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well, I shall count this as 'read' although I only made it 50% of the way through.

It's not a bad tale, it's just too ... slow, too 'bitty'. Some of the dialogue tries to hard to mimic Raymond Chandler, and not the best bits!

There was nothing in it which excited me or made me regret having to put it down. I think a lot of the problem lies with me, I'm like this at the start of a new year, finding it difficult to know what I want to read. I still don't know, but I know that (at the moment) this is
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 ...
David Cain
Jun 15, 2014 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.
Jason Speck
Jun 10, 2013 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
Mike Briggs
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2009 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
Sep 25, 2014 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.
Claudette Gabbs
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story. Didn't slow down.
Ross Cumming
I came across this slice of Scottish Noir when I saw that it was originally published as part of the Hard Case Crime series, of which I am a big fan and thought I would give it a go.
The novel is set in Edinburgh, where Joe Hope is an enforcer for loan shark and friend Cooper, both of whom were at University together. Joe's daughter Gemma, now living in Orkney, dies from an apparent suicide and Joe travels there to find out more about her death but he soon finds himself in custody for the murder
Connie Haag
Aug 24, 2011 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
Keith Nixon
Dec 28, 2013 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
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
May 01, 2011 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
Dec 17, 2007 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
James Powell
Jun 08, 2014 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.
Jun 07, 2013 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 02, 2012 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.
Mar 30, 2013 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.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Could just have taken place in America. If I had a complaint, it would be the lack of local flavor.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really didn't like this book, but I'm unsure what the value is of writing a bad review. that said: it's a mean spirited novel, populated by characters and themes that lean hard on old fashion cruelty. none of this is eased or multiplied through aesthetic means or narrative structure. this book has almost no discernible style, except what it's trying to imitate badly. even (or especially) in the world of pulp crime novels, you need something beyond the crime to make the whole thing go. I don't ...more
Olga Wojtas
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I recently discovered that both the OH and I have bought copies of this - I've got the edition with the douce cover, while he's got the one with the racy image above. Nothing douce about this book - it will set your heart racing. It's tightly written, cleverly plotted, and very nasty. No surprise that it was nominated for Edgar, Anthony and Gumshoe awards. It makes you pretty wary about going anywhere near Edinburgh, and is pretty worrying if you live there.
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Pulp Fiction: December 2017 - Kiss Her Goodbye 24 52 Feb 22, 2018 08:04AM  

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