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Love Like Bleeding out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand by Stephen J. Golds | #BookReview @CloseToTheBone3 @SteveGone58 #ARC #DirtyRealism

The title says it all!

Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand is a collection of dirty reality/ crime short stories and poems.

It is my first book by this author, and I’m impressed. The writing is engaging and addictive. It took me places I did not want to be, but I was too entranced to run away.

Our thanks to the author for the advanced reader’s copy. 

Book Details

Title: Love Like Bleeding Out With An Empty Gun In Your Hand by Stephen J. Golds
Close to the Bone (April 30, 2021)

Book Description

An aging hitman is embittered by his career choice at the point of no return. A shell-shocked soldier in World War Two finds hope through death, reflected in the eyes of his enemy. A serial killer confesses in veiled, lurching prose. A mobster unravels at the zero hour of this mortal coil. A man reevaluates existence after discovering a suicide. These are some of the twenty-nine dark, twisted, and gritty stories by Stephen J. Golds collected here for the first time — bound taut with thirty poems of loss, love, and other thoughts that haunt you after last call.

From the Publisher’s Blurb


Links provided by the author


As you all know, dirty reality is not my usual cuppa. I read as an escape, and I usually like it fictional and clean (lol); ballrooms, beautiful gowns, promenades in the gardens, a little bit of romance.

Sometimes, I venture out of my happy bubble to see what is out there, and oh boy, I was caught up but, at the same time, never more thankful for my uneventful sheltered life. The short stories were very pungent—violence mingling with desperation, depression, hopelessness, and loneliness.

The author has an uncanny talent for setting the ambiance and bringing the reader in. He drives you around and makes you sympathize with the villain and feel guilty for it.

One of the things I liked the most about the stories is how vice spills from the pages, but there is always a tiny hint of humanity left—a shred of decency, an inkling of regret.

There are stories of war, mobsters, bullies, murderers, and thieves. I was intrigued by how shoes were placed in several stories in so many different ways.

Divorce is also a recurrent theme, both from the divorcees and their children’s perspectives. I felt the pain, the sense of failure and remorse. All I can say is that hubby got an extra hug before bed after I finished the book.

I’m not an expert in dirty reality, but I think this book is quite great at it. It is adventurous, scary, emotional, and rough.

Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand is an excellent book, very engrossing, with fast-paced stories and multifaceted characters.

Highly Recommended!

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.

Triggers: being a dirty-reality read, pretty much every warning applies, including child death and sexual violence.

Try a sample

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 novels are Say Goodbye When I’m Gone (Red Dog Press) Always the Dead (Close to the Bone) Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows and the forthcoming collection Love Like Bleeding Out With an Empty Gun in Your Hand.

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5 thoughts on “Love Like Bleeding out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand by Stephen J. Golds | #BookReview @CloseToTheBone3 @SteveGone58 #ARC #DirtyRealism”

  1. I’m currently reading American Predator for book club and it’s my first true crime. It’s really hard to put down. I didn’t think I would like true crime but I might have to read more. I’ll put this one on my list!


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