Just look at that cover! Outstanding and seriously what’s inside is every bit just as good! I’m delighted to be reviewing I’ll Pray when I’m Dying, by Stephen J Golds.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s the official blurb:
DO ALL SONS BECOME THEIR FATHERS?
Ben Hughes is a corrupt Boston Vice Detective and bagman for the Southie Mob.
Already desperately struggling with obsessive compulsions and memories of a traumatic childhood, his world begins to fall apart at the seams, triggered by the photograph of a missing child in the newspaper and the anniversary of his father’s death twenty years earlier.
I’LL PRAY WHEN I’M DYING IS THE STORY OF A BAD MAN BECOMING WORSE…
I have no words, literally no words. Once again Stephen J Golds has taken a bunch of words and magically weaved them into a vivid rich tapestry which sucked me in and under leaving me completely awestruck.
In Ben Hughes he has created a character we should despise but such is this author’s talent, what he presents to you is a man so broken and vulnerable that it becomes impossible not to feel empathy for him. Taking us back and forward in time, we discover the life experiences that shaped Ben, the toxic and traumatic experiences which left him with no other choice really, but to become the father he hated.
There are few characters in this novel that could be described as likeable, however, as a reader I was compelled to engage with them. It was impossible not to find myself immersed in their lives and their stories.
Living with OCD was one of the main themes of the novel; the portrayal was spot on and challenged every single stereotype society has of the condition; often born of trauma he captured perfectly that feeling of cloying suffocation experienced by the man living with the condition. Without a doubt, I did not read about OCD in this book, I experienced it through the pages.
His prose is poetic but at the same time it is brutal, from a myriad of colours and sensory experiences he swiftly punches you in the gut with a violence so vicious, it stings. Yet, never does it feel gratuitous, every single word adds flavour to the world he has created.
Stephen J Golds’ voice is unique, it is strong, it is raw and it is edgy; his books are to be savoured, each word to be tasted and never rushed. I’ll Pray When I’m Dying is no exception to this.
My recommendation – just go and buy the bloody book!
I’ll Pray When I’m Dying is available to buy via