Book Jacket


rank 5907
word count 43994
date submitted 20.03.2010
date updated 21.10.2010
genres: Thriller
classification: adult

The Golden Goodbye

Ken E. Mayring

A chance encounter with a beautiful girl and her drug addicted sister leads to a confrontation with one of Cape Town's notorious gangs.


When a beautiful girl runs in front of Jason Stone's car in a dodgy part of Cape Town it sets off a chain of events that leads to a series of confrontations with the members of one of Cape Town's vicious gangs as Stone tries to rescue her sister from the gang's clutches. As Stone takes matters into his own hands he makes a startling discovery that shakes him to the core and sets him off on a crusade to bring some important people to justice. He can expect no assistance from conventional law enforcement and is forced to rely on his own wits and skills and the burgeoning skills of his new-found assistant.

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action, beautiful women, drugs, gangs, tasteful sex.

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RossClark1981 wrote 973 days ago

- The Golden Goodbye -

(Based on chapters 1-3)

I was very impressed by the first chapter. The action and dialogue move at break-neck speed so there is great pacing there and we learn a lot in a short space of time. A very good intro that I wouldn't tamper with. The only worry is with the use of the Beatles lyrics, which could land you in legal hot water in terms of a copyright infringement.

Chapter two has some nice background and character building. Very much a getting from A to B chapter but a well handled one. In terms of structure, I wondered why the first few paragraphs began on the previous night before moving on. It would have felt more logical and smooth to begin where the action takes place. Here I noted mistakes in dialogue in terms of punctuation. A comma should be used before terms of address. So 'Hey Boss,' should be 'Hey, Boss,' and so on.

In chapter three, I felt things moving a little too quickly and abruptly. Jason and Claire geeting together so quickly took some of the tension out of that relationship, and the story. Claire's reaction afterwards also seemed a bit OTT.

Nevertheless, an interesting story with good dialogue and tension.

All the best with it,


Jack Cerro wrote 1049 days ago

Hey Ken

I read the first chapter and a bit of the second and I got to wondering about motivation. Your MC seems so eager to help and get others to help yet there is no obvious reason for his actions. I can accept that he is just a good guy but it would be better if there was something that he saw in the girl that convinced him to help. Maybe she reminds him of someone. Perhaps you cover this later?

First paragraph: I think you could drop the last part of the last sentence to sharpen the opening a bit.( I could give a shit.) drop "if I could sing or not" and end on shit. This sounds stronger and none of the meaning is lost.

curiousturtle wrote 1119 days ago


I started reading your Opus and thought I would give you my cent and half:

The first thing that jumps here is the style. Is a gritty, low down, spit them up moment by moment perception where every moment is a dangling act promising the next to have the same urgency....

..... and that you deliver.

The jewel of the narrative however is how you mix dialogue with description to paint the psychological map of your central characters.

......the dialogue providing the impact......

......, the description...the atmosphere

Some of my favorites:

"the shards of broken glass....."

"On the surface of the brown .....

"in Imperial measures...."

Some Minor/Minorest/Minormost points:

I think this can be polished a bit further in the following way:

The descriptions could use Punk metaphors ... the punk dictum being...

make it ugly....describe it beautifully....

for ex: "her face white as a cadaver, taking the air out my mouth"

There....gritty.....but poetically beautiful

Thus, polishing it without loosing the flavor. ]
And by doing so, you amplify the emotions you are trying to bring about.....

..... .gritty....low down.....

I would also compress a bit the dialogue:

"I don't think so. They can be pretty vicious"
does the "I don't think so" adds anything?

That would add ruthless efficiency to the grittiness

"grudgingly accepted" "large lawn covered" "rather traumatic"
I would also cut a bit on the modifiers
because as Updike said: "the modern reader can fill in the blanks"

Let me know if that helps,

Overall, wonderful


carl horton wrote 1143 days ago

Hi Ken, Thanks for backing Change of Circumstance. I hope you enjoy reading it. I have put The Golden Goodbye on my watch list for now as I have several others waiting to be read. I like, with any book, to read as much as possible before making judgements. I will certainly comment but it may be a couple of weeks. Best wishes,

Clare Morris wrote 1168 days ago

I agree with the comments on the dialogue in the first chapter, but overall I like this - the fast paced scenes work, it's gritty but gripping and I think has real promise.

One for my bookshelf and I look forward to reading the rest.

Would appreciate your feedback on mine if you get chance.

Best wishes
Clare Morris
The Cloud Drivers: The Giant's Storm

J.S.Watts wrote 1174 days ago

A fast paced read with much to commend it. Having said that, I did have some problems with the opening chapter, which is, allegedly the all important one. For example, I found the dialogue between the two characters in the opening chapter to be a little too fast paced to be totally believable. I would have expected more small talk before getting stuck in to the story of her sister.

I noticed quite a few typos in chapter 1 which you will probably want to polish out to make this more publisher ready. I’ve listed a few here:

“raise her herself” should probably be “raise herself”.

You don’t need a capital after a semi-colon or after direct speech, as in ‘ “Why don’t you look where you’re fucking going”, she said……..’

Hope this is of some help.

A Darker Moon

Old Bob wrote 1180 days ago

Ken, good, gripping and fast paced. I think there's a real story here and am looking forward to reading beyond Chapter 1.

One comment: The beginning of conversation between Jason and Claire doesn't ring true to me. It seems (to me) that there should be more bantering between them before she spills her story. I don't know of too many times (in my life) someone starts off being that honest that quick. Anyway, I'm not a trained writer, so disregard that if you choose.

Seriously, you start fast and it looks like you know where you're going. Well done.

Old Bob

eurodan49 wrote 1190 days ago

Hi. Only had time to brows through the first few chapters but have enjoyed the pace enough to back it. My days are hectic and don’t have lots if time. If you would like a specific comment, send me a request and I’ll do my best.
Could you please take a look at mine?

Bradley Haynes wrote 1193 days ago

I have read all of the 15 chapters, this is an engrossing story and full of action with plenty of twists, I can't imagine how the book will end and I hope that you finish it.
Best of luck.
Bradley Haynes (Tricia)

Lara wrote 1205 days ago

I found this very gripping. Even by 12 I was still convinced by the characters and the action (steamy b y then). You write confidently and smoothly. Only occasionally does a phrase let you down. e.g. 'I beg you' from a contemporary young girl. Well done, high stars. Lara
A FEAST OF TALES under avatar of Good for Her

Eunice Attwood wrote 1236 days ago

This is an exciting compelling read, although not my usual genre. A great understanding of your character's makeup is evident. Backed with 5 stars. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

AVaughn wrote 1248 days ago

Ken, (remember it's just my opinion) 1st: The stilted, hard edged, blundt writing style might be more appealing to men. There is no finesse to the writing. Having said that, you don't need to color your descriptions, ie. "cappuccino foam beautiful patterns in the light brown liquid. If you're going to stay hard edged with your male character, then stay hard-edged, otherwise it really throws off the reader. 2nd. your writing style seemed to flow much better in chpt 2. probably because the dialog was absent. When you start talking about Cappy, introduce him, then do whatever your character needs to do (don't go on and on with a description of Cappy, since he has not entered the scene yet) Then, once you go see him, then give a better look into his character. There are substantial editing mistakes, but I just skipped over those. I did not feel drawn into the story. The first chapter was a bit intriguing but then it sorta fizzled for me. Gook Luck. Andrea (Mademoiselle Butterfly, and Serenity)

Katy Christie wrote 1264 days ago

Your writing has a nice flow to it, albeit that I felt it a bit stilted at times (e.g use of 'cannot' instead of 'can't'), but that's minor and on the whole the pace was good and I enjoyed the first chapter I read :)
Good luck with this one.
Katy Christie
No Man No Cry

Mr. Nom de Plume wrote 1272 days ago

A great beginning to the work. The dialogue is excellent. Backed. Chuck

andrew skaife wrote 1278 days ago

Well you use the first person narrative, which is difficult, but I consider it to be held up excellently. There is a real sense of the closeness to the characters and an interesting POV of the MC.

On top of excellent writing and a well structured use of dialogue you begin with a quote from the master himself and of all things, Othello! Brave.


Jim Darcy wrote 1279 days ago

An edgy thriller with the great South Arfican location - which caught my eye as my daughter was born in Jo'Burg. Dialogue is a strength and your Mc works very well as the fellow in the wrong place at the right time scenario. Very visual, agree with the guy about the screenplay - would be better than most so-called action films I've seen recently. Good luck with this.

celticwriter wrote 1286 days ago

Hi Ken. Both your works would make terrific films. But that's just the screenwriter in me. :-)


Eunice Attwood wrote 1304 days ago

Very smooth. Great energy between the characters. I personally like the references to the Beatles, and I'm glad you left it in. Another great book from a talented writer. Backed. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Jedda wrote 1306 days ago

I thought initially that this man was too good to be true.I was right, by the end of the first chap he had shown his true colours.Sex has to come into it. Well I enjoyed your tale and I shall back it. Have read Judy's comments and admire her effotrs to correct the errors that every one makes. I just go for the story and found yours worthy of a whirl on my shelf. Regards, Anne

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1321 days ago

Intriguing and filled with the promise of more to come. I like your style and I will come back for more. Paula Barrett (Cuthbert-how mean is my valley)

Lara wrote 1332 days ago

I enjoyed your writing. A good mix of glamour and excitement. Backed
Good for Him

klouholmes wrote 1347 days ago

Hi Ken, The POV has pace and the action gets right to the story. This is a fascinating setting and the interactions with Claire are well-rendered. It promises to be an exciting, convincing book. Happy to shelve - Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

nsllee wrote 1377 days ago

Hi Ken, I like this, once the action and dialogue gets going, it's really engrossing. I'd lose the first two paragraphs with the Beatles critique though. It doesn't seem to add anything and I'm not sure it's strong enough to start the novel with, given that their placement gives them a disproportionate amount of importance to the impatient agent's eye. Otherwise a nice efficient thriller. Backed.

Nicole (Chosen)

wespollet wrote 1382 days ago

Hello again Ken, Its another excellent novel. I like it and I BACK it. Harold Alvin(ICON)Wesley

J.Adams wrote 1383 days ago

Hi Ken,

I have had The Golden Goodbye on my watch list - along with lots of others - for far too long! I normally like to read several chapters and leave a comment. But...

Our family has adopted an 84 year old woman who has no family, and who is in need of a great deal of help - not ongoing, she is pretty self-sufficient - but she needs help with things she has let slide over several years --- medical, dental, cataract surgery, moving from an apartment with stairs she can't handle to a ground floor apartment, etc. I have not been able to spend as much time on Authonomy as I had hoped because of the time I've been devoting to "my little old lady," Betsy, who is a wonderful woman and I feel fortunate to have her in my life.

I really enjoy Authonomy and regret the time I can't seem to find for it! So, I have looked over your pitch read your first chapter and am backing it on these, even though I would like to read more. After I have Betsy settled, I will try to get back to this because you have written a compelling read and I want to find out what's going to happen!!

In the meantime, I spotted a couple of things in chapter one:

"cam" needs to be changed to "came" in:
"I steered Claire into a booth near the back of the bistro and Joe cam hustling..."

Tense issue
"Over the next thirty odd minutes Claire, her last name is Harrington by the way, related how..."
Everything else is past tense here, and then suddenly "her last name is" I think it would be smoother if it read "her last name was Harrington..."

"I pulled over the curb and insisted on walking her to the door." I know language usage is somewhat different from country to country, even if it's still English. So I don't know if pulling over the curb is right in some places. In the U.S., you'd pull up to the curb. If you pulled over it, you'd eventually destroy your tires. If this is a typo, then "I pulled over to the curb..." would work better.

I have to admit, I'm surprised to keep reading the word "coloured" because we didn't even use the word "coloured" when I was a kid, and I'm in my fifties. I know some rural Americans still use that word, but they are usually older. Is "coloured" still in common usage in South Africa?

"Cappy was happy If he had a regular supply of these." Either a period after "happy" or a lower case "i" for the word "if" -- or, if you are trying to emphasize the word "if" possibly put it in italics.

I am truly sorry I don't have the time to give this book an in-depth read and comment. When I get things straightened out with Betsy, I will get back to the books I haven't given as much attention to as I would like!

In the meantime, I sincerely wish you all the best with both of your books!


happypetronella wrote 1397 days ago

I must say I do like your Jason Stone novels - I love exciting things happening, and do they ever happen in this story. You've very much entertained me, so I'm putting this book on my shelf.

Andrew Burans wrote 1413 days ago

Your work is well written and well paced. Your use of imagery is excellent, the character development of Claire and Jason is solid, the dialogue is tight and realistic and this coupled with your descriptive writing style makes your finely crafted thriller a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

Rusty Bernard wrote 1419 days ago

Hi there,

If I have given you my backing I have read the pitch, loved it and then at least two chapters of your very fine work.

Then, if you do not help me with my Psychiatric Evaluation it will be partly your fault that I am stressed out and can no longer spend time on this site.

Lots of writers may than suffer breakdowns because of this!!!

eloraine wrote 1429 days ago

Lovely writing style, backed with pleasure. E.Loraine Royal Blood Chronicles book one

Butler's Girl wrote 1434 days ago

The Golden Good Bye

Clearly written, easy to read...smooth dialogue. Great imagery. I was transported to Capetown!
Needs a few grammatical errors correcting but other than that...a polished novel.
Alison Butler

SusieGulick wrote 1449 days ago

Dear Ken, I love that you had a Shakespeare quote before each chapter - that really set it off & I looked forward to see if there'd be another one on the next chapter. :) You did well in preparing me to read your book by your recap/pitch before your story began. It is a good read because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm "reading/commenting/backing" your book to help it move up on the charts (sending a message doesn't move your book up, but only "comment/backing"). Could you please return the favor by taking a moment to "comment/back" my 2 memoir books to help them move up? "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & the unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which at the end of the last chapter tells my illness now & my 6th abusive marriage I'm in. Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

Billiegirl wrote 1452 days ago

Original and believable voice. Fast paced and straight into the action. An engaging read. Good luck!

plip wrote 1478 days ago

As good as the first Stone book; minor quibble though - I doubt a girl running from gang-bangers would hesitate before accepting any help offered, and wouldn't ask why. As a former Capetonian, I remember the Woodstock, Hout Bay, Llandudno and Rosebank of the late sixties/early seventies. Seems some things change, but the same districts carry the same social implications still.

lizjrnm wrote 1479 days ago

Very easy to be drawn into this story - excellent narration and dialogue! Backed with pleasure.

The Cheech Room

Mooderino wrote 1483 days ago

You do an excellent job of establishing the narrator's voice immediuately. Funny, too.

There were some minor punctuation errors and some word repetition (particularly the word 'now') that could do with sorting out. Nothing a careful proofread wouldn't fix. The biggest one is that
"Hello." He said.
should be:
"Hello," he said.
A basic mistake like that will make your manuscript look very unprofessional

The idea that a guy who rescues women in trouble for a living happens to run into (over) a woman who needs exactly his services was a bit far fetched. Although the setting and main plot are both interesting, the set up felt contrived and unconvincing.

Best of luck with it.


jfredlee wrote 1483 days ago

Happy to back The Golden Goodbye.

-Jeff Lee

BJ Alexander wrote 1487 days ago

The Golden Good-bye-

Read your other one when you read Aspens for me so took a look at this one instead. I see you just uploaded it! This is the second in a potential series? Starts off by standing on its own, that's good!

This is very competent writing. You know your characters and your subject well. I do like a good suspense novel and this one shows a lot of promise.

One thing struck me but I'm not sure how to correct it. The sentence: "...the person on their hip and tossed them in front of the car." The 'thier' and 'them' sounds odd because it's only one person.

Also watch repeated words. In one place 'gear' was mentioned twice close together and near that, 'door' did the same. I read aloud to more easily catch those.

I'll back this to get it started for you. -Barb