Say Goodbye and Goodnight
by David Ruggerio
Black Rose Writing

"Often it felt like God was far off in the distance, though there was always that affirmation of an unseen helping hand. Still, behind every twist and turn, a demon was hiding . . . "

It’s a summer of love, family, and boxing for sixteen-year-old Italian-American Anthony “Ant” Marino. As Ant trains away his mornings with Izzy, a boxing coach who reshapes street urchins into respectable young men and tough fighters, Ant navigates a steamy romance with the heavenly Gia, a girl he comes to love, adore, and respect beyond belief. As Ant mediates the tense relationship between his brother, Sal, and his father, Ant becomes a family pillar, wise and determined beyond his years. However, in a city filled with life, food, clubs, and crime, and amid the sweaty days of training and the hot nights of romance, creeps something sinister: the .44 Caliber Killer who preys on young women and reshapes Anthony and Gia’s future—and the future of their families—more than either could ever imagine.

Set against the backdrop of New York City’s Italian community, this novel blends New York City brashness and humor with the wit and whimsy of a young man exploring his youth, his ideals, and his purpose. With its Godfather-like characters and settings, this book displays the ever-controversial and ever-changing demands and ties of cultural duty and mindset, familial ties and expectations, and the complexities of father-son relationships. The psychologically thrilling parts of this book stem from its portrayal of the .44 Caliber Killer, an unseen enemy that young Anthony Marino feels he and his friends must stop before he harms the young women in their community. Readers of romance, suspense, and murder mystery will enjoy this book, as will those who enjoy a more historically based type of fiction.

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