Gangsters Don’t Die

A Novel

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Book Description

Reading the West Book Awards Nominee

The “gloriously original” (The New York Times) and critically acclaimed crime series starring a Chicago hitman hiding out as a rabbi in the desert suburbs of Las Vegas comes to its thrilling conclusion

Mafia hit-man-turned-rabbi Sal Cupertine is ready to get out of the life. But it’s not going to be easy. His once-brilliant plan to pass himself off as Rabbi David Cohen is unraveling. Enemies on both sides of the law are hot on his trail. His wife and son are unreachable in witness protection and are probably in danger. In order to find his family, get out of the desert alive, and salvage his long-sought-after happy ending, Sal is going to have to confront some very bad people from his past.

Native American kingpin Peaches Pocotillo has wrested control of Chicago’s mob family while expanding his criminal empire in the west, and now seeks to settle an old score with Sal. These two antiheroes have a history that stretches back decades, and the blood feud between Peaches and Sal will lead them to a violent showdown deep in the heart of the low desert.

As complications cast old revelations in a new light, including one that stretches back to the long-ago death of Sal’s infamous gangster father Dark Billy Cupertine, Sal must team up with some unlikely allies—and confront the reality of who he has become—in this stunning conclusion to the popular and critically acclaimed Gangsterland trilogy.

About the Author

Praise For This Book

Reading the West Book Awards Nominee
A Southwest Book of the Year
Amazon, A Best Book of the Month
The Washington Post, A Most Anticipated Title
Deadly Pleasures Magazine, A Best Book of the Year
CrimeReads, A Notable Book of 2023

"Goldberg is charming and sharp, with a quip for every occasion . . . Although each book stands on its own, taken together, the Gangsterland novels read like a single sweeping story with a large cast and numerous storylines, which Goldberg compares to the slow-developing character arc over the course of several seasons of shows like Game of Thrones and The Wire. This gave Goldberg a great deal of latitude to tell the story in an emotionally satisfying way . . . Goldberg’s success in this anti-heroic mode is rare in the world of crime fiction. Where many writers emphasize the violence in their stories, Goldberg pays equal attention to its psychic aftermath." —Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times

"A delicious comic noir." —Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington Magazine

"End­less­ly enter­tain­ing . . . Gang­sters Don’t Die is an authen­tic, ful­ly real­ized, mod­ern-day noir thriller. For read­ers who want excite­ment but don’t want to skip out on char­ac­ter devel­op­ment and inte­ri­or­i­ty, this book is a great choice." —Ben­jamin Selesnick, Jewish Book Council

"The twists, turns and reversals are never-ending and the dialogue is off the hook. Goldberg is gifted in using artful F bombs and his candid observations through the narrative almost come off like Samuel Jackson." —Mike Sonsen, L.A. Taco

"The plotting alone is impressive as Cupertine and Cohen’s lives merge into one again, but Goldberg’s real skill is to explore morality and justice as his protagonist struggles to escape the consequences of his actions and his family’s bloody history." —Book and Film Globe

"Goldberg’s Gangsterland series has been one of the standouts in the world of crime fiction in recent years, and now the trilogy is coming to a conclusion with the publication of Gangsters Don’t Die. Sal Cupertino, the hit man on the lam, posing as a rabbi, is one of the more original figures you’ll come across, and now he’s making one last desperate gambit to get his life back. You won’t want to miss these books, so if you haven’t already, brush up on your Goldberg."—Dwyer Murphy, CrimeReads

"A mesmerizing comic noir that’s fully accessible to series newcomers . . . This is a stellar end to one of the most inventive crime series in recent memory." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Perhaps the most well-written of the trilogy’s installments, Gangster’s Don’t Die has a great story, exciting characters, and a few nifty surprises." —Booklist

“There’s a machine gun in this book, the rat-a-tat-tat prose that punches page after page—but don’t let it fool you, there’s also true wisdom in here. In the midst of the mobsters, rabbis, shysters, Springsteen, and of course the Torah, you will get an education—about family, about murder, and about having a code. Gangsters Don’t Die is delicious. Tod Goldberg is part-Chandler, part-shaman, and all-killer.” —Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The Lightning Rod

“Tod Goldberg concludes his smart, irreverent, and bloody Gangsterland trilogy with a bang. Gangsters Don't Die is a tour-de-force that is witty, violent, and brilliantly observed. With these three novels, Goldberg has forever changed the crime genre for the better—elevating it with unforgettable characters, humor, and style to spare. I didn't want it to end.” —Ivy Pochoda, author of Sing Her Down

"Tod Goldberg's Gangsters Don't Die is one of the best books I've ever read. Gripping? Yes. Gonzo-violent. Uh huh. Stuffed just right with pathos and hope, humor and despair, this story about a rabbi-slash-hitman aims for your head and explodes in your heart." —Rachel Howzell Hall, bestselling author of We Lie Here and These Toxic Things

“Only thing better than the smell of napalm in the morning is the heavy rain of body parts Tod Goldberg gives us here. That includes the heart, on every page of this conclusion to the Gangsterland series. I want Sal Cupertine to be my spiritual advisor now, please.” —Stephen Graham Jones, author of Don’t Fear the Reaper

Gangsters Don't Die is a highwire act of plot and character, filled with criminals whose deadpan sense of humor and willingness to kill for family, always for family, exists alongside the voice of Sal Cupertine, hitman turned rabbi, offering advice on belief and loyalty through the sage counsel of the Talmud. I found myself thinking all day about families, and love, at the heart of a thriller with the most inventive ways to describe killing I've read in a long, long time. Just stunning.” —Susan Straight, author of Mecca and In the Country of Women

Gangsters Don’t Die is a thrilling and sometimes hilarious exploration of the myth and the lie and the truth of The Life. A distillation of the gangster's code (hint: there really isn't one) and the Code we adopt as we find the lines in our lives we can't cross. It’s Death of a Salesman meets The Irishman with more laughs. I loved every minute of it." —S.A. Cosby, bestselling author of Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland

“Tod Goldberg writes like a skilled knifeman—he knows how to slice and how to stab, how to bleed you out fast or bleed you out slow. Gangsters Don’t Die shows how in the hands of a master, crime fiction can do anything: scare you, touch you, make you laugh, give you wisdom and Springsteen references (at the same time). A true pleasure to read.” —Jordan Harper, author of Everybody Knows