Reviews of Dark Fiction

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

What a ride!

This gritty crime novel had me wrapped up in the life of Beauregard Montage and his family. I felt bad for Beau, whose father left him a legacy of failed criminal, failed father, and a fondness for driving fast cars.

Beauregard’s auto repair shop is super slow thanks to the new place down the street, and his bills are piling up. His mom’s in a nursing home and his son needs braces. His daughter from a previous relationship is trying to go to college and that costs money too. His vows to live an above board life are now paling in the light of burgeoning responsibilities. His wife thinks he should sell his souped-up Plymouth Duster, but he won’t because that’s the only part of his dad he has left. He decides to do one more “job.” You know, just this one time only, to help he and his family get over this financial hump. I think we all know how that turns out.

I loved this book, I loved the characters, even the ones I hated, and I was pulling for Beauregard. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I know that he loved his family and he was going to do his best for them, no matter what. (I will admit to admiring his devious mind and his prodigious driving skills.)

I also very much enjoyed the word play and similes that popped up throughout. At one point, Beau’s bill pile was growing so much that it was described as financial tectonic plate movement. I laughed out loud at that one, because who hasn’t been there? It’s a perfect and vivid description that I could immediately relate to while still being succinct.

For me, personally, this book brought me back to when I was about 8-10 years old. I was a daddy’s girl and sometimes on Saturdays my dad brought me down to my uncle’s auto repair shop while he worked on a car or two. (It was either the repair shop or the pool hall, where I’d rack them up for Shirley Temples and Pacman money, but that’s another story.) My dad instilled in me a love for American Muscle cars, (as long as they weren’t Fords), and I harbor that love to this very day.

I was on the edge of my seat until the very end of this tale; the suspense was palpable, and I had to stop what I was doing and listen to the last half hour with no interruptions. The narrator, Adam Lazarre-White, had me captivated with his deep voice and I just could not pull myself away until it was all over. The Audible version of Blacktop Wasteland has a bonus short interview with the author at the end, which I enjoyed hearing.

Highly recommended, especially to fans of gritty crime novels!

*I purchased this audio with my hard-earned cash and this is my honest opinion.*

Blacktop Wasteland Book Cover Blacktop Wasteland
S.A. Cosby
MacMillan Audio
11 hours, 8 minutes

"Narrator Adam Lazarre-White's voice exudes confidence and depth; his performance is an example of how the best audiobooks deliver pure storytelling." (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)

A husband, a father, a son, a business owner...and the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.

Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hardworking dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: Known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast. He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear. Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland...or die trying. Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime. Best Books of the Year - 2020

Library Journal Best Books of the Year - 2020

NPR Best Book of the Year - 2020 New York Times Book Review

Notable Books of the Year - 2020 A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

“Sensationally good - new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended.” (Lee Child)

"A fast-paced, fresh take on noir that tears through the underbelly of Virginia." (New York Times)

“Blacktop Wasteland is a guaranteed thriller-of-the-year with muscle and heart and characters who will linger long after the last page is read. S.A. Cosby writes with grit and grace. Do not miss this one.” (Michael Koryta, best-selling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead)

2 thoughts on “Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby”

  1. One of the best of the year, right? Not sure I could handle a skillful narrator reading some of those passages w/o doubling up on my BP meds

    1. The narrator was freaking fabulous! Right now I’m listening to the same narrator perform S.A. Cosby’s latest, RAZORBLADE TEARS. It comes out in early July. This one too, is amazing so far!

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