Reviews of dark fiction (Under Construction)

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby, narrated by Adam Lazarre-White

Fresh off listening to BLACKTOP WASTELAND, I was approved for this audio: RAZORBLADE TEARS. I am struggling to find the words to describe how blown away I am. S. A. Cosby is the real deal, people. The REAL DEAL.

Ike, a black man, and Buddy Lee, a white man, are not friends but they do have something in common: the death of their sons. Both men are guilt ridden and that fuels their need for justice. Together they set out to find out what happened to their boys, and to make it right. Will they be successful? You’ll have to read this to find out! (Which you should. Like right now.)

I had no problem picturing the dime-store Sam Elliot of Buddy Lee, or the large, black, muscled build of Riot,(Ike), Randolph. Some of Buddy Lee’s observations had me laughing out loud and some of Ike’s responses did too. Tackling subjects such as rasicm and LGBTQ rights, and how they fit into current day Virginian life; both the author and the narrator carried it off with aplomb.

I love Cosby’s comparisons, in plain language, clear as day. I love his characters, so full of strength and feeling, even if they themselves would never admit it or don’t know it. Ike and Buddy Lee’s life experiences and personalities were so vivid and real, while being completely different from anything I’ve ever known; yet they ring true. Those truths are brought home whether or not the reader wants to face them.

S.A. Cosby is a new to me author, but I’m already a huge fan. This man has a style of writing that’s both arresting and compelling. It seizes you and once that happens, it’s all over for you. You’re going to read this, (or listen, as I did), compulsively until you’re done. The levels of suspense here reach dangerous-for-your-blood-pressure levels. (Good think I’m on medication already.) The denouement was so tense that I don’t want to share one word of it, for fear of spoiling anything.

The narrator, Adam Lazarre-White, does a truly amazing job, especially with the character of Buddy Lee. I freely admit to laughing out loud here and there, usually just before yet another super tense situation took my breath away altogether. Adam’s voicing of Buddy Lee charmed me to the point of finding myself wishing to have a drink with the man, if only to experience that charm in person.

RAZORBLADE TEARS, think about that title and what it means. Then go buy this book on Tuesday and see if your thoughts match up to the real thing.

My highest recommendation!

Thank you to Macmillan Audio, NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.

Razorblade Tears Book Cover Razorblade Tears
S.A. Cosby
Crime, Dark Fiction, Mystery, African-American, Suspense, Thriller
Mac
July 6, 2021
Audiobook
12 hours
NetGalley

“Superb.... Cuts right to the heart of the most important questions of our times.” (Michael Connelly, number one New York Times best-selling author)

A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance.

Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.

The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.

Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.

Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.

Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby's Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change - and maybe even redemption.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

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