Happy belated release to one of my most anticipated books for 2021!
Thanks to Flatiron Books for the free copy in exchange for my honest review
RAZORBLADE TEARS – S.A. Cosby (Released July 6th, 2021)
You can see our thoughts on BLACKTOP WASTELAND, Cosby’s other book, here!
“Superb…Cuts right to the heart of the most important questions of our times.” —Michael Connelly,
#1 New York Times bestselling 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
My Thoughts: 5/5 stars
Last year, BLACKTOP WASTELAND was easily my favorite book of 2020, so I won’t lie when I say that I went into this one with really high expectations. Let me tell you, RAZORBLADE TEARS blew them out of the water. I knew going into it that I was probably going to end up binge-reading it and before I knew it half the book was finished and I couldn’t stop. Cosby’s writing style hits hard and is so addictive. Much like BLACKTOP WASTELAND, this is a very character driven novel and we get an incredibly clear picture of our main characters.
Ike Randolph and Buddy Lee Jenkins are two men whose lives come colliding together after the deaths of their sons. When the police tell them that the investigation has gone inactive it doesn’t sit well with the grieving fathers. Both are ex-cons and have tried to keep their criminal lives in the past, but that is all about to change when they take the investigation into their own hands. They know from experience that not everyone will talk to cops but they have ways of making people cooperate. The journey these two go on together is intense. Not only are they trying to fight for their sons, but they also have to overcome their own prejudices about each other and come face-to-face with the lives of Isiah and Derek that they shut out because they didn’t approve of their marriage.
What I remember loving about BLACKTOP WASTELAND was how real the emotions felt. The agony, conflict, grief, regret, and anger these men were experiencing just jumped off the page. There were parts that gave me chills. Parts that just rip your heart out and, thankfully, some comedic relief from Buddy Lee. It’s so hard to articulate exactly how I feel about this book without potentially spoiling anything, but I think that it’s going to be one that sticks with you and makes you truly reflect. If you want a book with conflicted and complicated characters with a healthy dose of grit and action, then you need to get this book now (and not let it sit on the TBR stack for too long). I will never stop recommending either of Cosby’s books and now the wait begins for his next release.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars
There are not enough stars in the world for this book. This one grabs you right in the short and curlies and pulls you along with every heart wrenching, action packed scene. And Cosby is just genius. I figured as much after reading Blacktop Wasteland and it is cemented after reading this book. A book that slapped me straight in the heart and made me scream ‘Mommy!”
The title you will completely understand the first time you read it in this book. I cannot begin to describe and tell you of all the very big lessons that are learned throughout this read and the very human way Cosby brought it to our very souls by way of our eyes or ears. This is the second book I’ve read in a row where parents had to do whatever the fuck it took for their kids.
If you have read Blacktop Wasteland, you’ll know that it is a very character driven novel (also outstanding and if you haven’t read either of these, do yourself a favor and immediately stop reading this review and go purchase them NOW). RAZORBLADE TEARS is no different and we get DEEP into the hearts of Ike and Buddy Lee. Two men, bound by their sons deaths. Bound by their hard lives. Each learning lessons from the other as they pursue their common goal. Y’all, if there’s one big thing to take from this is, if you have an issue with your gay child, if they are stripped from your life altogether and six feet under, would you really give a shit who they had in their bed as long as they were happy and alive?
This story does have a lot of action and we also get some levity through Buddy Lee so fear not if you’re not into character driven stories – this one is punch full and it would surprise me if you had a hard time putting it down. I need to go pick up my heart as it is in a zillion teeny pieces at the moment. Cosby, you brilliant author, you – thank you for putting this amazing story and all it stands for into the public. We need more of this.