Razorblade Tears is my second novel by S.A. Cosby. I loved his 2020 release Blacktop Wasteland, so I was very excited but also nervous to read his newest release. But ya’ll this book is just as good or even maybe better than Blacktop Wasteland.
At it’s core, Razorblade Tears, is about two father-son relationships that end to soon. Set in Virginia, and covering hard topics such as race, homophobia, and fatherhood, Razorblade Tears follows two fathers who stumble upon an unlikely friendship.
Ika Randolph has been out of the Coldwater State Penitentiary for the last 15 years. He’s built a business from the ground up and has washed his hands of his criminal past. Buddy Lee Jenkins another ex-con is an alcoholic and struggling to find something to live for. Jenkins and Randolph are polar opposites and grew up in very different worlds, the only reason their paths even cross is because of the love their sons have for each other. When their boys are murdered, both men are struck with grief not only for their lost son but also for the regrets and guilt they hold over how they each treated their gay son. That might be all to the story, except neither father is satisfied with how the investigate into the murders are being handled, so they decide to do a bit of investigating themselves, which leads them into the middle of a criminal bike gang and political corruption. Randolph and Jenkins may be old men now, but they still know a few tricks from their past lives, and their need for vengeance on those who killed their sons will feed them all the way through the end.
Told through various POVs, but mainly through the eyes of Randolph and Jenkins, we watch as the two fathers not only come to turns with the types of fathers they were, but also try to understand the lives of their sons better. I really enjoyed the multiple POVs in this story. Cosby does a fantastic job of creating flawed characters that will resonate with readers across the board. Yes, the mystery and the plot are great within the story, but it’s really the character building and the theme of redemption that truly makes this story stand out.
This book does have a bit of graphic violence, but don’t let that scare you away from picking this book up. I would also highly recommend the audio version of this books as narrator Adam Lazarre, does an outstanding job of voicing our characters.
This southern noir is one you won’t want to miss. The intense prose and deep characterizations will keep you reading. I highly recommend this for my crime and mystery fans especially those who are looking for raw and character driven stories.
Razorblade Tears is out July 6, 2021. Huge thank you to Macmillan Audio for my advanced copy for my honest review. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof_books.