Friday, November 12, 2021

67. Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

I had Cosby on my list but was not in a rush as he is so contemporary, I knew one of his books would come my way.  And indeed it did, as my mom passed his latest to me, including a great article about the author my dad had cut out.  I read the article after having finished the book.  Cosby has a great backstory and his own route to getting published is inspiring.  

He still had a day job at the time of the article, as the handyman at his wife's funeral parlor. The main character in Razorblade Tears is an ex-con who runs his own landscaping business. Cosby puts his knowledge to good use as yard tools and equipment feature heavily in the action. And there is a lot of action. It reminded me a lot of the Spenser books where he and Hawk have to go full commando.  It's a great set-up. Ike Randolph's gay son (whom he rejected due to his own homophobia) and his husband are brutally murdered and he and the husband's white trash dad (who also has his own roughneck past) pair up to get revenge.  They are a great buddy duo, both can fight and do crime and their banter is a mix of well-written repartee and heavier shit as they get to know and appreciate each other.  The bad guys are also a great mix.  He sets up a world that you don't want to end.  I'd love a series with these two.

It's well constructed with an excellent forward pace and fun writing.  I had one annoyance with a plot development where I felt the characters acted out of character and did something stupid (going to the burning house for those who have read it), but otherwise was thoroughly enjoying the ride.  Cosby does a genius trick here by putting forth a classic masculine badass revenge story yet wrapping it around today's social reality.  Homosexuality, homophobia and racism are big themes here, at times ever so slightly veering into the speechifying but otherwise essential elements to the narrative.  He proves that shit can be woke and badass.  The badass is really good, so that helps.  Just some great, creative fight scenes.

Very pleased to see this kind of book coming out today.

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