It’s clear that author S.A. Cosby isn’t afraid to tackle the difficult issues of the day. His 2020 novel Blacktop Wasteland made many readers like me squirm while looking at what it’s like to be poor and black in America, especially the south. The protagonist in that book wanted so much to escape his life of crime, but didn’t know where to go. That novel was one of my favorite reads of 2020.
Razorblade Tears will be one of my favorite reads of 2021. The protagonists this time are the unlikely combination of a white father and a black father whose gay sons were killed. The police haven’t found the killers, and Ike Randolph and Buddy Lee are pretty sure nobody is trying too hard.
Like the protagonist in Blacktop Wasteland, Ike served his time and has kept a clean record since being released from prison. Buddy served time too, but he isn’t too worried about staying out of trouble because he is poor and uneducated and has very little to lose. Each man suffers acutely from the memory of how he reacted to learning their son was gay.
They intend to make up for their sins by finding out who murdered their boys, leaving a daughter behind.
The story is told in measured tones. The author paints such a wonderful picture of the anguish felt by each man for the way they treated their sons, and how they intend to make up for their shortcomings, no matter what it takes, no matter how much they have to lose.
Razorblade Tears is not a cheerful book, but it is a rewarding read. I loved watching the two men develop throughout the story. The ending, while not what I would call lighthearted, was entirely appropriate and satisfying.
Don’t miss this wonderful book, and this amazing writer.