cover image Blacktop Wasteland

Blacktop Wasteland

S.A. Cosby. Flatiron, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-25268-5

Former wheelman Beauregard “Bug” Montage, the hero of this high-octane neo-noir thriller set in 2012 Virginia from Cosby (My Darkest Prayer), has attempted to put his criminal past behind him, and is now married with children and the owner of his own auto shop. But as his financial woes pile up—his business is failing, his terminally ill mother is being kicked out of her nursing home, his oldest child is almost in college—he’s forced to take a potentially lucrative job as a getaway driver in a jewelry heist with people he doesn’t trust. Somewhat predictably, the robbery goes wrong, and Bug is soon fighting for not only his own life but also the lives of his wife and children. The example of his own failed father dogs him throughout. The gritty, brutal narrative is complemented by the author’s sublime use of sensory description and regional imagery. In addition, the epic, jaw-dropping chase sequences that figure prominently are reason alone to read this pedal-to-the-metal but profoundly sorrowful novel. Cosby is definitely a writer to watch. Agent: Josh Getzler,Hannigan Salky Getzler. (July)