cover image Razorblade Tears

Razorblade Tears

S.A. Cosby. Flatiron, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-25270-8

In this strong crime novel from Thriller Award finalist Cosby (Blacktop Wasteland), the double murder of married couple Isiah Randolph and Derek Jenkins, shot dead outside “a fancy wine store” in Richmond, Va., drives African American Ike Randolph and self-proclaimed redneck Buddy Lee Jenkins, both hardened ex-cons, to track down their sons’ killers. For the fathers, it’s not just simple vengeance but a matter of redemption for having rejected their sons because they were gay. Ike and Buddy Lee soon realize that the double killing was not merely a hate crime but tied to their sons’ search for an elusive girl known only as Tangerine. Looking for Tangerine leads the pair to a Nazi biker gang, and when Ike and Buddy Lee refuse to back off after a violent encounter, things escalate: Ike’s home is destroyed, his wife seriously injured, and their granddaughter abducted. The relentless pace and at times brutal action stand out, but more memorable are the richly developed characters of Ike and Buddy Lee. Along the way, the book provides a nuanced take on contemporary race and LGBTQ issues of a type not commonly found in crime fiction. Chalk up another winner to Cosby. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Literary. (July)