One of the hundred books a year I read:

One of the hundred books a year I read:

S.A. Cosby Razorblade Tears

Razorblade Tears

S.A. Cosby

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A few months ago, I shared S.A. Cosby’s terrific Blacktop Wasteland with you. I said at the time that he did such a terrific job of capturing life in small town Appalachia and looked forward to reading more and he proved it again with Razorblade Tears.

Ike Randolph has worked hard over the last 15 years to build a successful landscaping business, not an easy task for a black, ex-con in a small town. When a police officer knocks on his door, all the memories come to surface, but the news is even worse. His son, Isiah, had been murdered along with his husband, Derek.

On top of his grief, Ike struggled with guilt. He had never been able to accept his son’s sexuality, so their relationship was strained. He could only assume the young men were killed in a hate crime. A few months later, when their tombstone is vandalized, he’s infuriated despite his own conflicted feelings.

Buddy Lee, Derek’s father, is also an ex-con, but his life is in shambles. He drinks too much and lives in a dilapidated trailer alone. He was also estranged from his son.

The police have made little headway in solving the murder, so Buddy reaches out Ike and suggests the two of them try to figure out what happened. Buddy’s casual racism irritates Ike, but he agrees something needs to happen.

When they follow the trail, they unwittingly cross paths with a violent biker gang determined to stop their investigation. Ike and Buddy are convinced that the bikers are responsible, but also believe someone hired them, but who would do such a thing? What sort of secrets are they hiding?

This violent story tackles difficult topics, but is wonderfully written. Ike and Buddy both irritated me with their attitudes and beliefs, but also had me rooting for them in a bitter war with a ruthless enemy.

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