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Andrea’s Pick of the Week: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Quentin Tarantino meets The Odd Couple in this searing, heartfelt, suspenseful book. Ike Randolph is a Black ex-con who has been playing it straight for 15 years. He runs his own landscaping business and has made a quiet, stable life for himself with his wife Mya outside of Richmond, Virginia. When his only child Isiah is brutally murdered along with his husband Derek, Ike’s world is turned upside down. At the funeral he is approached by Buddy Lee Jenkins, Derek’s father. The two men have never even met – but when the police trail in solving their sons’ murders runs cold, they decide they are going to find the killers and avenge their deaths. Both men have violent pasts that they’ve put behind them, but are willing to walk that path again if it means justice for their boys. Both also had fractured relationships with their sons, as neither was able to accept their homosexuality. Now that the boys are gone, Ike and Buddy Lee are wracked with guilt over how poorly they treated them, and much as they might deny it, that guilt is what lies behind their quest for justice.

S.A. Cosby (Sam Sauter Photography)

Action-packed and violent, this buddy novel gone rogue explores the dark side of the South, with motorcycle gangs, drug dealers, and other shady characters. At the same time, it’s a poignant story, as the characters come to terms with their grief for their sons, their homophobia and in Buddy Lee’s case, his racism. Cosby tempers his tough subject matter with a big dose of humor, mostly through the dialogue between Buddy Lee and Ike. This terrific read is great for fans of Don Winslow, Attica Locke, or Joe R. Lansdale.

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