NPR Reviews S.A. Cosby’s “Razorblade Tears”

Two Fathers Risk It All To Avenge Their Murdered Sons In This New Thriller

By Carole V. Bell

Reading Razorblade Tears is a visceral full-body experience, a sharp jolt to the heart, and a treat for the senses. S. A. Cosby’s moody southern thriller marries the skillful action and plotting of Lee Child with the atmosphere and insight of Attica Locke.

At the center of the storm are two battle-scarred, middle-aged men who’ve served hard time — one Black, one white, both desperate to get some rough justice for their murdered sons. Cosby’s characters are specific and vividly rendered, and he paints a determinedly bleak yet thoroughly compelling picture of their plight. A brash and unabashed redneck and a tatted up Black small businessman barely holding on to his restraint, Buddy Lee Jenkins and Ike Randolph are virtual strangers who should have become family when their boys fell in love. But bigotry and bad judgment are hard habits to break, so that happy union never happened. Their sons, Isiah and Derek, dated in college, got married, made a home and had a daughter. They made a life that neither Ike nor Buddy Lee’s disapproval could touch. But none of that matters when Derek and Isiah are gunned down on their anniversary. Read the full review at NPR.

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