Ike and Buddy Lee don't have much in common - one is Black and the other is White. Their paths wouldn't normally cross in their small Virginia town. But what they do have in common are their sons. Sons that loved each other, married and had a child. Sons that are now dead, gunned down for who knows what reason. The cops don't seem to be making any progress with the case, so the two men reluctantly join forces to try and find who killed them. And make them pay. The other thing they have in common? They were both alienated from their sons for their own homophobic bias, they've both served hard time and although they're living the straight and narrow now, they each have a history of violence.
Cosby has created two anti heroes that will immediately have the reader firmly behind them on their quest for justice. Or maybe vengeance is a better descriptor. The action is non stop, the plotting intricate and believable, the dialogue true and the writing addictive. I couldn't put the book down.
"There was no turning back. There was no path that led anywhere except down a long road as dark as your first night in hell and paved all along the way with bad intentions. They could call what they were seeking justice, but that didn't make it true. It was unquenchable, implacable vengeance. And life, inside the graybar and out, had taught him that vengeance came with consequences."
But the real draw amongst all the above is Ike and Buddy Lee. There's more to these two than what they show to the world. They loved their sons, but.... And along the road to redemption, those buts are challenged, their guilt, grief, loss and yes, love is revisited. There's a number of supporting players that are just as well drawn.
Razorblade Tears is a raw, powerful, gritty, gut wrenching good novel - with many truths woven through it. Absolutely, positively recommended.
And the title? "Tears ran from his eyes and stung his cheeks. Tears for his son. Tears for his wife. Tears for the little girl they had to raise. Tears for who they were and what they all had lost. Each drop felt like it was slicing his face open like a razorblade."
Razorblade Tears has already been optioned by Paramount Players. The casting has to be carefully chosen to do right by Cosby's book. This reader also hopes that Cosby is hard at work on his next book. He's firmly planted on my 'must read' list. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Razorblade Tears.