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Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Title: Razorblade Tears

Author: S.A. Cosby

Year Published: 2021

Category: Adult fiction (mystery, LGBTQ)
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map)USA (VA)

Summary (from Amazon): Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.

The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.

Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed of his father's criminal record. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.

Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.

Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby's Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change - and maybe even redemption.

Review: Another Book of the Month book and it's during RIP XVI so this is my first book for the challenge.

I had a difficult time trying to decide the rating to give this book. I think it's well done, the writing flows and the characters are strong. But... it just wasn't for me. It's felt very male. There is lots of gory violence, swearing, crass concepts, racism, and misogyny. I guess that isn't fair to call it male with all those negative descriptors, but that's the feeling I got. It's like an action movie with lots of explosions: I know tons of people who would appreciate it and rave about it, but not me.

Ike and Buddy are good characters, though. They are so set in their ways of thinking about homosexuality that they cannot support their own sons so when the young men are killed, guilt, grief, and longing work to bring these two men together for revenge. The book does a really good job of showing various attitudes toward the LGBTQ community, the strength of militias, and of hate groups and the impact of their actions. In that way, this is an important book. 

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Diversity

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