Friday 27 August 2021


Synopsis/blurb ....


Ike Randolph left jail fifteen years ago, with not so much as a speeding ticket since.
But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.

Ike is devastated to learn his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah's white husband, Derek. Though he never fully accepted his son, Ike is broken by his death.

Derek's father Buddy Lee was as ashamed of Derek being gay as Derek was of his father's criminal past. But Buddy Lee - with seedy contacts deep in the underworld - needs to know who killed his only child.

Desperate to do better by them in death than they did in life, two hardened ex-cons must confront their own prejudices about their sons - and each other - as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.

A provocative revenge thriller and an achingly tender story of redemption, this novel is a ferocious portrait of grief; for those loved and lost, and for mistakes than can never truly be undone.


'Superb...Cuts right to the heart of the most important questions of our times.' MICHAEL CONNELLY
'The very definition of a white-knuckle ride' IAN RANKIN

My third rodeo with author S. A. Cosby after having previously enjoyed Blacktop Wasteland and My Darkest Prayer. Razorblade Tears was much enjoyed, but probably a fraction less than the other two.

It's a hard-hitting revenge thriller, as two long in the tooth, ex-cons seek answers for the murder of their gay sons. 

Bereavement, family, regrets, intolerance, mistakes, racism, homophobia, sexuality, conspiracy, power, a kickass take no prisoners amateur investigation and after a lot of spilled blood some street justice.

I liked the story. It's fast-moving, exciting, violent with more than a few twists and turns along the way. Ike and Buddy Lee butt heads and more with a gang of bikers and it's always a good thing when racist dunderheads get their asses handed to them on a plate. The revelation of the puppet master pulling the strings was a tad predictable, but it did tie in with the rest of the book. And I suppose there's a 'well who else could it be' question that I wouldn't be able to answer.

The two bad hombres made for a formidable pairing and it was enjoyable seeing them easily fall back into some habits of their pasts. I think what I found sad was that enlightenment and the realisation of the depth of their love for their sons only happened after they had died. The quest for revenge made themselves feel better, but their sons were still in their graves. Sort of too little, too late. You should have loved them better when they were alive.

Interesting, topical, relevant and a satisfying read.

4 from 5

Read - August, 2021
Published - 2021
Page count - 337
Source - Net Galley
Format - Kindle


  1. It sounds as though this really is hard-hitting, Col. And I could imagine how a person could really want/need revenge after the murder of a son. Sounds like there's some interesting background here, too, which adds to the story. Glad you liked it.

    1. Margot, I'm a big fan of this author's work. Lots to enjoy here.

  2. I'm on the line whether I enjoyed Blacktop Wasteland or Razorblade Tears more. Razorblade Tears is more complex and expands on the themes of being black in the US and about family. And as you say, it's ultimately sad that the two fathers were not able to accept their sons while they were alive.

    One aspect I liked is that Cosby sets his books not far from where I live so it's pretty cool to hear place names and being able picture in my mind where the action is taking place.

    After writing this I have to give Razorblade Tears a slight edge on Blacktop Wasteland but they are both cracking good action thrillers with underlying messages.

    1. Mack, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think I still favour Blacktop Wasteland over this one, but I've really enjoyed all his books.

  3. This is an author I feel like I should read, and want to read, but his books seem to be filled with violence, maybe more than I can handle.

    1. Tracy, I don't think the violence is OTT and is pitched perfectly in the context of the story. I think you would get on fine with it for the most part. There is a lot of emotion throughout the book.