Thank you to Macmillan Audio for providing me with an early audiobook of Razorblade Tears in exchange for an honest review!
Synopsis: A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance
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 his father was a criminal. 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.
Content Warnings: Racism (+slurs), Homophobia (+slurs), Transphobia, Violence, Blood, Kidnapping.
I’m gonna be real, if we exclude the horror genre, I don’t believe I have ever read anything as dark and violent as Razorblade Tears. S.A. Cosby’s crime novel is in a realm of its own (with maybe Blacktop Wasteland, but I’ve yet to read that one yet, so –.)
Seeing the reviews, it’s safe to say that a lot of people loved Razorblade Tears; unfortunately, love is a strong word & I’ve never been very good with commitment. However, I did like the book & the plot has an extremely good (& heartbreaking) premise. Perhaps, my issue is that it’s predominately character-driven & maybe that’s just not for me, because any scenes that didn’t include Ike and Buddy Lee, my interest waned big time.
Our main characters, Ike and Buddy Lee, are beyond flawed. Throughout their journey, they are forced to undergo a lot of growth. Unfortunately, throughout this growth, it felt like we had several repeats of the same conversation: both are horrible fathers who are extremely homophobic & did not accept their sons while they were alive. On one hand, this is perfectly fine — change doesn’t happen at the snap of a finger unless you are Thanos & happen to be equipped with the Infinity Gauntlet. Learning takes time & that’s perfectly fine as long as you continue that growth, but in the short span of a novel, it gets a bit tiring rereading the same thing over and over again.
Buddy Lee also learns a lot when it comes to racism & there are some very important lines in this book that should be printed for everyone to read. S.A. Cosby is sure to open a few eyes when it comes to what life is like being a Black person in America. Razorblade Tears’ social commentary makes this book beyond worth reading.
Adam Lazarre-White, the Audiobook Narrator: Adam gets 5,001 stars for doing the narration of Razorblade Tears. His voice absolutely nails the range of characters; making each person distinguishable regardless of if the text states who said what. He delivers Buddy Lee’s one-liners like it’s nobody’s business. After listening to Razorblade Tears, I really believe Adam is the only person who could bring this story to life this well.
Although I didn’t necessarily fall in love with Razorblade Tears, I do believe that this book is worth picking up.