Review: Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby


Release date: July 14, 2020

Publisher: Flatiron

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

He thought he’d left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can’t-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver’s seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland…or die trying.

Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.


Ok friends, this one is a MUST read! This is especially true if you’re fan of action packed, dark, gritty, emotionally charged thrillers. The writing is painfully beautiful and evocative and while it’s exciting and bold, it also examines race and poverty through a sharp lens. It’s also highly atmospheric and so well described, it’s basically begging to be made into a movie, I really can’t say enough good things about this one.

Bug is the type of character that is so well crafted you wouldn’t be surprised to see him jump off the pages, hop into a car and drive like the wind. Never before have I read about a character that is more conflicted than he is, he’s a good man who wants what’s best for his family but he has demons, he can’t escape his past and he can’t quite get rid of the feeling that being a getaway driver is what he’s made to do, it’s who he is, it’s in his blood. It’s a constant struggle for him and that’s even before you touch on his struggles as a Black man trying to provide for his family in a world that is constantly pushing him backwards for every step forward he manages to take. His conflicts and issues were so well written they were a tangible thing, at times his pain and brutal honesty took my breath away.

Between the vivid and action packed scenes and the deep and complex characterization of Bug and his family I just couldn’t get enough of this one. If you enjoy dark noir style crime fiction that may break your heart a little one minute and then have you on the edge of your seat in anticipation the next you cannot miss this one!

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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