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Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Razorblade Tears


Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to Razorblade Tears!

by S.A. Cosby
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Quick take

Two dads with a very particular set of skills attempt to solve the mystery of their sons' gruesome deaths.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Acclaim

    Critically acclaimed

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_GraphicViolence

    Graphic violence


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.

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Why I love it

If you loved S.A. Cosby’s last novel, Blacktop Wasteland, as much as I did, then you know that the bar was set pretty high for the next book. But I’m delighted to share that Razorblade Tears is even better, if such a thing is possible! I shut out the entire world for two days while reading, as I found it impossible to tear myself away from this amazing story. You’ll love the action in the book, but it’s the characters’ personal journeys that will stay with you long after you put it down.

Razorblade Tears is a vivid and heart-pounding ride into the lives of two fathers, Ike Randolph and Buddy Lee, who have suffered unspeakable losses: Their sons—married to each other—have been brutally murdered. In the midst of their devastation, they join forces to learn who committed the horrific crimes. Both fathers have a history of being on the wrong side of the law—but as they set out on a blood-soaked journey of revenge, they’re forced to examine their own prejudices before they can pursue justice for their boys.

I loved everything about this brilliant, unforgettable book. The plot moves at a breakneck pace, the characters jump right off the page, and the setting evokes the lushness of rural Virginia. But it’s the heart and soul of Razorblade Tears that moved me the most. This is a crime noir novel that not only entertains but carries a profound and affecting message about life in modern America.

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