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Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby
Thriller

Blacktop Wasteland

by S.A. Cosby

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Quick take

There’s down bad, then there’s the rock-bottom financial hole Bug Montage is in, the kind that makes men take risks...

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SocialIssues

    Social issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action

    Action-packed

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Rural_update

    Rural

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Underdog

    Underdog

Synopsis

Beauregard “Bug” Montage: husband, father, honest car mechanic. But he was once known—from North Carolina to the beaches of Florida—as the best getaway driver on the East Coast. Just like his father, who disappeared many years ago.

After a series of financial calamities (worsened by the racial prejudices of the small town he lives in) Bug reluctantly takes part in a daring diamond heist to solve his money troubles— and to go straight once and for all. However, when it goes horrifically wrong, he’s sucked into a grimy underworld which threatens everything, and everyone, he holds dear ...

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Blacktop Wasteland.
Blacktop Wasteland

ONE

Shepherd’s Corner, VA

2012

Beauregard thought the night sky looked like a painting.

Laughter filled the air only to be drowned out by a cacophony of revving engines as the moon slid from behind the clouds. The bass from the sound system in a nearby Chevelle was hitting him in his chest so hard, it felt like someone was performing CPR on him. There were about a dozen other late-model cars parked haphazardly in front of the old convenience store. In addition to the Chevelle, there was a Maverick, two Impalas, a few Camaros and five or six more examples of the heyday of American muscle. The air was cool and filled with the scent of gas and oil. The rich, acrid smell of exhaust fumes and burnt rubber. A choir of crickets and whippoorwills tried in vain to be heard. Beauregard closed his eyes and strained his ears. He could hear them but just barely. They were screaming for love. He thought a lot of people spent a large part of their life doing the same thing.

The wind caught the sign hanging above his head from the arm of a pole that extended twenty feet into the air. It creaked as the breeze moved it back and forth.

CARTER SPEEDE MART against a white background. The sign was beginning to yellow with age. The letters were worn and chipped. The cheap paint flaking away like dried skin. The second “E” had disappeared from the word “SPEEDEE.” Beauregard wondered what had happened to Carter. He wondered if he had disappeared too.

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Why I love it

I’m so delighted that BOTM readers will get a chance to read Blacktop Wasteland! I was thrilled to share my thoughts with BOTM readers on S.A. Cosby’s last novel, Razorblade Tears, and it’s a pleasure to rave about this novel as well. Blacktop Wasteland is a superspeed-paced heist novel and a gripping rural noir, but most of all, it’s a story about a man coming to terms with family, identity, and parenthood.

The novel tells the story of Bug Montage, now an honest mechanic and owner of his own repair shop, but formerly the best wheelman on the Eastern Seaboard. When financial pressures become overwhelming, Bug agrees to take part in one last heist. But, things don’t go as planned, and Bug is dragged back into the life he’d hoped to escape.

Blacktop Wasteland is a fantastic thriller, but it’s so much more than that. It’s an examination of racism and poverty in the modern South, and the choices people make to transcend their circumstances. There’s also plenty of dark humor in the book, and Cosby depicts rural Virginia with an insider’s perspective. And did I mention that there are some of the most thrilling car chase scenes ever written in the novel! On so many levels, this is an enthralling book to read. I promise you’ll keep turning the pages for the plot and the action, but the character of Bug Montage will stay with you after you’ve finished it. It’s my honor to recommend Blacktop Wasteland; another of S.A. Cosby’s masterpieces.

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Member ratings (1,830)

  • Jessica K.

    New York, NY

    SA Cosby nails character development. I love his writing. It’s raw and gritty and emotional and I don’t ever feel like there’s a lull or filler in his writing. Cosby is an auto buy author for me now!

  • Candy R.

    Idaho Falls , ID

    I know this book has been out awhile but… It was so good! I read this in one sitting because I just couldn’t find a stopping point. Lively characters, great plot and very well thought out story. ❤️

  • Andrea W.

    Longview, TX

    Criminal primer: You’re never really *out* of the business. The risk is high, but so is the money. Choose your crew carefully, and don’t get greedy. Be prepared to do a deal. And always have a backup.

  • Eudora L.

    Media, PA

    S.A. Cosby is a phenomenal writer; I felt several emotions in the span of a paragraph, and smelled the pine hills of North Carolina as he wrote. It’s a heist but it’s way more - go beneath the surface

  • Kathleen P.

    San Ramon, CA

    A true can’t put it down book - full of adrenaline and emotions. I love the authors writing style and how connected I felt to the characters. The ending felt insufficient but I’m hoping for a sequel!

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