Blacktop Wasteland

By S.A. Cosby,

Book cover of Blacktop Wasteland

Book description


'BLACKTOP WASTELAND may be the book of the year.' MICHAEL CONNELLY
'Sensationally good' LEE CHILD
'Stunning. Can't remember the last time I read such a powerful crime novel' MARK BILLINGHAM


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Why read it?

6 authors picked Blacktop Wasteland as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Even though I mostly write comedy, I love dark, gritty crime fiction. S.A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland is the real deal. It is a violent, full-throttle Southern noir thriller that kept me enthralled from the first page to the last.

The plot is full of surprising twists and turns that all make sense. The central character, Beauregard "Bug" Montage, is someone you can really root for. He used to be a top wheelman, but now he's a family man trying to go straight. He has pressure from all sides and eventually gets sucked back into a life of crime.

The dialogue…

From the moment I began reading Blacktop Wasteland, I knew S.A. Cosby would become one of crime fiction's most notable authors. His protagonist, Beauregard “Bug” Montage, drew me in and still won't let me go. What I love most are the gray areas between right and wrong, good and bad. There are no easy answers or choices in this strikingly honest look at Black life in the rural South. The action sequences and fights wing as true as Cosby’s characters and dilemmas.

Blacktop Wasteland is kind of like The Fast and the Furious only, you know, good. I felt transported to the criminal underbelly of rural Virginia. I loved the novel’s noir sensibility and I was fascinated by its exploration of moral ambiguity and identity. As a novelist and screenwriter, I often write about father-son relationships and much of Blacktop Wasteland is about our hero, Beauregard, trying (and failing) to escape his father’s criminal identity. But what’s truly great about Blacktop Wasteland is how it transcends the familiar “one last heist gone awry” paradigm. Daniel Nieh of The New York Times…

From Alex's list on crime with a cinematic sensibility.

A novel from a guy who is still writing for a change up. I’ve always enjoyed stories where ordinary flawed people get placed in extraordinary circumstances. It may be that those are the consequences of choices they’ve made, but often it’s just stuff that happens in life.

Weird stuff can happenI know this to be true; how you deal with stuff is what makes you, you.

From Simon's list on noir crime from old to new.

This is a high-octane thriller that never lets you relax—and I enjoyed every thrilling minute of it. Beauregard Montage, the fastest driver you’ll ever meet in prose, tries to get ahead through one daring con after another, and has us rooting for him all the way. I loved the slick, urbane, Southern voice of the narrator, the dizzying pace of the narrative, and the heartfelt passion of all the characters. It’s a joy ride I’ll never forget!

Seriously high octane excitement in this story of a Black professional getaway driver and hot rod mechanic  Bug Montage. Set in the deep south, it’s a tale of desperate people doing dangerous and crazy things to escape the claws of poverty that are always trying to drag them down. Bug and his family are wonderful characters you will bond with and want more of at the end of this rollercoaster of a book.

From Keith's list on novels and short stories.

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