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Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel by [S. A. Cosby]
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Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,821 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of July 2020: On the face of it, Blacktop Wasteland is one in a long list of books riffing on a popular trope: the career criminal who wants just one last bite at the cherry, one last job to set him up for peaceful, affluent retirement. Beauregard “Bug” Montage however, is an African American man, living in the rural south, which leaves him a few steps behind the starting line when it comes to getting ahead. He can’t afford to dream about Mai Tais on the beach. He needs money just to pay for his kid’s braces, to keep his mother from being evicted from her nursing home, and to pay the back rent on his auto body shop, which will be sold to the developers if he can’t catch up. There’s a part of him—driving his Dad’s old racing car, the Duster—that became legendary as the best getaway driver in three states. That part knows what it wants to do: take part in a heist. But the pull between poverty, paternity, and posterity is agonizing: does he want to be Beauregard, the family man flying right, or does he want to be Bug, firing up the Duster to follow in his Dad’s footsteps? Blacktop Wasteland is a slick, rural, Southern noir caper threaded with what the author has referred to as “tragic masculinity,” which means it will thrill you and break your heart all at the same time. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review
Editors' pick: Blacktop Wasteland is a pedal to the metal thriller about a retired getaway driver—caught between the rock of poverty and the hard place of Southern racism—who gambles on one last heist to get himself ahead. Toggling between high-stakes action and devastatingly poignant family scenes, this is rural Southern noir with a tender heart. The Amazon Books Editors named Blacktop Wasteland one of the Best Books of the Year."—Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Editor

Review

New York Times Notable Book NPR’s Best Books of 2020 BookPage’s #1 Mystery and Suspense of 2020 Sun Sentinel’s #1 Best Mystery of 2020 Library Journal Best Crime Fiction for 2020 Suspense Magazine Best of 2020 The Guardian’s Best Crime & Thriller Novels of 2020 BookRiot’s Best Books of 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of 2020 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2020 Booklist Editors’ Choice 2020 CrimeReads The Best Novels of 2020

“A fast-paced, fresh take on noir that tears through the underbelly of Virginia.”

―New York Times

"One of the year's strongest novels.
The noir story quickly accelerates and doesn’t lose speed until it careens to its finale. It’s a look at race, responsibility, parenthood and identity via pin-perfect characters with realistic motives. Cosby invests Blacktop Wasteland with emotion while delivering a solid thriller."
Sun Sentinel

“I loved Blacktop Wasteland, by S.A. Cosby. The epigram tells you all you need to know about this fast-paced, bareknuckle thriller: 'Drive it like you stole it.'”
Stephen King

“Violence-tinged heists, muscle cars, and dead-end poverty in America generate the full-on action and evocative atmosphere in this beautifully wrought tale.”
―Boston Globe

“The year’s most celebrated crime novel, and with good reason. It’s a soaring, deeply felt, deeply propulsive tale written by an author coming into his full powers…Cosby writes beautifully of the sensations and memories that drive Bug through the night and down the empty roads toward his old life. Dread and excitement combine to create a unique sense of atmosphere, one that will keep readers pushing ahead toward a genuinely powerful conclusion.”
―CrimeReads The Best Novels of 2020

“Running through this turbocharged heist plot (think Richard Stark’s Parker novels) is a beautifully crafted and deeply poignant drama (think Walter Mosley’s Fearless Jones’ novels). This book is a stunner.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2020

“The noir story brilliantly looks at race, responsibility, parenthood and identity via pin-perfect characters with realistic motives.”
―Sun Sentinel, The Best Mystery Books of 2020, #1

Cosby never misses a note in this high-energy read...A superb work of crime fiction, uncompromisingly noir but deeply human, too, much like Lou Berney's November Road (2018).”
Booklist, starred review

Blacktop Wasteland is an urgent, timely, pitch-perfect jolt of American noir. S. A. Cosby is a welcome, refreshing new voice in crime literature.”

―Dennis Lehane, bestselling author of Since We Fell and Mystic River

“Diamonds and fast cars, trailer park dreams and late night illegal street racing, S. A. Cosby reinvents the American crime novel. Black and white with bills unpaid and no exit in sight, his characters feel the pull of family and swagger with the melancholy ache of wanting to be someone. Blacktop Wasteland thrums and races―it’s an intoxicating thrill of a ride.”
―Walter Mosley, bestselling author of Trouble Is What I Do

“Sensationally good―new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart.
More than recommended.”
―Lee Child, bestselling author of Blue Moon

“Cosby’s lightning-bright prose powers this magnificent tale of a heist gone wrong and a weary man’s attempts to free himself from his past.”
Bookpage, Best Books of 2020: Mystery & Suspense, #1 pick

“For fans of: Bullitt, The Fast and the Furious and gritty Elmore Leonard-style noir…[Cosby] never lets up on the gas. The result is a high-octane, white-knuckle thriller that will have readers whipping through the pages at breakneck speed…Cosby’s tightfisted prose fuels this story with heart-pumping (and often brutal) action that begs to be adapted for the big screen but never loses its compassionate edge.”
Bookpage

“High-octane neo-noir thriller…The gritty, brutal narrative is complemented by the author’s sublime use of sensory description and regional imagery. In addition, the epic, jaw-dropping chase sequences that figure prominently are reason alone to read this pedal-to-the-metal but profoundly sorrowful novel. Cosby is definitely a writer to watch.”
Publishers Weekly

"Beautifully wrought and worthy of envy...Call shotgun, and then buckle up. Blacktop Wasteland is a ride that will stick with you long after the engine has cooled."
―Salon

"We're in Elmore Leonard land…Bug's got a conscience not typical of the thriller genre, but other than that, this novel recalls almost perfectly the classic heist thriller in the vein of Richard Stark's "Parker" novels. It'll go like hot cakes.”
―Library Journal, starred review

Unforgettable…Cosby never takes his foot off the accelerator. He's a natural storyteller and a nimble writer. And Cosby works the magic performed by only the best noir scribes: somehow he gets readers to root for the protagonist as he commits a crime.”
―Shelf Awareness, starred review

“It’s fitting Blacktop Wasteland opens with a drag race. This is the literary equivalent of a muscle car―sleek, a little dangerous, and when it kicks into gear, you hold on for dear life. Lucky for you, Cosby is an expert wheelman.”
―Rob Hart, bestselling author of The Warehouse

“Every once in a while a writer comes along with an incredible voice. Think Elmore Leonard, or Chester Himes. With Blacktop Wasteland, add S. A. Cosby to that list.”
―Steve Cavanagh, bestselling author of Thirteen

“Powerful, gritty, and lyrical, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is the unflinching portrayal of a man who’s deeply aware he needs to make a better life for himself and his family, but can’t ― or won’t. This story is an emotional gut punch, and you’ll find yourself rooting for Beauregard while he’s ripping your heart out. Cosby is a mesmerizing new voice in crime fiction you won’t soon forget. This is literary noir at its finest.”
―Jennifer Hillier, award-winning author of Jar of Hearts and Little Secrets

“With Blacktop Wasteland, Anthony award-winning author S. A. Cosby cements his position as one of the leading crime fiction voices of his generation. The story crackles with a dynamically flawed main character, vivid description, unexpected reveals and dialogue so real you'd swear you were eavesdropping. I couldn't wait to finish yet never wanted the book to end at the same time. There's no doubt that Cosby is an authentic and much needed voice in today's crime fiction.”
―Kellye Garrett, Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty award-winning author of The Detective by Day series

“This book shook me in the best way possible. Cosby’s gritty, powerhouse novel evokes some of the modern masters - Mosley, Pelecanos, and Lehane - with a tone and vibe that is wholly unique. Epic but also grounded and painfully relevant, Blacktop Wasteland is a crime novel for today, and S. A. Cosby is a writer we’ll be hearing from for quite some time. I loved this book.”
―Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Blackout and Miami Midnight

“Blacktop Wasteland is a guaranteed thriller-of-the-year with muscle and heart and characters who will linger long after the last page is read. S.A. Cosby writes with grit and grace. Do not miss this one.”
―Michael Koryta, bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

“There is a sweet spot in a vehicle, whether it’s a car or a book, a perfect point of harmony between torque and horsepower or character and plot―Blacktop Wasteland is that sweet spot. S. A. Cosby’s new novel reverberates with a throaty roar, pegging the needles with a welcomed strip of rubber laid down in a silk-scarf, lace-backed driving glove mystery world.”
―Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries

“Buckle up. S. A. Cosby is about to take you on a high-speed spin through the rural black south. Muscle cars, backroads racing, double crossing deals and that elusive big score. Red Hill County is my kind of place!”
―Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Revelators

Blacktop Wasteland will let the world at large in on what the crime fiction underworld already knows: S. A. Cosby is a major, original talent. Searing, twisted and jaggedly human, this Southern noir heist novel leaves scars.”
―Jordan Harper, Edgar Award winning author of She Rides Shotgun

"A roaring, full-throttle thriller, crackling with tension and charm...Cosby immediately displays a talent for well-tuned action, raising our heart rates and filling our nostrils with odors of gun smoke and burned rubber. But the real draw here is his evocative depiction of rural Virginia and its denizens. Cosby's voice is distinctive, and he plays a sharp-tongued Virgil as we descend into the Hades of bucolic poverty."
The New York Times Book Review

"A classic, character-driven heist tale that inhabits that world, but delivers heart-pounding entertainment."
Criminal Element

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B07WCYQZ4Y
  • Publisher : Flatiron Books (July 14, 2020)
  • Publication date : July 14, 2020
  • Language : English
  • File size : 2123 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 305 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 2,821 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
2,821 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 17, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2020
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Lagoon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, better, best, better still.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 14, 2020
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J. Small
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks tension, jeopardy and depth
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2020
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Philip Savage
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sensationally good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2020
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Ruju
4.0 out of 5 stars dark and gritty
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2021
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Vince Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb plot with lots of twists
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2020
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