Title: Blacktop Wasteland
Author: S.A. Cosby
From the back: Beauregard “Bug” Montage: honest mechanic, loving husband, devoted parent. He’s no longer the criminal he once was – the sharpest wheelman on the east coast, infamous from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida.
But when his respectable life begins to crumble, a shady associate comes calling with a clean, one-time job: a diamond heist promising a get-rich payout. Inexorably drawn to the driver’s seat – and haunted by the ghost of his outlaw father – Bug is yanked back into a savage world of bullets and betrayal, which soon endangers all he holds dear…
The gist: This is one seriously pacy book, which puts you right there in the car for the sort of high-speed chases I’ve never experienced so effectively in a book before. This book reads like a heist thriller film with all the adrenaline and action you could possibly ask for.
But as well as the action, Cosby writes believable, relatable characters. You hear their dialogue as much as read it. You believe in them because they’re not faultless—they’re flawed human beings. They make mistakes, they do bad things. But you know why, because Cosby lets you into their worlds, lets you understand them.
So as much as this is a heist thriller, a story that on the surface you might be familiar with, Blacktop Wasteland also has an emotional pull to it. You care what happens, and you dread what’s coming because you’re hoping for something that has some small odds going for it – I might have cried a bit, just sayin’.
And, in a relatively incidental point, this book probably has one my favourite titles of all time.
I should likely finish this review with some sort of “buckle up, buddy, this ride is gonna be intense” line. But for me it’s not really about buckling up, it’s about holding on.
And hoping the airbag doesn’t smash your teeth out.
And it’s a damn fine read.
Favourite line: Explanations were like assholes. Everyone has one and they are all full of shit.
Read if: You want a fast-paced heist thriller wearing its heart on its sleeve.
Read with: Time to calm down before you drive anywhere afterwards.
Get it: Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby