'Razorblade Tears' by S.A. Cosby
What a ride this was! S.A. Cosby is a visual writer of the best kind, giving you a story that moves at breakneck speed, textured and complicated characters, and even a decent share of poignant moments. Two fathers in the South, one white, one Black, both grieving the loss of their sons who were married to each other. As men, they have little in common besides deep regret at having not showed their sons the love they had for them, simply because they were gay.
Ike (the Black dad) and Buddy Lee (the white one) decide that their differences are overshadowed by the need to avenge their sons' deaths, by any means necessary. Both men have checkered pasts, and a track record that indicates a willingness to use violence for causes a lot less noble than the one they are embarking on in their sons' names. The chain of events they set off is nothing less than explosive, but this isn't all shock and awe stuff. Despite the many confrontations and conflagrations, Ike and Buddy Lee find time to reckon with what they did and didn't do as fathers, and to build a bridge to understanding not only their boys but each other.
I recently heard that the movie rights for this book, and for Cosby's debut novel 'Blacktop Wasteland' were bought and it makes perfect sense to me. So well-deserved. But I have to say, it is difficult to imagine that bringing this book to screen will make you see it more clearly than the author's words did. This is a writer whose work is going to justifiably generate lots of excitement.
Highly, highly recommended.
Audiobook note: Exceptional narrator!