Like Ocean's Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.
A husband, a father, a son,...Read More
A husband, a father, a son, a business owner...And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.
Beauregard "Bug" Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there's no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.
He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.
Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland...or die trying.
S. A. Cosby is a writer from Southeastern Virginia. He won the 2019 Anthony Award for Best Short Story for The Grass Beneath My Feet, and his previous books include Brotherhood of the Blade and My Darkest Prayer. He resides in Gloucester, Virginia. When not writing, he is an avid hiker and chess player.
"... a gritty, thrilling reminder that small-town America has an underbelly, too." - Daniel Nieh, The New York Times Book Review
"The most surprising thing about S.A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland, which is marketed as a crime novel, is that crime is the least important element in the book." - Gabino Iglesias, NPR
"Author S.A. Cosby quickly establishes Bug’s financial burdens and emotional dilemma in his new novel, Blacktop Wasteland, and 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." - Bookpage
"... one of the year’s strongest novels. The noir story quickly accelerates and doesn’t lose speed until it careens to its finale as it looks at race, responsibility, parenthood and identity via pin-perfect characters with realistic motives. Cosby invests Blacktop Wasteland with an emotional approach while delivering a solid thriller." - The Star Tribune
"Blacktop Wasteland, with very good reason, has attracted quite a bit of buzz over the few months heading into its release. Cosby is an original voice, taking noir tropes and remixing them in exciting ways. He’s going to make his mark. Other crime-fiction writers who are trying to find the balance for their tough-guy characters, take notes." - The Mystery Tribune
"Blacktop Wasteland captured my attention from the beginning. Cosby writes action as well as anyone. Bug is a engaging protagonist – funny and likeable but clear-headed and impressively good at his work. His conflicts give him a depth that others lack. Beneath its sleek surface Cosby has written a rural noir novel that is also timely and subversive in its portrayal of racism and thew skewering of the American Dream. Believe the hype." - Crime Fiction Lover
"S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a fast-paced story that throws us against the seat and makes us grab for the 'oh-shit-bar' from start to finish. It would be easy to dismiss this as a summer read, a fun heist story with exciting chase scenes that compels the reader to keep turning those pages with one satisfying twist after another. That would be a mistake. While Blacktop Wasteland is all of that, it is also an indictment against classism and racism written with a subtlety that eschews preachiness. Instead, Cosby gives us poverty-stricken Virginia with its closed strip malls, trailer parks, and white supremacists drawn with a voice so southern you can hear the twang as you read." - The Coachella Review
"Heist-novel fans are all too familiar with the one-last-job premise, but Cosby trumps our expectations with a neat twist." - Booklist
"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