Title: Blacktop Wasteland
Author: S.A. Cosby
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: July 14, 2020
Genre: Mystery Thriller
My Rating: 4/5
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.
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.
Beauregard, aka Bug, is a former criminal who has gone straight. He owns an auto body shop, but business is down. He’s worried about how he will provide for his wife and kids, keep his business open, and pay for his mother’s nursing home care. He needs money… and he is the best wheelman around. When a former associate tracks him down, he decides to take one last job.
Bug is a complex character. He is haunted by memories of his father, who was also a wheelman, and left when Bug was a boy. Bug doesn’t know if his father is dead or alive, but he knows he wants to be the man that his father never was. He wants to be a good husband and father, and provide well for his family. Bug has tried to leave the old days as a wheelman behind him, but he is drawn back when he sees no other way to get the money he needs for his family.
While Blacktop Wasteland has wonderful character development, it also has plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader wanting more. Of course, Bug’s “one last job” isn’t as simple as that, and he is pulled in so deep that it puts his family in harms way.
A novel about one man’s struggles with family, poverty, and crime. Recommended for fans of literary fiction and crime fiction. Gritty, compelling, and authentic.
I received a digital copy of this book from Flatiron Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.