It has been fifteen years since Ike Randolph walked out of Coldwater State Penitentiary. He changed his life and built a business. He has a good life now, but he is still a black man in America with all that entails. Cops on the doorstep does not bode well.
Their arrival means that his world has
changed forever. His son, Isiah Randolph, is dead. Murdered along with his married
partner, Derek Jenkins. The son of Buddy Lee Jenkins, who also did time in
prison. Neither father, to various levels, ever accepted the fact that his son
was gay. Now that each son is dead, each father has to face that reality with
so much left unsaid. Each father separated by race and so much more is dealing with
a bottomless pit of regret as well as smoldering rage.
As the days turn into weeks, it becomes
clear that the police are not finding out who did it. The excuse is that the
people who knew Isiah and Derek will not talk to them. That could be true. The
fact that they were gay in Virginia might be a factor as well. Maybe law
enforcement does not see them as people who matter. It is Buddy Lee that gives voice to the idea
that they unite start talking to the folks that knew them on a daily basis and
find out who killed their boys. Having given air to the smoldering rage in both
men, it is not long before they are putting the skills learned the hard way
many years ago to use in the here and now.
United in grief and suppressed rage, the
fathers are not at all alike. Their disparity extends far beyond race and class
while at the same time each is symbolic of the struggle facing America today. Yet, where it counts, love for the son and
what should have been, means they become united in the pursuit to get answers.
Answers that will not bring their boys back, but will give them at least some
shred of peace. Propelled in a hunt for some sort of justice against the people
who killed their sons, each father is forced to confront his bias and far more
in Razorblade Tears: A Novel by S.A. Cosby.
This is one of those books that my
review does not do justice. I am sure it is going to win a slew of awards. I cannot
recommend it enough. It is an incredible book that works on all levels and
keeps you thinking and feeling long after the last page.
Make sure you check out Lesa Holstine’s review.
Tears: A Novel
S. A. Cosby
available in audio and hardback)
With Scott’s assistance in making the Libby App work, my eBook reading copy came from the Dallas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2021