Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner • New York Times Notable Book • NPR’s Best Books of the Year • BookPage’s #1 Mystery and Suspense of the Year • Sun Sentinel’s #1 Best Mystery of the Year
“I loved Blacktop Wasteland...[A] fast-paced, bareknuckle thriller.” -Stephen King
“A roaring, full-throttle thriller, crackling with tension and charm.” -The New York Times Book Review
"One of the year's strongest novels." -Sun Sentinel
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.
New York Times Notable Book • NPR’s Best Books of 2020 • BookPage’s #1 Mystery and Suspense of 2020 • Sun Sentinel’s #1 Best Mystery of 2020 • Library Journal Best Crime Fiction for 2020 • Suspense Magazine Best of 2020 • The Guardian’s Best Crime & Thriller Novels of 2020 • BookRiot’s Best Books of 2020 • Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist • Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of 2020 • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2020 • Booklist Editors’ Choice 2020 • CrimeReads The Best Novels of 2020
“A fast-paced, fresh take on noir that tears through the underbelly of Virginia.”
—New York Times
"One of the year's strongest novels. The noir story quickly accelerates and doesn’t lose speed until it careens to its finale. It’s a look at race, responsibility, parenthood and identity via pin-perfect characters with realistic motives. Cosby invests Blacktop Wasteland with emotion while delivering a solid thriller."
“I loved Blacktop Wasteland, by S.A. Cosby. The epigram tells you all you need to know about this fast-paced, bareknuckle thriller: 'Drive it like you stole it.'”
“Violence-tinged heists, muscle cars, and dead-end poverty in America generate the full-on action and evocative atmosphere in this beautifully wrought tale.”
“The year’s most celebrated crime novel, and with good reason. It’s a soaring, deeply felt, deeply propulsive tale written by an author coming into his full powers…Cosby writes beautifully of the sensations and memories that drive Bug through the night and down the empty roads toward his old life. Dread and excitement combine to create a unique sense of atmosphere, one that will keep readers pushing ahead toward a genuinely powerful conclusion.”
—CrimeReads The Best Novels of 2020
“Running through this turbocharged heist plot (think Richard Stark’s Parker novels) is a beautifully crafted and deeply poignant drama (think Walter Mosley’s Fearless Jones’ novels). This book is a stunner.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2020
“The noir story brilliantly looks at race, responsibility, parenthood and identity via pin-perfect characters with realistic motives.”
—Sun Sentinel, The Best Mystery Books of 2020, #1
“Cosby never misses a note in this high-energy read...A superb work of crime fiction, uncompromisingly noir but deeply human, too, much like Lou Berney's November Road (2018).”
—Booklist, starred review
“Blacktop Wasteland is an urgent, timely, pitch-perfect jolt of American noir. S. A. Cosby is a welcome, refreshing new voice in crime literature.”
—Dennis Lehane, bestselling author of Since We Fell and Mystic River
“Diamonds and fast cars, trailer park dreams and late night illegal street racing, S. A. Cosby reinvents the American crime novel. Black and white with bills unpaid and no exit in sight, his characters feel the pull of family and swagger with the melancholy ache of wanting to be someone. Blacktop Wasteland thrums and races—it’s an intoxicating thrill of a ride.”
—Walter Mosley, bestselling author of Trouble Is What I Do
“Sensationally good—new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended.”
—Lee Child, bestselling author of Blue Moon