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Summary

It's a crime that history repeats itself.

Beauregard 'Bug' Montage: honest mechanic, loving husband, devoted parent. He's no longer the criminal he once was - the sharpest wheelman on the east coast, infamous from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida.

But when his respectable life begins to crumble, a shady associate comes calling with a clean, one-time job: a diamond heist promising a get-rich payout. Inexorably drawn to the driver's seat - and haunted by the ghost of his outlaw father - Bug is yanked back into a savage world of bullets and betrayal, which soon endangers all he holds dear. 

Like Breaking Bad in a high-speed collision with Drive, this stunning debut holds up a cracked mirror to the woozy ideals of the American dream - a dazzling, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race and a scarred, self-destructive masculinity.

The perfect gripping listen for fans of acclaimed writers such as Don Winslow, Attica Locke, Bill Beverley and Thomas Mullen. 

©2020 Shawn A. Cosby (P)2020 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"Sensationally good - new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart." (Lee Child)  

"Every once in a while a writer comes along with an incredible voice. Think Elmore Leonard, or Chester Himes...add S. A. Cosby to that list." (Steve Cavanagh) 

"Blacktop Wasteland is an urgent, timely, pitch-perfect jolt of American noir." (Dennis Lehane)  

What listeners say about Blacktop Wasteland

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Brilliant, nailbiting Southern Noir

Loved this book from beginning to end. S.A Cosby brings this slice of southern life vividly to life with characters you will believe in. One of the best books I have read this year and the narration is first class. I highly recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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loved it.

Great story & characters. Superbly read by Adam Lazarre-White. First SA Cosby book for me, definitely not the last.

1 person found this helpful

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Superb!

Story, narration, pacing, themes. Everything about this audioboik is absolutely spot on. Highly recommended.! Absolutely awesome!

1 person found this helpful

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Stunning

Gripped by this violent pedal to the metal descent into the dark side of modern America. Heroic and tender, and not short of engineering detail. Fantastic performance by the narrator but then hard to go wrong with this quality.

1 person found this helpful

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Exceptional

Fast paced , great story and exceptionally well presented ! This author has a bright future and I will look out for his previous and subsequent output .

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful book once again

Brilliantly imaginative author who can't help but write masterpieces, highly recommended to anyone who's a fan of the genre. A novel worth savouring

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Stunning book

Could not stop listening. Incredible narration of a fabulous crime novel, also wonderful social commentary on US race relations! We need more novels from this author.

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Excellent story, excellent narration

<i>"You start down a road like this and before you know it you can't find your way back. You lose yourself."</i>

BLACKTOP WASTELAND is simply stunning, a dark, fast-moving, thrill-ride; funny and heart-breaking. At its centre is Beauregard 'Bug' Montage, a road racer, a mechanic, a former getaway driver, a tragic anti-hero of Shakespearian proportions, a black man whose struggle to provide for the family he clearly loves draws him back for one last big score. S.A. Cosby has delivered a story that echoes classic 1970s movies, The Driver and The Friends of Eddie Coyle spring to mind, as well as Elmore Leonard and Charles Willeford, and more recently, Jordan Harper and Bill Beverly.

The book is full of deeply flawed and well-rounded characters, dialogue that rings true, and the best written car chases I have ever read, you can hear the engines screaming and smell the rubber burning. One of the best novels I have read this year and destined to be a classic.

The narration is excellent and really brings the characters to life.

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Great writing and narration. Lacks originality.

This is a great listen on Audible, hovering between four and five stars, and just shy of greatness. More so for the writing than the originality.

I've heard people say Blacktop Wasteland feels like Breaking Bad meets Fast and Furious, and although I haven't seen much of the latter, I think that's a pretty fair analogy if you want to simplify it.

But everything does feel a little too familiar and that's the problem. There's no real knockout moment. Not for me anyway. And that's where it loses a mark.

So, is that a bad thing?

No. Not when it's so well written.

I mean, it's a debut novel. It really is a damn fine piece of work. I just think it needed that something extra to stand out and get me wanting to talk about it more.



It's a 4.5 overall, but I'm keeping it a 4 for Goodreads.
4 feels right.

Soon to be a movie. Guaranteed.

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A Great Muscle Car of a Novel

I absolutely love this novel. It is brilliantly brutal and compulsively listenable. At its beating heart is a story of love and how far a man will go to provide for and protect his family. Okay, so like a big muscle car it's neither the latest technology nor the most subtle vehicle but it packs such a massive emotional punch that you have to give it full respect - and it is so enjoyable to listen to. The narration is pitch perfect, the pace is relentless and the action is believable. I love the work of Don Winslow and George Pelecanos and this novel is right up there with their best work. The author tells us that 'a man can't be two types of beast' and we get a ringside seat as Beauregard 'Bug' Montage splatters us with blood as he finds out which one he is. I'm going straight on to his next novel 'Razorblade Tears'.

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  • Susan DeMesquita
  • 12-09-21

Excellent story, eloquently written

First author to get human anatmy and physioloy correct during action and stress scenes. Muscle cars and driving descriptions all appropriate.