Titus Crown is the first Black sheriff in the history of Charon County, Virginia. In recent decades, quiet Charon has had only two murders. But after years of working as an FBI agent, Titus knows better than anyone that while his hometown might seem like a land of moonshine, cornbread, and honeysuckle, secrets always fester under the surface. Then a year to the day after Titus's election, a school teacher is killed by a former student and the student is fatally shot by Titus's deputies. As Titus investigates the shootings, he unearths terrible crimes and a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight, haunting the dirt lanes and woodland clearings of Charon.
Cosby worked the outlaw side of the crime/suspense genre. In this new one he’s written a crackling good police procedural ... Cosby delivers a fine climax. Then, in an epilogue, he serves up a final treat that’s worth the whole trip. So: a well-told novel of crime and detection. There are plenty of them on the market. What sets this one apart, what gives it both grit and texture, is its unerring depiction of small-town rural life and the uneasy (and sometimes violent) interactions between Charon’s white and Black citizens ... Cosby keeps his eye on the story and the pedal to the metal ... I found Cosby’s detail work fresh and exhilarating. Without resorting to country music clichés, he gets everything right ... It’s a far better novel than Cosby’s earlier books; his confidence as a writer has increased as he climbs the learning curve of his trade.
Elegantly walks a fine line between horror and the kind of gritty crime fiction that has catapulted Cosby to crime fiction stardom ... It's a dark, wildly entertaining crime novel with religious undertones — and one that tackles timely issues while never losing itself or sounding preachy ... Rough, smart, gritty, intricate, and Southern to the core. Cosby understand that thrillers need to thrill in order to work, but he spends a lot of time making sure we feel empathy for his characters and understand the historical context of everything that happens in Charon ... Darker and more profound and complex than Cosby's previous work — which makes this his strongest outing yet and should make his fans very excited for whatever he does next.
What elevates this book is how Cosby depicts politically charged issues — race, religion, policing — through the prism of a serial murder investigation and the perspective of one of the most memorable heroes in contemporary crime fiction ... This commanding, complex hero, forged in the crucible of Southern culture and politics, is the novel’s greatest strength. While most other characters are thinly drawn in comparison, Cosby gives us invaluable insight into the thoughts and experience that haunt his uncommon hero ... While not as exhilarating as Razorblade Tears, All the Sinners Bleed is deeply moving and memorable.