Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a man with many different titles: husband, father, friend, honest car mechanic. But before he gave it up, Bug used to be known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best Wheel Man on the East Coast. After a series of financial calamities, Bug feels he has no choice but to take one final job as the getaway driver for a daring diamond heist that could solve all his money troubles and allow him to go straight once and for all.
... a gritty, thrilling reminder that small-town America has an underbelly, too ... Cosby immediately displays a talent for well-tuned action, raising our heart rates and filling our nostrils with odors of gun smoke and burned rubber. But the real draw here is his evocative depiction of rural Virginia and its denizens. Cosby’s voice is distinctive, and he plays a sharp-tongued Virgil as we descend into the Hades of bucolic poverty ... Gross! Sad! And kind of fun ... The milieu is fresh; the setup, more familiar ... Cosby delivers heavy doses of imaginative action and highway high jinks in lieu of any real mystery. But this grim tale finds its saving grace in its refusal to worship its hero.
Author S.A. Cosby quickly establishes Bug’s financial burdens and emotional dilemma in his new novel, Blacktop Wasteland, and never lets up on the gas. The result is a high-octane, white-knuckle thriller that will have readers whipping through the pages at breakneck speed ... Cosby’s tightfisted prose fuels this story with heart-pumping (and often brutal) action that begs to be adapted for the big screen but somehow never loses its compassionate edge ... a welcome return apperance ... one hell of a ride.
Cosby is attuned to working-class life in rural Virginia and the struggles of a business in an area where everyone is one paycheck away from an eviction notice or foreclosure ... Cosby has said the movie Hell or High Water was an inspiration, and it shows. But Red Hill County is more diverse and realistic, as most working-class people in the United States are not white ... Cosby knows his people and I was drawn in deep, distracted from the news of my country in flames and crying for justice by a classic, character-driven heist tale that inhabits that world, but delivers heart-pounding entertainment ... car lovers will relish and those who aren’t fanatics can enjoy just as well ... balances hardboiled and humor perfectly well, with brutal opposition who are just as tough and sharp as his anti-hero, women who are more than décor, and families and friends who are more than hostages. Blacktop Wasteland is an invigorating shot of nitrous oxide to the classic engine of the getaway driver and heist genre, with a skilled, callused hand on the wheel as it smokes the tires and throws the reader into the seat for an emotional thrill ride they won’t soon forget.