“Razorblade Tears” is the story of two families connected by one tragedy, a black hole that is swallowing every ounce of joy they had ever felt.William “Buddy” Lee Jenkins and Isaac “Ike” Randolph shed tears that feel like razorblades slicing their faces. Their sons are both dead, murdered, executed, and no one is searching for the killer. Their agony and grief is choking the life out of them. They blame everyone around them; they have lots of questions but no answers.
The story is told mostly from the perspective of the two fathers. The language, syntax, and cadence of the narrative transports readers to a particular place and culture. The dialect is appropriate to the characters, the situations, and the emotions; readers immediately know how every player perceives the situation and the social, racial, and economic differences. Descriptions engage all the senses and include the smallest idiosyncrasies that set each character apart.
“His voice was as cold as a mountain stream flowing over river rocks”
“Blood as slick and whispery as mercury”
“The staccato burst sounded like someone had dropped a thousand nails on a metal desk.”
“Razorblade Tears” is the story of two grieving fathers trying to find out what happened to their sons, but the search is more complex than either of them could imagine. They call what they are seeking “justice,” but this is really unquenchable, relentless vengeance, and vengeance comes with consequences.
I received a review copy of “Razorblade Tears” from S. A. Cosby, Flatiron Books, and Macmilllan Publishing. The book takes readers down a long dark road that ends at the edge of an abyss. It is a sad but enlightening, chilling yet deeply moving trip. Every reader should accompany these two fathers on this journey.