Hang on for the ride of your life

Looking for quality, entertaining escape reading? Bob Moyer has a new novel for you. Be prepared to hold on!

Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer

BLACKTOP WASTELAND. By S. A. Cosby. Flatiron. 304 pages. $26.99

There’s nary a ping or misfire as this high-octane heist novel roars through the BLACKTOP WASTELAND of rural eastern Virginia. Every successful heist needs a great driver behind the wheel, and Beauregard is the best east of the Mississippi. Every successful heist novel needs a steady hand at the helm, and  S.A. Cosby, in his first novel for a major publisher, knows his rpms from his nitro-boost.

Beauregard, or Bug as he is known, is a husband, father of three, lives in a double-wide and owns a garage. He used to be in the game, but has tried to go straight. Unfortunately, his mom is about to be kicked out of her retirement home, his daughter needs money for college, and all his bills are overdue because a new garage in town has taken his business. So when shaky, shady Ronnie shows up with a gig, Bug doesn’t turn him down. And it’s not just the money — driving is in his blood.

Author Cosby drops dollops of backstory about how Bug came to be the driver he is, with a Plymouth Duster that no one can beat off the line. It’s a delightful part of the book, and to tell any of the details would detract from the reader’s experience. Suffice it to say, when Bug says yes, the fun ensues. Fueled by a blend of a botched robbery, a crime boss, betrayal, car chases and even a truck chase, the book takes a twisty ride through almost nearly unique territory, executing plot turns both improbable and seemingly impossible — but delivering us still pumped up from the ride at the end.

Blacktop Wasteland is not just a good book — it’s a gas.


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