All the Sinners Bleed

Macmillan Audio. Jun. 2023. 13:05 hrs. ISBN 9781250897626. $26.99. THRILLER
Cosby’s (Razorblade Tears) latest is a grim, layered slice of Southern noir. Titus Crown, the first Black sheriff of Charon, VA, is still settling into his job when he and his team respond to a school shooting. Both the shooter and a beloved teacher are killed, and the ensuing investigation reveals a terror that will soon envelop all of Charon County. There’s a child-killer on the loose, and Titus, under the judgmental gaze of Charon’s residents, relentlessly pursues this monster as the bodies pile up. There are moments of violence that make this story feel more Silence of the Lambs than Flannery O’Connor, but Cosby’s story stays true to the conventions of Southern noir, from the undercurrent of small-town racism that Titus endures to narrator Adam Lazarre-White’s Southern drawl that drips slow as molasses. The real strength of this novel is its main character. In to Lazarre-White’s portrayal and Cosby’s writing, Titus is a man horrified by the actions of the killer he’s tracking and sickened by his town’s history, all while struggling with his own demons.
VERDICT A novel that reveals the tension of upholding one’s principles even in the face of malevolence and depravity. A can’t-miss audio.
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