All The Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby 2023

Imagine ‘Silence of the Lambs’, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, and Faulkner all mixed together in a 21st C version of the serial killer murder mystery in rural Virginia, and you have Cosby’s latest book.

Reviewed positively in the New York Times Sunday Book Review  by no less than Stephen King who loved the book and wrote  “As in S.A. Cosby’s previous two novels, “Blacktop Wasteland” and “Razorblade Tears,” the body count is high and the action pretty much nonstop.” I read King’s review after writing this review in my head and agree with everything he wrote—praise for the details of small town rural life in the South and groans about some of the hackneyed metaphors Cosby felt the need to share with us.

On balance, however, this was a good summer read.  The ending was the inevitable violent, ‘struggle to the death’ showdown between the good guy and the bad guy with the outcome unclear until you realized that the good guy had to win.  The good guy in this case is Sheriff Titus Crown, the first Black sheriff elected in Charon County, VA, a former FBI agent who came home carrying a load of guilt.  The bad guy is the third member of a gang who tortured and murdered Black children in Charon. The book is tense which makes it fun.

Read it for a break from the classics and poetry.