All Sinners, No Saints

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Check out Honest Jim’s review of S.A. Cosby’s debut novel, My Darkest Prayer. Helluva read.

“If you like your crime fiction served up gritty, dark, violent and sex-laced, with not an ounce of sentimentality or clichéd nod to domestic bliss, grab a copy of S.A. Cosby’s debut novel, My Darkest Prayer.

This is small-town, Southern noir at its finest, which does not mean slow, sleepy or sepia-toned. It’s a high-octane blast into a world of corrupt sheriffs, sleazy preachers, cutthroat church politics, blackmail, porn stars, drugs and murder. And money — lots of money.

And in Nathan Waymaker, a brooding and brawling ex-deputy and Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine, folks) combat veteran who is the son of a white father and black mother killed when they were run off the road by a rich man’s son, Cosby has created a compelling character driven by guilt, rage and his own bloody secrets.

Those inner demons have him living in a cell of his own making — a single room in his older cousin’s funeral parlor, where he works helping prepare the dead for burial. He’s a violent, tormented man trying to keep the lines of life simple and close, self-medicating to blunt the pain and memories and keep the devil down in the hole.

But Waymaker is also propelled by an iron-willed determination to dig out the truth, no matter the cost and no matter how much money is waved in his face to walk away. He doesn’t have a private investigator’s ticket, but is a man who will do favors for people — like look into the highly suspicious death of a shady preacher with a drug-dealing past that the local law is slow-walking.

For a small fee, of course. When the leading ladies of the preacher’s church come calling, he agrees to make a few quiet inquiries to see how his former employer, the county sheriff, is handling the case.

Quiet ain’t Waymaker’s game. And he pisses off a lot of people just by walking into a room — particularly redneck sheriff’s deputies. Instead of asking a few quiet questions, he seems bent on settling old scores with his former employer and doesn’t care how much china gets smashed as he bulls his way into the case.

The resulting blowback shifts the story into a vividly violent high gear, hurtling into a seamy landscape where few have any redeeming qualities and everybody has an angle they’re willing to kill for.

Buckle up and enjoy this ride.”

 

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