Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the ARC. It has not affected the content of my review.
Gird your loins for this one, friends. This is not a gentle romp through a mystery, with all of the small town residents rallying to support their competent and now respected Black sheriff. I didn’t really think it was possible, but this is somehow even more intense than Razorblade Tears. Makes sense, though, because he’s juggling like ten thousand more storylines and themes here than he did in that book, and I must mention (if the five stars didn’t clue you in) he juggles them admirably. It was extremely impressive.
Parents in particular, you might want to make sure you’re in the right mindset for this one before you give it a go.
The plot opens up with a school shooting. Sheriff Titus Crowne, the first Black sheriff in Charon County, and his team are called to the scene, where it turns out the shooter was only intending to shoot one person, his former teacher, and then turns the gun on himself. The cops get there first. It gets so, so much more complicated and disturbing after that. And all the while Cosby is juggling complex plot mechanics with aplomb, he’s giving us a great character study in Titus, who is feeling the weight of his new job (he’s only been sheriff for a year) which comes with a lot more baggage than just keeping his county safe.
If you’ve got the stomach for a book that involves racism, school shootings, suicide, cops dirty or otherwise, sexual predators, rape, murder, blackmail, psychopaths turning their victims into perpetrators, and you name it, then I highly recommend giving this one a shot. I really liked the audiobook, as well.