Sam is a personal friend. We were both up for the CWC Best Unpublished Manuscript Award (Sam won) and later both of us were nominated for Best First Novel. We lost to Steve Burrows and his bird-watching detective, Jejeune. Sigh. We finally met in person at Portland Left Coast Crime and bonded over our love of Noir.
Sam is passionate about his home city, Vancouver and in each of the Wakeland novels, he explores a serious social issue impacting the lives of its citizens. In Sunset and Jericho, he takes on the housing affordability crisis and the increasing socio-economic wealth gap.
Wakeland’s life is ruled by violence, both perpetrated by and inflicted on him. He survives an amazing number of near-death beatings and is finally told by his doctors to quit his PI job or die. There’s no resolution to the social ills depicted in this book – just like real life. A master stylist of the PI genre, Sam keeps you reading through to the devastating twist at the end.
Sam’s next book is a standalone and he’s hinted that Sunset and Jericho may be the last is the Wakeland series. Hopefully not. I’m eager to read more of Wakeland’s adventures.
Sean Cosby is the author of four stand-alone thrillers and the winner and finalist of numerous leading awards, including the Anthony and ITW Thriller award. In each book, he explores the social ills affecting our society from an African-American perspective.
A master of style and substance, All the Sinners Bleed, is possibly Sean’s best book to date. (Stephen King gave it a rave review in the New York Times.) The book is a police procedural set in the Southern USA. It transcends the genre in the masterful first two pages about the blood-soaked, evil history of Charon County.
On the surface, the story is about the pursuit of a serial killer by Titus Crown, the first black sheriff elected in Charon. Titus, a former FBI agent, allegedly moved back home to look after his elderly father, but he left the FBI under a cloud for taking justice into his own hands. Cosby takes on financial corruption, political weaseling, cult religions and socio-economic inequity while creating a tense thriller that’s impossible to put down. It’s a tough book, violent and unsparing in its depiction of crime and social evils rooted in America’s undying racism. One of the best crime fiction books of 2023.
Eat these books! Highly recommended. Both 5 stars.