Cover Image: My Darkest Prayer

My Darkest Prayer

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Member Reviews

Thank you to @netgalley and @macmillan.audio for the ALC for this re-publishing of SA Cosby’s debut novel, My Darkest Prayer. 

After reading Razorblade Tears last year, I was held captive by Cosby’s writing. It’s brutal, gripping, graphic and sometimes hard to read. But, powerful. 

My Darkest Prayer falls along those same lines. Nathan Waymaker is a former marine currently working at his cousin’s funeral home. When a local minister is found dead, his parishioners ask Nathan to investigate on the side. 

This book includes sex (including a porn star), drugs, police officers as crooked as they come, and even some hardcore thugs. Turns out this minister wasn’t quite as holy as he wanted to seem…

Adam Lazarre-White narrates this audiobook and I think this book was written for his voice. I can’t imagine anyone else reading this book to me. His rich, deep vocals made Nathan come to life. I’ll listen to him read anything…he also narrates Blacktop Wasteland, which is next on my S.A. Cosby backlist. I remember my brother-in-law reading it a while back and he said it was amazing.

The language is rough, but so realistic and…just good. I don’t know how else to describe Cosby’s writing style. I gave Razorblade Tears a full 5 ⭐️s and I’m giving his debut 4 ⭐️s too. Oh yeah, and I can’t wait for his newest to come out in June!
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I enjoyed this one. The characters were well fleshed out and the pacing kept me turning the page. While this isn't my favorite book by S A Cosby it is well worth the read. This authors writing style makes me feel like I'm leaning into a conversation to ensure that I don't miss a word, it's that good. Well worth the read!
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S.A. Cosby is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. I love everything he writes, he can do no wrong. I absolutely loved the narration, it was easy to tell who was who. The plot was intriguing, I absolutely adored Nathan as a main character and narrator. He seemed like a huge teddy bear… maybe a murderous one. Cannot wait for more books!
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Last year one of my favorite audiobooks was Razorblade Tears, so when I saw this author's debut novel was being reissued and offered as an audiobook by Netgalley and MacMillan Audio for review, I jumped at the chance to listen to it.  I was not disappointed. Although not *quite* as fantastic as Razorblade Tears, My Darkest Prayer was a strong, well-developed novel in its own right with richly drawn, sympathetic characters and an excellent mystery holding the book together. 

The book has an audio introduction from the author in which he sounds almost apologetic for the book, but he has nothing to apologize for. The book starts strong and picks up in intensity, telling the story of a youngish man, Nathan, who is now working for family in their funeral home, living in a bedroom in the back of the funeral parlor, struggling to get his life together. A local reverend dies and some of the church board members ask Nathan, a former Marine and former local deputy sheriff, to look into how the reverend died, as they fear the sheriff's office is going to brush the death under the rug. The more Nathan pokes around, the more he uncovers. 

Cosby writes terrific, humorous dialogue, excellent suspenseful scenes, a well-plotted mystery, and some of the best portrayals of male friendship that I've ever read. He demonstrates the value of having a network of Black community support surrounding you.  An old classmate who has become a porn star turns out to be the daughter of the reverend, and Cosby handles her character with humor and sensitivity, as well. The narration is excellent, and despite the novel containing more violence than I might care for,  I highly recommend this book.
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What a trip this was! Nathan Waymaker is an ex-marine and an ex-deputy who knows how to handle problems. He has a reputation for being a man who can find answers and get things done, mainly because he is not afraid to kick some butt.
This is a fast-paced novel that is excellently read by Adam Lazarre-White. I've since discovered that this is a reprint of S.A.  Cosby's first novel. Well if this is how well he started I am excited to see what else he has done.
Thanks to @netgally for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Nathan Waymaker is a man who knows how to handle the bodies. Working for his cousin at a funeral home, Nathan comes in contact with a lot of bodies. He has some practice; Nathan is not only a former sheriff’s deputy, he is also a former marine. The unique skills that Nathan has picked up along the way has also given him a reputation as someone who can take care of things, when others don’t seem to be able to. His services are requested when a much-loved minister is found dead of an apparent suicide, but those that knew him best don’t believe that. What seems like a simple request soon leads Nathan down a path filled with crooked cops, drug dealers, gangsters, and a rich megachurch preacher.

Wow! This story was so twisted and so good! I can’t get over the descriptions and figurative language used by Cosby. At times I got as much enjoyment from the pictures painted for me as I did from the actual story, which itself was unbelievable. I really liked the characters, especially Nathan. He was intriguing and interesting; he almost reminded me of a modern-day Robin Hood. I was kept at the edge of my seat right from the beginning with the intense action and constant revelations.

The audiobook was out of this world! Lazarre-White’s pace, inflection, voices and overall presentation seemed spot on for the story, especially in his presentation of Nathan. This was the first audiobook I have listened to where I didn’t feel like my experience was lessened by not having a copy of the book in front of me. I much prefer having the text when listening to an audiobook, but Lazarre-White’s narration was so strong, more than making up for the lack of text. I am so glad I listened to this audiobook.
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⚰️ 🆂🅸🆇 🆃🅷🆁🅸🅻🅻🅸🅽🅶 🆃🅷🅾🆄🅶🅷🆃🆂 ⚰️
 || 𝗠𝘆 𝗗𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿 by S.A. Cosby ||

𝗜𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗮 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲?
- If you don’t like stellar writing, bad-ass characters, and great plots, then just say that.  Of course, I’m reading anything S.A. Cosby writes. #autobuy 

𝗪𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘁?
- Victor Culler, a white cop that is a bully in a badge, and continues to antagonize, demean, and insult Nathan after he resigns from the Sheriff’s department. Culler is corrupt, racist, and a coward.

𝗪𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗲𝗲𝘁?
- The obvious answer is Nathan, but I’m going to choose Skunk. Although he is a natural born killer and mastermind, he is also a great friend. He is somebody you want in your corner. Skunk sounds fun and chill.

𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀/𝘀𝘂𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀:
- Police Corruption
- Bullying
- Vengeance
- Hypocrisy in church

𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮 𝗳𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗼𝘁𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸:
- “But I believe there is good and evil. Positive and negative energy, ya know? I believe you do right by people, and it comes back to ya. Same thing if you do wrong.”

- "Some people need to go to hell, and we need to get them there."

- “Talk shit. Spit blood.”

𝗗𝗶𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝘆𝗼𝘂, 𝗼𝗿 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗻, 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘄𝗮𝘆?
- Tell me if it’s me, but the sheer violence by Nathan Waymaker finds a warm place in my heart.  It is so sexy and thrilling.  I’m rooting for him to kill everybody in the room because revenge is best served cold and bloody.  I also know Skunk is doing something gross, too. Just get it done.

(*Bonus Question*)
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿’𝘀 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸?
- Cosby knows that we are not perfect by any means. The hypocrisy in this world is thick as fog so people are should be free from external judgement. We pray God hears our darkest prayers or we are lost to find our own way.

Also, the audiobook was awesome, the narrator does a great job with the voices for each of the characters and should always do Cosby's novels.  He has the perfect cadence, tone, and attitude to bring the characters to life. I just love the energy he brings to each scene as well. The audio version would not be the same without this specific narrator.  

Audio Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book Rating:   ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Thanks to Macmillan Audio for the copy of this book. 

I looooved Razorblade Tears and hoped to love this too, but unfortunately this one wasn’t for me. The character development was lacking and there was a lot more sex in this book. It was evident this was written before Razorblade because he’s improved a ton as a writer!
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Before there was Razorblade Tears, before even Blacktop Wasteland- there was My Darkest Prayer. The debut novel by S.A. Cosby.

If you have somehow missed out on the well-deserved buzz around Cosby, let me introduce you to one of the most important authors working today. Having now read all of his books, I can honestly say I will read anything this man writes. Cosby perfectly blends edge-of-your-seat thrills, complex troubled characters, and important themes to create an unforgettable reading experience.

My Darkest Prayer, published first years ago and now out in a new edition, is no exception. This debut novel is laced with intensity, and was extremely hard to put down. While I can definitely see the ways that Cosby has grown as a writer in his later books, this is a commendable debut and one that I enjoyed greatly.

Have you read any of this authors books? If so, did you enjoy them as much as I did?
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Nathan Waymaker has trouble staying out of trouble. So when a local pastor dies under mysterious circumstances and the ladies of the church ask Nathan to look into it, boy, does it open a can of worms!

Nathan is a character in which I love! He really tries to do good, well…until he just can’t. He is tough as nails and smart as a whip. And he is loyal to a fault. He is also a smart aleck. I found myself laughing out loud in places.

This story had me jumping for joy, gasping for breath and just plain terrified all in the same paragraph! Talk about intense! This is a book I would love to see made into a movie. And I never say that! Hollywood never gets it right. But this would make a fabulous, action-packed thriller.

Y’all! The narrator, Adam Lazarre-White is one of the best I have ever heard. His deep voice fit my image of Nathan to a “T”!

Need a book you can’t put down…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
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S.A. Cosby has a way of writing that feels like you are living the story. His vivid descriptions are phenomenal. I’ve read Blacktop Wasteland by the same author and now this one, he doesn’t disappoint. I’m even more eager to read Razorblade Tears. 
This book is set partially in a funeral home which is unique and I haven’t seen done often and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. In the story, a local preacher is found dead and our main character, Nate is trying to help some of the townspeople get to the bottom of what happened. This story is a wild ride and does not disappoint. S.A. Cosby is an auto buy author for me and I look forward to whatever he comes out with next.
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Blacktop Wasteland and Razorblade Tears were magnificent works of fiction by S.A. Cosby. His work is dark, gritty, incredibly detailed, humorous and even poetic. 

My Darkest Prayer follows a former marine who now works at a funeral home. When the local minister is found dead, Nathan takes on the job to find the truth behind his death. What follows is a whirlwind of corruption, criminals, crooked law enforcement, and a small town filled with so many secrets about the most “honorable” people. This is a violent book that also has glimpses of humor when you least expect it. The way Cosby writes his narratives and his characters makes his stories hard to put down. I’m looking forward to what else he comes out with in the future!
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I had a very hard time getting into this. I felt similarly about the previous book I read by the author. It was a little too dark for me.
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Nathan Waymaker is a former marine and former sheriff’s deputy, but he has found work at his cousin’s funeral home and he knows how to take care of bodies. Nathan also has a side hustle of righting the wrongs and typing up lose ends when the cops fail to do their jobs. When the body of a local reverend comes in as a suicide, the ladies of the church ask Nathan to look into the reverend’s demise and they are willing to pay him for his time. Nathan thinks it will be an easy job for the money and agrees to ask around. What seems like a simple task leads Nathan to crazy events, ruthless crime lords, porn stars, and crooked police officers. As dark secrets of his own threaten to surface, Nathan uses his skills and wit to navigate a dangerous conflict involving small town corruption. 

Cosby writes such complex and flawed characters that when they don’t always follow a strict moral compass, as a reader, you are still pulling for them. This is a re-release of S. A. Cosby’s very first novel and having loved Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland I needed to add this one to my collection. I received the book as a Christmas gift, but as I was perusing NetGalley I discovered the audiobook. I jumped at the chance to listen to it before I read it because it’s narrated by Adam Lazard’s-White who I have come to think of as the voice of all of Cosby’s characters. The narrator has a deep gravelly voice that really lends itself to the gritty characters. 

After reading My Darkest Prayer I can see how much Cosby has grown as a writer and storyteller, yet for a debut novel it was still an impressive read.
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I am a huge S.A. Cosby fan and knew I had to read his first book! My Darkest Prayer is a page-turning ride filled with sex, violence, grit, and everything I’ve come to know and love from Cosby’s books. The writing is so good, but the narrator makes the story even better. 

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for this ALC.
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This book was really good. It was a quick read but packed with action. Again a warning that his books are EXTREMELY violent so if that bothers you definitely skip that. This was a reissue of his first book. I could listen to this narrator all day.
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Another gem from S. A. Cosby. Hard to believe it was his debut novel. His writing is always so gritty and compelling. Excellent narration.
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Thank you S. A. Cosby, MacMillan Audio Productions, Flatiron Books, and NetGalley for an advanced audio copy of this excellent book.

MY DARKEST PRAYER is S. A. Cosby's first novel, which is now being re-released after the success of his second and third novels, BLACKTOP WASTELAND and RAZORBLADE TEARS and in advance of he new novel, ALL THE SINNERS BLEED, which releases June 6 2023.

In this mystery/thriller, ex-marine-turned -ex-cop-turned-medical-examiner Nathan Waymaker is an all around tough dude with a respectful heart who tends to help folks when they have no one else to turn to. As luck would have it, the minister of his local and very successful church turns up dead. As a favor to the minister's relatives-- one of whom is connected to his new love interest-- Nate agrees to ask some questions. He quickly discovers he's asking the *right* questions-- but right for whom? And at what price?

The characters felt complete, believable.  I love Skunk. More accurately, I love the friendship between Skunk and Nathan. Nathan recognizes Skunk as dangerous, and vice versa, but they don't fear one another. A profound intimacy exists between the two men that is sublime in how Cosby expresses it. The human element of this novel is beautiful and real.

Cosby's writing is gritty, sharp, and deeply addictive, and the wonderful narrator Adam Lazar White reads with a mesmerising quality that had me finishing this book in 2 days. (I even put my phone in a ziploc bag and listened in the shower, because I *could not stop*!) I really hope White decides to narrate for Cosby again.

Rating 🥊🥊🥊🥊🥊/ 5 haymakers from Waymaker
Recommend? Absolutely
Finished December 2022
Ready this if you like:
👀 Thrillers
🤑 Stories about corruption 
🥊 Good fight scenes
👥️ Men's Friendship 
🥰 Healthy romantic relationship
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Cosby's crime fiction is bold with propulsive plotting and an astute ear for good dialogue. He's also very funny. This church is up to some shit.
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Dear My Darkest Prayer,
was so excited when saw you on Netgalley. love the way that Cosby writes, his balancing act between violence and humanity. I loved seeing how his writing has evolved, and matured through his books. You have the first in Cosby's line of anti-heroes. Nathan is put in an impossible position, being asked to look into a situation that he had absolutely no stake in, and as a consequence, he is sucked into the underbelly of his small town, unable to escape the web he is drawn into. You are written with dignity and beauty, despite the violence inside your pages.
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