Cover Image: All the Sinners Bleed

All the Sinners Bleed

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Member Reviews

This is the second book I've read by S.A. Cosby and it's cemented my opinion of him as one of the finest crime writers today.

The other book I read, Razorblade Tears, focused on racism and toxic masculinity. This book focuses on racism and the poisonous use of religion and cherry-picked history to validate that racism. I liked the protagonist, Sheriff Titus Crown. Titus has come home to Charon County after an incident from his FBI agent career left him with a need to heal. He lives with his father and they are working on renewing their relationship. Titus does not believe in God and his father is a devout Christian, which can make things prickly. Titus also has a younger brother Marquis who avoids the family.

The crime that precipitates the book is a school shooting and it was painful to read about. The reason behind the shooting turns out to be even worse and it divides the community. Titus has a lot more experience with serious crimes than many small town sheriffs would have but he is taxed to his limit.

Crosby does an excellent job of integrating Titus's personal story and choices with the progression of the mystery. Titus is a wonderful character and I'd read more about him. I can't say too much about the plot without giving spoilers but there are very dark and disturbing crimes happening in this community. The building of suspense is masterful. The South, even if you love it, has some serious problems and Crosby portrays it in all its darkness and endurance.
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Everyone should read this novel; and quite frankly all of Cosby’s books. He has a lot to say and his message is worth hearing. A must read.
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I was so excited for All the Sinners Bleed, but sadly I did not enjoy it. I think I was expecting more out of it and it left me unsatisfied. I would still recommend since S.A. Cosby is a terrific writer.
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Crosby has peened one of my favorite books of the year.  All the Sinners Bleed is a dark, lyrical mystery that had me on the edge of my seat.  Fully realized characters without going into stereotypes from an author who knows these people and places.   This one will stay with me for a while.
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Brutal and raw and absolutely gorgeous, Cosby's work is both hard (content) and easy (style) to read. I can't wait to see what he does next.
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Fans of true crime novels and dark thrillers alike will thrill to bestselling author S.A. Crosby’s latest foray into the genre, All the Sinners Bleed, a novel that, while it depicts a fictional series of murders, has plenty to say about both the difficult truths of life in a rural Southern town and the uncomfortable real-life issues that still plague a part of the country that’s still (sometimes violently) reckoning with its own racial history.
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Holy crap... This book was so good! It's not your typical popcorn thriller/beach read (though I like those too), but very lyrically written. A dark police procedural (similar to Karin Slaughter) - beware, there are some gruesome scenes that are difficult to read. It would make an excellent movie! I also appreciate a thriller written by an author of color as those are hard to find (or aren't marketed enough?). 

I have read Razorblade Tears by this author too, which I liked but didn't love - too much action for my taste.
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“Charon County was founded in bloodshed and darkness.” That is just the first line, and the story only gets darker and darker. After a career with the FBI, Titus Crown returns to Charon County, Virginia and is elected its first Black sheriff. A year later, a shocking high school shooting takes place as a popular white teacher is murdered by Titus' close friend's son, a troubled young Black man who is subsequently gunned down by his deputies. As horrible as this is, it is discovered that the teacher and his killer had been participating together in killings of Black children over the past few years. And there is a third person involved. In an uncovered video, the believed leader of the group is only seen wearing a wolf mask. Titus needs to use his FBI skills to figure out who is behind the mask. But he is faced with many obstacles including local racists, White Supremacists and perhaps a dirty cop within his own team. Time is of the essence as it appears that the killer is still actively preying on victims even though his two helpers are dead. 

When you enter the world of author S.A. Cosby, you have to be prepared for a tough, emotional journey. Like his book Razorblade Tears, Cosby brings readers into another gritty, tragic and thought-provoking story with All the Sinners Bleed. Titus is not only trying to protect the people of his hometown, but he is also trying to deal with his relationships with his father and brother, his crisis of faith and a trauma from his past. He's a complex man you have to admire. Emotions run high throughout this heartbreaking and superior book. I expected no less from Cosby.

All the Sinners Bleed was high on my 2023 must-read list, and it did not disappoint!
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Definitely going on my :"best of 2023" list.

Yes, this book is dark and gritty, covering just about every tough topic out there, from racism to ritual murder to animal sacrifice. But it's a really worthwhile read that seamlessly integrates a hard look at American history and culture with a thrilling serial killer investigation. 

Titus is the first Black sheriff in his small Virginia county. HIs white consitutients mistrust him and the Black ones consider him a sellout. But he's determined to do his job and give every citizen the protection and justice they deserve. He's investigating  a truly disturbed serial murder, a case that will test him both emotionally and intellectually as he faces a killer, his doubters and his own personal demons.

Really impressive and highly recommended!
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S. A. Cosby continues his stellar path with this tale of a small southern town sheriff. A Black sheriff. The FIRST Black sheriff. His day to day battles against white supremacy are combined with his constant struggle to engender trust amongst the Black townspeople. A hard enough job becomes infinitely harder when a school shooting leads to an ominous possibility of more murders.

Cosby's protagonist is on the law enforcement side of things for the first time in his four novels. It makes this one the most complex and, for my money, the best of the four. 
Start it for the plot. Finish it for the brilliant last page!
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My reading habits rarely include mysteries but Cosby has an incredible ability to break away from the conventional traps and tropes of the genre. Every detail is carefully considered and rendered in beautiful detail. I've never been to rural Virginia but Cosby makes his readers feel like they're there. Similarly, we are drawn to the lead characters because of their very real human flaws and struggles. Titus is a great protagonist, a man grappling with his role as county sheriff after resigning in quasi-disgrace from the FBI.

I don't have any critiques of this book. It was powerful, propulsive, and wholly believable. I will be recommending this book to patrons in my role as a librarian and suggest we purchase it for our systemwide mystery book club once it's available in paperback. I will also recommend it to my friends and family.
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Another winner by S. A. Cosby All the Sinners Bleed tells the story of guilt, secrets in a small town, and the ugly legacy of the South. "Blood and tears. Violence and mayhem. Love and hate. These were the rocks upon which the South was built". Our main character is Titus Crown - former FBI agent that is now the first elected black sheriff in a fictional Charon County in Virginia. Titus is an interesting character, and Cosby's most complex to date. He has an aversion to religion after praying for years for his mother to recover from a horrible illness, and is able to discern the hypocrisy that is spewed from many pulpits in the South. No money to help church members, but plenty of money for pastor to wear $500 suits and drive a Lexus. Titus' world turns upside down when a report of a school shooting comes in - he discovers the shooter has killed a beloved community teacher, whom the shooter claims has done heinous crimes to children. He shouts "look at his phone" as he is gunned down by Titus's deputies. The shooter was black - which brings protests from the community about why he was killed. Many of today's problems are woven through a high octane cat and mouse thriller of Travis trying to find the third mystery man of the crime circle of Latrell (shooter), Mr. Spearman (teacher) and the "third wolf". Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reader copy.
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A terrific mystery/thriller set in a small southern town with all its complicated history. Sheriff Titus must deal with the town’s racism, Christen fundamentalism, a serial killer and ghosts from his own past. This one is a real can’t put down page turner:
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𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬. 𝐕𝐢𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐲𝐡𝐞𝐦. 𝐋𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐞. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐬 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐭. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐨𝐝.

In Greek mythology Charon was the ferryman of Hades. He brought souls across the rivers Acheron and Styx as long as the dead had received funeral rites and had the required payment, obols placed either over the eyes or on the mouth. The Charon County named in this book was almost a mythological character in itself, bridging the gap between good and evil, the living and the dead.

Titus Crown was one of the most dynamic characters I've read about so far this year, but with every Cosby book, I'm transported to a gritty world with juxtapositions of violence and beauty that would rival Shakespeare. Seeing the bigoted police force in his hometown causes Titus to leave the FBI to become the first Black sheriff in the county. A year after his election, a young Black man is fatally shot by Titus’s deputies after the young man opened fire in the local high school, killing a beloved teacher. This one act sets off a domino effect as Titus uncovers more and more horrific things that lead him to believe there's a serial killer hiding in plain sight.

Everything about this story, even the gritty parts, were laced with beauty. Who else but Cosby can describe the horrific discovery of a burial ground filled with young victims and move the reader to tears? This is a story filled with mythological allusions, suffering, and redemption. Even the name Titus has meaning; title of honor. This painful story reminds us that "𝐄𝐯𝐢𝐥 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝. 𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐟*𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐨𝐥𝐝."

There is no way I can do this masterpiece justice with my words. When this one releases June 6, 2023, get your hands on it and be prepared for this generation's voice of Southern crime fiction. Forever grateful to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for this early copy.
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Titus Crown, the main character of ALL THE SINNERS BLEED, is a good and honorable man who can’t abide even his honest misjudgments leading to bad outcomes beyond his control. As a Black sheriff of rural Charon County on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, and a former FBI agent, Titus is caught at the crossroads of political turmoil while a pedophile mass murderer runs amok. He’s unpopular with the Black Lives Matter crowd who want the confederate statue removed and with the All Lives Matter crowd who want it to stay put. A brilliant perfectionist, Titus ran for office in order to change things for the better, but can anything in Charon County honestly change?

Threads that run through S.A. Cosby’s novels: racism; taking justice into your own hands; being “good enough” or “stable enough” for a wife and family or even just a relationship; loss of religious faith; and adults who let you down by checking out at key points in your young life due to addiction and/or imprisonment and/or death. He asks: how do you separate victimization and villainy when the two are often wrapped up in the same individual–and sometimes that individual is you?

ALL THE SINNERS BLEED reads more like a popular thriller than the two novels that preceded it. The humor is much lighter. Titus Crown reminds me a bit of Penn Cage from the crime thriller series by Greg Iles*, coming slap-bang up against the old boy network of white supremacy mixed up with psychopathy and Christian nationalism in the cause of justice–but of course Penn Cage is white, and so there’s not much of a comparison with how this trauma is inhabited by and embodied within the Black man as he tries to wrestle against it. Cosby illumines this battle more poignantly that I can express.
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All the Sinners Bleed is another addictive thriller from S.A. Cosby. This story is a well-paced, gripping page turner. I was fully invested from start to finish. Definitely check this one out if you are a fan of Cosby's previous novels or if you love thrillers!
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Another kick you in your teeth and hang you out to dry roller coaster of action, mystery and intrigue, I look forward to every new book Cosby rights. Again, hope to see this one optioned for tv or movie.
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Beautifully written, tightly paced, and gritty AF - you know, like all of Cosby's books. It's all artful prose about arboreal majesty and the sunlight hitting fields and whatnot on one page and then horrific, bloody, glorious violence on the next. No one does it quite like him, and I LOVE IT.

Titus Crowne is the first Black sheriff in rural Charon County, Virginia. After a young Black man shoots the town's most beloved white teacher and is then killed by Titus's white deputies, the town is in an uproar. Things get even worse when the teacher is revealed to be a serial sexual predator and murderer -- and he didn't work alone. Titus works to track down the other monster while walking a very fine line as a Black sheriff in the south. 

The serial killer business was excellent, but the real story here is about Titus’s precarious balancing act: he wants to use his position as sheriff to protect his community from the predations of the good old boys, but that same position forces him to uphold the laws that protect the Confederate pride dummies' right to march. It all feels impossible. Suffice it to say, Titus was a fantastic, complicated character, and I would happily read ten books about him (please!?!) 
I binge-read this in a day and am definitely planning a reread at some point. This is a must read for existing Cosby fans and a good entry point for anyone who hasn't read Razorblade Tears or Blacktop Wasteland (who? why?).

Also: the ending was so good. I maybe yelled a little. I love Titus, and I loved this book.
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No one writes with such power, while managing to convey the brutality of life, as S.A. Cosby does. His latest book, All the Sinners Bleed, is beautifully written, gritty, with a hero who carries the weight of his job and his community on his shoulders. Sheriff Titus Crown is a giant of a man in so many ways.

After ten years with the FBI, Titus Crown returned home to Charon, Virginia, where he was elected the first Black sheriff in a community founded on corruption and racism. In many ways, Charon hasn’t changed, but Titus doesn’t want Black people to be afraid to turn to the sheriff’s department for help. He knows the ugly side of the town, but it becomes even more evident the day there’s a call that there’s an active shooter at Jefferson Davis High School.

While Titus tries to talk Latrell Macdonald into dropping his weapon, he says some strange things. Then, it’s too late to question him because two of Crown’s deputies shoot and kill him. The only other victim was Mr. Spearman, one of the teachers. But, Latrell’s comments make Titus pull the phone and computer records for both men. Although most of Charon worshipped Spearman, the images Titus finds won’t easily be forgotten. None of Titus’ deputies had the stomach to watch the child pornography and murders of young Black people. But, there are three men in those video clips. Latrell and Spearman are dead. Who is the third man in the wolf mask?

Sheriff Titus Crown knows he has a duty to all the citizens of Charon. While he’s looking for a killer, looking for bodies, and, later, dealing with more murders, he also has to juggle his regular duties. Fall Fest is coming up, and a group of white men have a permit to march in support of the Confederate statue in town. Some of the Black churches are mounting opposition. Titus faces regular opposition from the head of the Board of Supervisors, the richest man in town. He can’t forget the town’s deaths from drugs, and his suspicion about the men who run the Watering Hole who may be major suppliers. Right now, though, Crown wants to find the third man in those videos.

Once again, the author of Razorblade Tears, tells a compelling story of social justice and racism. It’s all the more powerful because Titus Crown cares so deeply and won’t give an inch when it comes to his own conscience. He’s a towering figure fighting for justice, but he’s still human. S.A. Cosby’s All The Sinners Bleed is an unforgettable story of one man fighting for his own soul, and the soul of his hometown.
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Did you love Blacktop Wasteland back in 2020? How about Razorblade Tears? 

Just. You. Wait.

Cosby’s latest book, due out in June, is Fan-Freaking-Tastic, and is now my new favorite of his, though that’s like picking my favorite child ‘cause I’ve loved them all. I couldn’t NOT pick it up the instant it hit my doorstep, and I couldn’t put it down until the last page was turn, less than 24 hours later.

Another incredibly topical story involving a school shooting in a small Virginia town and a Black sheriff who has to ride the fence between justice and race. The supporting cast is strong, with family members haunted by grief and generational trauma passed on for generations, a love story of missed opportunities, and white people whose families built the system of racism, incarceration, and poverty and still think they are ‘owed’ the riches upon which it sits.

But the one thing in All The Sinners Bleed that rises it to a 5 star slam-dunk for me is the lead character, Titus Black. A former star quarterback of the high school state championship team, a boy who lost his mother young, a graduate of UVA, a ten year veteran of an elite FBI team, Titus has been elected a small-town sheriff. So many questions swirled in my brain over this career decision, and Cosby slowly unfolds the answers as he develops this character page by page, and cell by cell. Titus is a complicated man, with Cosby’s well-known habits of complexities in his leads; it’s why I LOVE this author.

It comes out June 6, a life time away, so pre-order it now - you’ll thank me when you stay up until 2 AM to finish it, trust me:)
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