When Ike Randolph’s son, Isiah, is brutally murdered, Ike isn’t just heart-broken. He’s also filled with regrets.
When Isiah came out to him, Ike handled it poorly and never ended up fully accepting Isiah’s relationship with his husband, Derek.
Derek’s father, Buddy Lee, struggled with his son’s sexuality also and knows all too well the regrets Ike is experiencing.
Although Ike and Buddy Lee have never really associated, Buddy Lee seeks Ike out after their son’s murders. He wants to get to the bottom of it and thinks that Ike will be able to help him.
Besides their son’s relationship and subsequent deaths, Ike and Buddy Lee have something else in common. They’re both ex-cons. A fact that put additional strain on their relationships with their boys.
Initially, Ike is offended that Buddy Lee has come to him in such a way. He feels like Buddy Lee wants to use him on his mission of revenge, but then something happens that Ike can’t ignore. He won’t see his son’s memory scandalized in such a way.
After that, the two men pair up and an investigation of epic proportions ensues.
Ike and Buddy Lee are like the lovable odd couple in every buddy cop movie, except that they’re ex-cons. Which personally, I just think added to their depth of character and likability.
Neither one of them is perfect. They’ve both made a lot of mistakes and done many things they aren’t proud of. They’re open about that though and I appreciated that about them.
The conversations between the two men, as they got to know one another, were quite moving to read. They had frank discussions involving race and sexuality that really packed a punch, but in a natural way. It never felt overdone, or in your face.
I feel like Cosby did an incredible job of incorporating such social commentary seamlessly into the narrative.
I grew so attached to these characters over the course of the story; not just Ike and Buddy Lee, but side characters such as Ike’s wife and a woman named, Tangerine.
As I raced towards the conclusion, I knew this one would break my heart and it did, but in a good way. That doesn’t really make sense, does it?
I think if you read this, it will become clear. At it’s heart a story of revenge, this is also a story of hope, personal growth, change and possibly even redemption.
I grew to love these two men, flawed though they were. Cosby’s writing is captivating from the very start. This was expertly-crafted for maximum impact. If you don’t have this on your TBR yet…
I had the pleasure of Buddy Reading this one with my fabulous niece, Alyssa. We had some great discussions throughout.
I would definitely recommend this one for Book Club, Buddy Reads, or even a solo venture. In summation: