SA Cosby on ‘Razorblade Tears’

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In this week’s podcast, SA Cosby says a writer friend once told him, “I think you’re like the bard of broken men.” In Cosby’s new novel, “Razor Tears” The fathers of two newly murdered married gay men team up to track down the killers. Cosby says the fathers—Ike, who is black, and Buddy Lee, who is white—sound familiar to him.

“I grew up with guys like Ike and Buddy Lee,” she says. “Maybe not violent men, but men who are emotionally closed, unable to express or communicate their vulnerabilities, feelings. I grew up in an environment where masculinity was all about presentation, being ‘tough’, whatever that means. So when I started writing the book, I started with these two characters, because the people I think should read the book the most are the people I know, who surround me every day. But more than that, I fell in love with Ike and Buddy Lee because if these two men can change, change is possible for anyone.”

Dean Jobb visits the podcast to talk about his new book, “The Case of Killer Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Serial Killer.” The book chronicles the crimes of Thomas Neill Cream, a Canadian obstetrician who killed an unknown number of people, most of whom were women of marginal backgrounds, between the 1870s and 1892.

“There was a lot of madness in what he was doing, but also some computational methods,” Jobb says. “He never made any allegations of insanity at any of his trials, so no professional evaluation was made of him. As one of his medical instructors put it, he seems almost caught up in the idea that doctors are divine; They stand between the living and the dead. And it seems as if he has decided that his godly powers given to him as a doctor will be used to decide who will live and who will die.”

Also in this week’s episode, Tina Jordan looks back at Book Review history as she celebrates her 125th anniversary; Elizabeth Harris has news from the publishing world; and Dwight Garner and Jennifer Szalai talk about books they’ve recently reviewed. The host is Pamela Paul.

Here are the books Times reviewers are discussing this week:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the Book Review podcast in general. you can send them books@nytimes.com.

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