Bloody Sheets is my latest book review. It is a novel from author Andy Rausch.
Bloody Sheets is a short but powerful story of race, hate, and revenge. It follows DeRay “Coke” Cokely, a mob enforcer who has spent time in prison and has a long dark history to his life.
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Have you read Bloody Sheets by Andy Rausch? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
If you are enjoying this review, feel free to browse the rest of my favorite books.
About Bloody Sheets
When a young African-American man is lynched in a small Alabama town, his estranged father sets out for revenge, embarking on a blood-soaked journey that will leave the ravaged bodies of dead Klansmen in his wake.
Thoughts on Bloody Sheets
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked up Bloody Sheets to read, but nothing quite as dark as what I read. It is a good story, for sure. But not for anyone under 18. It is way too graphic for even a young adult to handle.
Coke’s son Will and his mother live in a small predominantly white Alabama town when Will is lynched by the Klu Klux Clan, who are still very active in the small town. Coke is busy with his own criminal life elsewhere when he receives the call about Will from his ex-wife, Deija.
Coke wasn’t a very good father, which was something on Will’s mind as he was thinking about becoming a father himself. During most of Will’s childhood, Coke was in prison. Will had been dating a white girl. The daughter of a dentist, and prominent member of the town who had very racist views himself. All they wanted was the opportunity to have a relationship together.
Deija asks Coke to take revenge on the KKK members who killed their son Will, and the story follows that journey of revenge and justice.
This story caught me off guard and actually left me speechless for a variety of reasons. It is graphic, and I mean disturbingly graphic. There is blood on almost every page. However, it actually adds to the story and isn’t just nauseatingly gross. It really does add to the feel of the book.
When I first started reading it, I honestly thought this was set back in the 1950’s, when racism was alive and well in America. Then the author references things like cell phones, Xbox, and Barack Obama having been the president. It’s not 1950, it is present day America.
I may live under a rock, but I always hope that racism isn’t nearly that prominent in today’s world. The thought of that makes me sad because we have come so far in our world as the years progressed. This shouldn’t even be a thing anymore.
Bloody Sheets seemed more like a movie to me. It took me on a roller coaster ride because I was never sure what was going to happen next. It was easy to follow, despite being so graphic. It felt like a movie to me instead of a book, if that makes any sense. There are some serious plot twists that give this a movie feel to me. Ones I really wasn’t expecting, but I can see myself screaming out loud in the theater during a couple of scenes if they were really a movie.
I can’t say I’ve ever read anything like Bloody Sheets before, but it was good. Graphic, real, and emotional. There is a ton of swearing and racial slurs in this book, so just be aware of that. It fits the characters quite well in this story, but there are a lot.
Toward the end, the story takes another twist and becomes heartwarming. A shocking thing in this kind of dark, graphic, and violent story. But it reminded me that at the end of the day, we’re all human with real emotions.
Coke was a terrible husband to Deija and father to Will. Now that Will is dead, the only thing he can do is try to avenge his death. It is about Coke’s love for his family. Coke wasn’t there for his family during their lives, so the only thing left to do is stand up for their deaths.
This interesting plot twist reminds me that life is short. We only have so much time on this planet, and to really focus on making the most of the time we are given.
Final Thoughts on Bloody Sheets
The book is short, being a whopping 124 pages, but I read it in one sitting because I was hooked from the beginning. Despite the graphic descriptions, the character development was evident throughout the book This really gave the opportunity for me to get to know Coke as it progressed. I found myself wanting him to be successful and avenge Will’s death and have a happily ever after. I cheered when people helped him along the way.
There was no happily ever after in this book, but after reading it, there was no other way to end it. The way it ended was literally perfect. Shocking, yet perfect. I’m not going to spoil it for you, I’m just going to tell you to go read the book. Bloody Sheets is definitely worth taking the time to read!
Have you read Bloody Sheets from author Andy Rausch or any of his other writing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author
Andy Rausch is the author or editor of nearly fifty books. His nonfiction (as Andrew J. Rausch) includes My Best Friend’s Birthday: The Making of a Quentin Tarantino Film, The Cinematic Misadventures of Ed Wood (w/ Charles E, Pratt Jr.), and Perspectives on Stephen King.
His fiction includes Layla’s Score, Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties, and Bloody Sheets. Several of his books have been optioned for film and his work has been translated into French, Spanish, Portugese, and Chinese. He is a web editor at Diabolique magazine and the screenwriter of the film Dahmer vs. Gacy.
He has edited numerous anthologies that have featured the work of such writers as Joe R. Lansdale, Max Allan Collins, Stewart O’Nan, John A. Russo, Richard Chizmar, Peter Leonard, Wrath James White, Stephen Spignesi, Richard Christian Matheson, etc.
Purchasing Bloody Sheets
If you are interested in buying the paperback version of Bloody Sheets, click here.
For the hardcover version, click here.
Click here for the Kindle version.
Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.
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Man I’d love to sit back with a story book. It’s been years since I’ve read something that wasn’t textbook-y and technical.
This looks so interesting! I love a read that can really get you thinking. I just downloaded the kindle version and am looking forward to reading!
I’m not sure how you actually got through the book. I’m sure the storyline wi well-thought-out but I just couldn’t handle the graphics nor the foul language really. Also, I don’t think I could handle the subject matter. I am of mixed race but just the little bit of what you wrote reminded me of when I grew up in NJ and we would take vacations in Florida. We would drive but once we got close to the border and then south of the border, even if my mom was tired she would under no circumstances let us get a hotel. I had a lot of racism growing up but not like she did and she was terrified.
It’s kinda sad because once I moved to Florida about 10 years ago I am really surprised at how much racism is alive. Since I am mixed people don’t always readily know that I grew up as “black” (unless they are black themselves and then they can tell) and so my friends would make racists remarks in front of me. And the thing is, they don’t even realize that what they said is racist. It’s that “normal” down here. If they realized it I don’t think they would say it so much.
The Prepping Wife
I remember reading your post about your son recently and him learning as he grows up about racism. For me, this book gave me a better idea of what you probably dealt with growing up, and I know what your mom definitely dealt with, as well as a different perspective. For you, I would imagine it would only be an ugly trip down memory lane. In knowing you fairly well, I would definitely agree that this isn’t the book for you, Alexandra.
This seems like a very interesting book! I was surprised that you would not recommend it for people under 18. I’ve not read Bloody Sheets or any Andy Rausch book but will give it a try.
The Prepping Wife
I’m torn on not recommending it to even young adults myself, Norma! Because it is so well written, it would seem like a natural choice to really give young people an idea of what Deep South 1950’s looked like for a black person. But the violence and graphic descriptions of it are what made me say it wasn’t appropriate for anyone under 18.
I like your summary of the book. I think it might be a bit too graphic and dark for me though.
Looks like an intense, but ultimately great book! I’m not sure if it’s for me – I’m a sappy, romance, HEA person. But every once and awhile I like a good, powerful and thought-provoking book.
I’m glad you enjoyed it! Lovely review as well 🙂
Really great review – I could do with reading this one as I haven’t read anything deep for a while.
Sounds like a deep and engaging book, despite its subject matter. I love good writing and this sounds like each word is full of intention.
Great reviews! I have to admit that it’s been a while since I read this type of genre… I definitely think it’s time to read a true ‘Wicked Witch’ book! I might give it a try… but let us know if you come across any more 😉
Excellent review – makes me want to read the book myself.
The story is absorbing and I would not mind reading a book which is little different. Since I visualize when I read, I too would get a movie like feel I guess.
Live Learn Better
Great review. I haven’t read anything in a long while and this seems interesting to bring the spark back. Thank you for sharing.
Wow, sounds like an intense book, but a very thoughtful read! I probably couldn’t handle it (at least not right now, with all the preggo hormones!) Good on you to stick through it and share your thoughts.
I may be a bit weird for saying this, but I like revenge stories and have no problem whatsoever with blood. I’ll definitely pick this up at some point I’ve always been a fan of Quentin Tarantino bloody and over-the-top films and I’m wondering if he’d be willing to adapt a story like Bloody Sheets.
The Prepping Wife
You will love this book then, Thuy! It really does have a very Quentin Tarantino feel to it! I think that would be a perfect movie adaptation for him.
I never heard of the author before but this books sounds interesting and I could really stomach reading it, since the story is fascinating enough.
This book sounds really intriguing! I’m not one for blood and foul language, though. And I think it would make me sad that this is set in present day. Racism shouldn’t be a thing now and it’s sad that it is.
This sounds like an incredible book and one that is highly relevant today with everything going on in the world. Recent events make it clear that racism is still very present in our modern society – and far too often overlooked. It’s time to seriously discuss the real-life horrors and bring this dark reality into the spotlight. A book like this serves a very important purpose, starting that conversation. Thank you for sharing!
Scott J DeNicola
This is a concept that sounds like it could easily be made into a movie as well. I could see in my head this story playing out as you were describing the plot. I’m not a huge reader but 124 pages seem right in my wheelhouse. 🙂 With everything going on in the world today around race it seems fitting.
I have not read any books from this author, but this books sounds very interesting. It is sad that racism is actually still a thing these days. And you are so right, we have come a long way, but just the thought of knowing that it actually is still out there makes me sad. Thank you for warning potential readers of the graphic content of this book. It sounds like a story that would bring on so many emotions, anger, heartache, and fear. I’ve read many books that have brought on so many emotions. I hope Coke was able to bring justice over his sons death. As always, thank you for providing such a great book review!
Ooo this book sounds very gritty and real, I would deffo like to give this a read. Myself and the hubby are always looking for new books that are a good read, so this would make for a great stocking filler thank you x
Very interesting book. As Race issues have become a big deal again, I am interested to read this book.
Debra A Roberts
That is alot of drama and twists for 124 pages! I would have nightmares reading a book as gruesome as you describe, although, it is intriguing to see if I can stomach it! Like you, I didn’t think racism was as bad as it’s been brought to the surface this past year. I truly thought we were past all of that.
this is an interesting book review for me. I like it that it’s short. I will offer it up in my book club to be assigned as one of the books of the month. Hope it will be picked (and if it is I will make sure to come back and tell you)
The Prepping Wife
Let me know if your book club reads it and what they think!