Sixteen-year-old Jenn is struggling to cope with her best friend’s disappearance and the deadly trailer fire that preceded it. When her only other close companion is thrust into the adult world without her, Jenn begins her own investigation into the strange happenings plaguing her small Oklahoma town. She crosses paths with Sheriff Douglas Taylor, a lawman trying to hush murmurs of a church deacon-turned-meth dealer motivated by ecstatic visions and a hunger for material power. Before long, mysterious threats force the sheriff to weigh his own reputation as a hero against his ideas of security, as the deacon’s wife, Charlotte, seeks solace in novelty and considers the ways the old man will haunt the county and consume its working poor. Charlotte, Sheriff Taylor, and Jenn each find themselves then beneath a flood of shadow in the autumn months of 1998, and it is only there that they begin to make sense of their changing worlds.
Praise for Sinners Plunged Beneath That Flood
"Sinners Plunged Beneath That Flood stands as a monumental achievement. . . . [G.D. Brown] has created a world from scratch and populated it with a large cast of characters who pulsate with desire and fear and dark energy. It’s a story with not only a thrilling plot but also a wrenching moral lesson, which it conveys by suggesting that Jim and his henchmen embody an evil that’s ineradicable yet must be fought. The prose is excellent throughout: limpid and direct."
-John McManus, recipient of the Whiting Award and the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, author of Bitter Milk, Born On A Train, Stop Breakin Down, and Fox Tooth Heart
"Sinners Plunged Beneath That Flood is a bleak, soulful look at the ravages of the burgeoning meth trade in rural Oklahoma circa 1998. . . . [It is] finely told, with a deep rhythm of inevitability and autumnal regret . . . a satisfying, if sorrowful eulogy to the human heart behind the meth epidemic in middle America. . . . [Brown's] work here shows a thoughtful new voice from a section of the country too often ignored."
-Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of Sparrow, Flygirl, Orleans, Pasadena, and The Blossom and the Firefly
"Milwaukee author G.D. Brown’s bleak yet gripping debut novel . . . swirls around a handful of broken souls in a small Oklahoma town ravaged by the meth trade. . . . The tense prose announces Brown as a Wisconsin writer on the rise."
"Sinners Plunged Beneath that Flood is not for the faint of heart, but the mere precision in story-telling and world-building make it a stellar and worthwhile read. It’s a novel great at creating questions and challenging readers' ideas of the preconceived good and bad. Much like Brown’s characters, readers will come out a different person from this novel than they were going in. As you read, you’ll ask questions you desperately need answers to; and once you're met with those answers, you’ll regret asking at all."
-Sean Wolff, Glassworks
"[The reviewer] set it aside and tried to read again, but just could not do so."
-Wisconsin Writers Association