Category Archives: Jordan Farmer

Review: The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer

Title: The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer
Publisher: G.P. Putnum’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


A captivating, gritty, and tender story of a reclusive musician and the environmental disaster that threatens his small town and changes his life forever.

Hollis Bragg lives on the fringes. The hunchbacked son of a West Virginia hill preacher, he now resides in rural isolation next to the burned-out husk of his father’s church, and earns his living ghostwriting songs for a popular band that left the poverty and corruption of Appalachia and never looked back. It’s the life he prefers, free from the harsh glare of the spotlight and attachments that lead only to heartbreak.

Then, much to his consternation, he’s discovered by Russell Watson, a local musician and fan who also happens to be the rebellious son of the local chemical company magnate. When a devastating toxic spill at the Watson chemical plant poisons the local water, it sets off an unpredictable series of events as Hollis witnesses a murder, faces a shocking betrayal, and begins to come to terms with his body and his past. Soon Hollis will find that in losing his anonymity and reclaiming his music, he can transform his future; and in opening himself up to the world, he might find redemption.


The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer is an atmospheric crime drama that is quite introspective.

Hollis Bragg lives alone in a dying West Virginia town.  Due to his severe hunchback, bullying and abuse from his father, Hollis suffers from low self-esteem despite his success as a songwriter and guitar player. Hollis is on the cusp of ending a deal with musician Angela Carver when he is recognized by Russell Watson who is the son of a wealthy chemical owner.  His uneasiness with Russell and his friend Victor Lawton  increases after Hollis meets photographer Rosita Martinez.  In the aftermath of a horrific chemical spill, Hollis comes face to face with his past.

Hollis is a gifted songwriter and guitar player who never quite felt comfortable in the limelight. At the first sign of trouble years earlier,  he returned to Coopersville, where he keeps a very low profile. Always expecting the worst when he meets someone for the first time, Hollis harbors doubts when he first meets Russell. Through Russell, he meets Rosita. Hollis is drawn to her yet he becomes  suspicious of her motives over the course of time.

The Poison Flood is a reflective novel that features colorful characters and a unique storyline. Hollis is a damaged yet well-drawn character who is ready to make changes in his life. The novel’s pacing is rather languid as Hollis wrestles with his past and present choices. Jordan Farmer brings this interesting novel to a satisfying conclusion. A thought-provoking story that I enjoyed and recommend to readers of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Crime Fiction, GP Putnams Sons, Jordan Farmer, Rated B, Review, The Poison Flood