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The Night of the Flood

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It happened the night Maggie Wilbourne was to be put to death, the first woman executed by the state of Pennsylvania in modern times. That was when a group of women passionately protesting Maggie’s imprisonment struck. They blew up a local dam, flooding the town of Everton and indirectly inspiring a hellish night of crime and chaos.

Fourteen of today’s new and most exciting contemporary crime writers will take you to the fictional town of Everton, with stories from criminals, cops, and civilians that explore the thin line between the rich and the poor, the insider and the outsider, the innocent and the guilty. Whether it’s a store owner grimly protecting his property from looters, an opportunistic servant who sees her time to strike, or two misguided youths taking their anger out against any available victim, The Night of the Flood is an intricate and intimate examination of the moment when chaos is released—in both society and the human spirit.

Contributors: E.A. Aymar, Rob Brunet, Sarah M. Chen, Angel Luis Colón, Hilary Davidson, Mark Edwards, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Jennifer Hillier, Shannon Kirk, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, and Wendy Tyson.

318 pages, Paperback

First published March 5, 2018

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About the author

E.A. Aymar

17 books134 followers
Anthony Award-nominated E.A. Aymar’s most recent thriller, No Home for Killers, received praise from the New York Times, Kirkus, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and was an instant Amazon Bestseller. His previous thriller, They’re Gone, was published to rave reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus (starred), and named one of the best books of 2020 by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. His essays have appeared in the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Publishers Weekly, and more. He is a former member of the national board of the International Thriller Writers and is an active member of Crime Writers of Color and Sisters in Crime, was born in Panama and now lives and writes in, and generally about, the DC/MD/VA triangle.

E. A. Aymar also runs a popular and well-regarded monthly newsletter called Crime (Fiction) Works featuring upcoming top crime fiction novels, interviews, and monthly prizes for subscribers. Sign up at https://eaymar.substack.com,

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Dave.
3,012 reviews331 followers
October 22, 2017
Absolutely amazing! This volume is masterful. It takes the story of a natural disaster (okay, here it is not quite natural as the dam breaking was caused by activists angry at the justice system trying to wreak their own version of justice), which could have been any flood, hurricane, wildfire, anything of biblical proportions and shows society coming apart at its seams. It is done with each successive chapter written by a different author, but that almost does not matter because the result is so stunning and the quality is so high throughout that it could have been written with one pen, not many.

It is gritty, dark, compelling crime fiction through and through with riots, looting, serial killers, desperate people, fallen people, tricked people, would-be bank robbers, one gun against three, battered spouses, truckers lost on the roads straying into all-out hell, all trying to survive as the floodwater rise and rise and rise. This is just great stuff.

Thanks to Down & Out Books for a copy for review.
Profile Image for Odessa Green.
16 reviews1 follower
October 17, 2017
The Night of the Flood is a mystery told in several voices by several authors. Each chapter tells a different part of the story from a different point of view. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but because an author that I enjoy was among the authors in this book I wanted to read it. The story takes place in Everton, PA. A woman is set to be executed after being found guilty of murder. It starts out with a letter from a domestic terrorist group called “The Daughters” who feel she shouldn’t have been executed because she was actually a victim and that if she was executed and not given a stay that they would blow up a dam. Each subsequent chapter takes place after the dam is blown up.

We are given points of view and stories from looters, victims, serial killers, bank robbers, murderers, etc. We are taken all over Everton–the laundromat, the high school, the bank, the rich neighborhood and the motel to name a few places.

The book does not flow like a regular novel, and I didn’t expect it to because there are 14 different authors writing it, but it all works so well together. Some of the characters tie in together and are mentioned across more than story (with the exception of The Daughters who tie the entire book together). Some of the stories did feel like they dragged on for a bit. The majority of the stories I really enjoyed. Some of my favorite stories featured in this book were Marta by Gwen Florio, The Darkest Hour by Hilary Davidson, Carter Hank Takes a Sedative at One in the A.M. by Shannon Kirk, and And the Water Kept Rising by Alan Orloff.

It isn't the type of book I read anymore, but it was a very enjoyable read. I would recommend it to others looking for something thrilling to read.

I received an arc of this book from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
Author 2 books947 followers
July 12, 2018
Like a demented Spoon River Anthology, The Night of the Flood is a collection of pieces linked by geography. Here, that geography is the town of Everton, and specifically Everton on the night it is threatened by an attack on a nearby dam. As Everton succumbs to the rising flood waters, its inhabitants descend into anarchy. The format is fun — each short story is written by a different author, so you get not only a series of stories about different characters, but different writing styles as well. The short stories come together to tell a larger narrative about violence, rage, and revenge, making this an entertaining and satisfying read.
Profile Image for Bonnye Reed.
4,088 reviews69 followers
March 5, 2018
GNab The Night of the Flood is a very ingenious anthology of the short stories of fourteen excellent authors which all take place in the small poor imaginary Pennsylvania town of Everton on the night the Big Dam was blown up to make a political statement. The diversity of the minds behind these short tales are very impressive. This is an adventurous grouping of shorts I can gladly refer to friends and family.

I received a free electronic copy of this grouping of shorts from Netgalley and Down and Out Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.

pub date March 5, 2018
Down & Out Books
Profile Image for Gabriel Valjan.
8 reviews1 follower
January 2, 2018
The Night of the Flood is a collection of fourteen stories framed around a catastrophic flood in the fictional town of Everton, Pennsylvania. Misdirection is already afoot since the flood is not a natural disaster, but an act of vengeance for a miscarriage of justice. David Brooks at The New York Times once said that Pennsylvania is Philadelphia at one end, Pittsburgh at the other, and Alabama in the middle. Everton is in the Alabama part, and the fourteen authors here do their best in the short fiction format to show characters and situations that could have stepped out of the pages of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone or J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. Each story has voice and style, drama and pathos. No small accomplishment. Be forewarned that there is profanity and violence.

These dark tales will make you think uncomfortable thoughts, of how the judicial system dispenses Old Testament justice rather than New Testament compassion and understanding, of how a small town in America is easily forgotten, swept away because it is poor and invisible. I couldn’t help but think of recent disasters such as the floods in Puerto Rico and the aftermath of Katrina, or the lethal interactions between citizens and Authority, past and present. The worst of times test the individual and society. Readers can choose between cynicism or cautious optimism in the stories. How would you act? What would you do? Everton is a noir version of George Bailey’s Bedford Falls.

I’m grateful to NetGalley for the Advance Reader Copy.
Profile Image for Michelle Richter.
Author 1 book37 followers
March 6, 2018
This collection of voices makes for a remarkably cohesive narrative of one town literally blown to hell. Great stories throughout, and I love how the connecting threads between stories are so cleverly done. Kudos to the editors, both of whom have very strong offerings here. The epilogue, from Jennifer Hillier, is masterful, and I loved the stories from Wendy Tyson, Gwen Florio, Hilary Davidson, and Elizabeth Heiter.
Profile Image for Kate.
23 reviews3 followers
April 3, 2018
An inventive take on the anthology format.
Profile Image for Shomeret.
1,049 reviews204 followers
March 5, 2018
Night of the Flood edited by E. A. Aymar and Sarah M. Chen is an unusual book. The stories by a variety of authors share a setting, plot events and characters. They represent different perspectives on an unnatural disaster engineered by a group of women who call themselves The Daughters. I was intrigued and requested a free copy from the publisher via publicist Wiley Saichek.

The book opens with "Dear Townspeople of Everton" which is a letter explaining the motivations of The Daughters. They consider their destruction of a dam just outside the fictional town of Everton, Pennsylvania an act of justice. Is it indeed an act of justice, or is it an act of terrorism? Can it be justified?

The remaining stories show how people react to the disaster, and how it impacts their lives.

I found The Night of the Flood unexpected. Some stories moved me while others made me think. I recommend it to readers who have an appetite for a book that's very different.

For specific comments on some of the stories see the blog version at http://shomeretmasked.blogspot.com/20...
Profile Image for Vanessa.
601 reviews6 followers
May 1, 2018
An interesting concept that is about 85% successful - if you were a fan of the flashbacks in Lost in which all the characters sort of interact or bounce off each other around a central event I think this will be an enjoyable read.
The pieces that didn't work for me were either a bit cliched or the style just wasn't my cup of tea; there are a few clear Stephen King fans contributing, which is great, but he's not a master of believable dialogue by any means and those short stories were a rough read for me. The twists/crimes can get a little repetitive as there's a heavy reliance on letting the flood cover up the narrator's misdeeds but, honestly, who wouldn't behave the same way? A solid recommend.

I received an ecopy from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lynn Pines.
184 reviews2 followers
April 22, 2018
Pretty 'quirky' with some of the stories being fairly violent. Interesting read for sure....definitely liked some of the short stories more than others. I did enjoy the concept of every separate (but connected) story line related to the flood.
Profile Image for Rebecca Moll.
Author 8 books20 followers
May 8, 2018
Shiver, shiver, what a thriller! Great anthology from the best of today's crime writers. The characters are hard hitting villans, chilling opportunists, and vengeful victims. Remind me never to live near a dam.
It's total anarchy in the hands of every criminal, every good guy turned bad, every score that needs settling, and of course, that vengeful group, The Daughters. Pray for a boy, ladies, these girl babies grow up to be killers.
So, grab a copy of The Night of the Flood, turn to page one, and get ready for one hell of a ride. Start at the beginning, no reading out of order, no cheating, save the best for last. Elizabeth Heiter expertly delivers the final chill in The Chase, classic cliffhanger style. Great thriller. Great chiller.
Buckle up, baby. This book is wild.
Profile Image for Jessi.
387 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2018
This was an interesting book. It is a story of a town being flood by an explosion of a nearby dam. The story is told through a series of short stories and, here’s the kicker, each short story is written by a different author. The short stories tell the tales of various people around town as the flood waters continue to rise. It is an intriguing concept as far as story telling goes and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Profile Image for Tara.
Author 19 books460 followers
June 24, 2018
Poor Everton! The town is a disaster, but it's delightfully horrifying to watch its demise. Top-notch stories from wonderful crime writers make this book powerful and tense. I really enjoyed it.
40 reviews1 follower
August 22, 2018
The premise of this book was really interesting: a collection of stories that together tell the night of what happened in a town during a flood. The idea that some would be looting, some would be victims, some would disappear, some would opportunistically use the chaos, some would just be trying to survive, was a great backdrop. Some of the stories were great, particularly The Copy Man by J.J. Hensley. There weren't as many stories of people who were just trying to survive as I would have thought, as most of them were just shady characters. This is fine on its own, because that's the theme of the collection.

But everytime the reason for the flood is referenced, the framework of the book is revealed to be shaky melodrama. A group of vigilante women blew up the dam to avenge a woman put to death . . . after killing her rapists. This is not realistic, bluntly. In this day and age, I can't believe I'm supposed to buy that with 1% of people put to death being women, that the example we're going with here is there because she killed her rapists. In prison? Maybe. But executed? Threw me right out of the story. Then one story decides to add in the fact that her father set her up and ran away, which is just adding onto the sympathy the book is trying to force from you, rather than letting you come to it naturally. I really dislike it when stories use rape as a short cut to set up martyrs and villains, because it is so expected and cliche at this point. If they'd left things more ambiguous, that the woman in question was not just the dictionary definition of poor victim, that would have fit in better with the morally dubious world they seemed to want to create.

Also, this book mostly shied away from portraying the vigilante women's actions as revenge that punished innocent and powerless people, which felt bizarre in a book that was supposed to be confronting gritty facts. No woman ever questioned their actions; they all seemed to kind of shrug and say, "Yeah, it makes sense." People lost their homes and their livelihoods, and the only character who vocally wanted to revenge was immediately portrayed as a racist killer, so his opinion was immediately invalidated. The epilogue only emphasized that we're supposed to see these women's actions as heroic or at least justified, rather than the terrorism it was. The fact that with all these morally ambiguous characters who'd just lost everything, no one felt the need to try to hunt down any of the Daughters and extract a little eye for an eye justice, feels like a missed opportunity. Shoot, you could be as manipulative as the set-up and make it a parent whose child drowned in the flood. Instead, they shied away from really showing that there were innocent and even uninnocent victims who had every reason to think that the Daughters were the villains of the piece. They pretended that the entire town was guilty because this woman was convicted, so what the Daughters did was perfectly understandable. That is some bad moral rationalization that ultimately lost me.

Ultimately, I didn't like this as much as I wanted to, because the overarching structure of the collection was trite and the reactions of the people to the act of the bombing itself was so unrealistic. Some good stories and a great premise, but I'm not sure I recommend it overall.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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