book cover of Lighthouse Burning
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Lighthouse Burning

(2023)
(The first book in the Harlan Winter series)
A novel by

 
 
In a small Appalachian town, an amateur detective unearths a dark conspiracy and his own haunted past, in a chilling novel about sacrifice, art, and revenge.

Med school dropout Harlan Winter returns to his impoverished West Virginia hometown, where the law is scarce, arsonists are turning everything to ash, and his family’s turbulent history lingers. All he wants is to keep the peace in a community cowering from The Lighthouse, a local cult preying on people’s fears. Harlan’s own fears, too, when he’s hired to play detective and find a young couple gone missing.

The vanished artist and his girlfriend have left behind a series of paintings that enrage The Lighthouse’s Pastor Logan, who believes art can have divine power. It’s not easy to believe for a rational man like Harlan. And impossible to ignore when his investigation is haunted by visions of the dead lurking in the shadows of his own violent past.

Revelations about the disappearances are being unearthed. The Lighthouse’s grip on the community is tightening. And Harlan fears he’s losing control. As the threats against his town, his sanity, and his life begin to mount, Harlan doesn’t know which is more terrifying: what’s real, or what’s in his mind.



Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Once in a great while, a book appears that gives voice to multitudes living just beyond our everyday scope. The Poison Flood establishes Jordan Farmer as a writer whose lyricism and unflinching search for truth place him among those artists who carry our deepest concerns and very best possibilities across time. This is a profoundly good book." - Jonis Agee

"Once again, Jordan Farmer has written a darkly urgent book. The Poison Flood is not only a story about the redemptive power of art - it is itself a redeeming and beautiful work." - Smith Henderson

"The Poison Flood is thrilling, poignant, and full of music, a forceful counterpunch to the usual expectations about poverty, trauma, and physical difference." - James A McLaughlin

"Jordan Farmer's immense talent shines with the creation of Hollis Bragg, an indelible character at the heart of this perfect ballad to rural West Virginia." - Devin Murphy

"In his narrator, Hollis Bragg, Jordan Farmer has created a compelling character whose personal story and damaged body become emblematic of a whole region devastated by environmental destruction. The Poison Flood is a timely and important novel." - Ron Rash

"A fascinating exploration of character, with a story that captivates with suspense and heart, The Poison Flood is a book about the influence of music, the power of art, and the complexities of luck. Irresistible and original." - Timothy Schaffert

"Jordan Farmer's novel is both a gripping page-turner and a stunning meditation on body and place. The Poison Flood will punch you right in the throat with its honesty and its heart. Farmer is a singular talent, with a voice I won't soon forget." - Nick White


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