The Dredgeby Brendan Flaherty
In Brendan Flaherty’s debut novel, two estranged brothers must confront the violence of the past when they find out a pond where they played as children will be dredged
After some traumatic teenaged years in rural Connecticut, Cale and Ambrose Casey had nothing left to say to each other. Cale ran off to Hawaii to sell luxury real estate. Ambrose stayed behind and built up his construction company. Neither thought they’d be in touch again and were glad for it—until they learned of a real estate developer’s plan to drain and expand Gibbs Pond.
Nearly 30 years before, the Casey brothers buried a secret in that pond, which fell somewhere between self-defense and family preservation.
Lily Rowe, the contractor in charge of the dredging, can also trace her roots—and her trauma—to the banks of Gibbs Pond. After a childhood that saw her and her brother yanked across the country by her abusive father, it was here where she finally stayed put, even if they didn’t. But as ambitious as Lily is, and as much as she wants answers of her own, her family also has secrets to protect.
Now, the haunted lives of Cale, Ambrose, and Lily collide once more as they reunite to unearth the devastation of the past.
“In this accomplished debut mystery, Flaherty revitalizes the familiar trope of old secrets threatening to resurface with sinewy prose and well-tooled suspense . . . The past and present unfold gradually from the vantage points of Flaherty’s well-drawn leads, keeping readers on a knife’s edge as the full scope of each character’s history clicks into place. Admirers of Eli Cranor’s Ozark Dogs will be riveted.”—Publishers Weekly
“The Dredge probes the conventional American myth: the past can be reformed and even suppressed so that one can turn a new page in the American Eden and become a new Adam or Eve. The intense story dramatizes how the past always shapes and determines the main characters’ quotidian existence and mental activities. An ambitious, splendid debut.”—Ha Jin, National Book Award winning author of Waiting
“It’s clear that Brendan Flaherty is not here to fuck around. With his debut novel, The Dredge, he catapults us right away into dark family dysfunction with tight, athletic prose reminiscent of seasoned masters like Elmore Leonard and Harry Crews. This novel could’ve been twice as long, but this author knew to stick to the plan with not a wasted word. So, remember the name, Flaherty, folks. He’s here to stay.”—Brian Panowich, International Bestselling Author of Bull Mountain and Nothing But The Bones