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By Sarah Perry

Longlisted for the mum or dad First ebook Award

Winner of the East Anglian ebook of the yr Award 2014

One sizzling summer's day, John Cole makes a decision to depart his existence at the back of.

He shuts up the bookstall not anyone ever involves and drives out of London. whilst his motor vehicle breaks down and he turns into misplaced on an remoted street, he is going searching for support, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand yet dilapidated residence.

Its citizens welcome him with open fingers - yet there's extra to this unusual group than meets the attention. all of them recognize him by way of identify, they've ready a room for him, and declare to were looking forward to him all alongside.

As nights and days cross John reveals himself drawn right into a baffling menagerie. there's Hester, their matriarchal, controlling host; Alex and Claire, siblings choked with child-like ask yourself and delusions; the mercurial Eve; Elijah - a faithless former preacher haunted by way of the Bible; and chain-smoking Walker, wreathed in smoke and hostility. who're those humans? And what do they intend for John?

Elegant, lightly sinister and psychologically advanced, After Me Comes The Flood is a haunting and hypnotic debut novel through an excellent new voice.

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Good, convinced – you’re smiling, and why wouldn’t you. Absurd, isn’t it? I retain pondering Holmes will arrive, with Watson following by way of train…’ ‘I wouldn’t have proposal so,’ stated John. ‘Miss Marple, probably. ’ ‘It is extra her line of labor, isn’t it? ’ The smoke receded, and left her mossy eyes transparent and frank. ‘Poison pen letters. That’s what they name them, as though it’s now not the individual writing that’s at fault however the pen of their hand – they arrive for Alex, of everyone! you could think somebody eager to torment Walker, can’t you. ’ She acknowledged this with a mild secretive smile, which she quickly shook off. ‘Or Hester, or maybe me. yet Alex’ – she shook her head. ‘Well – you recognize. ’ John, who knew much less now than he ever had, nodded. ‘There’s constantly whatever, with Alex. It was once bridges ahead of. This time it’s the reservoir – he’s received it into his head the dam will holiday, and the reservoir will burst the embankment, and the water will succeed in us down right here. He says he sees it at evening – he’s status at the entrance garden and the sky turns black, and black water from the reservoir bursts out of the entire home windows and doorways, taking we all with it. I inform him on a daily basis it'll want the Severn or the Thames to flood us the following, whether there hadn’t been a drought, no matter if the dam burst…’ She shook her head, and opened up a sq. of stained linen from its paper packet. It used to be embroidered with the textual content THOU GOD SEEST ME, and beneath the phrases a blue eye used to be coming unstitched. Eve picked on the trailing threads. ‘Of direction we don’t argue or disagree with him, it should merely make issues worse, and in addition to, what will we understand, approximately this dam or any other…’ John watched her refolding the linen sq. on her lap and observed, with a prick of tension, that the bluish-white pores and skin above her knees was once commencing to burn. ‘But definitely – a catastrophe on that scale: it’s unthinkable. ’ He appeared back on the raised grass financial institution; it appeared, within the curious brightness of its grass, extra everlasting than the home itself. She shrugged. ‘There’s a crack, he says, even though I’ve no longer visible it. Out he swims, whilst we’re all in our beds, then comes and wakes me, together with his hair dripping on my pillow, to inform me it’s the width of his thumb, then the palm of his hand…’ Kneeling among the scattered drawers, she unfold her personal arms hopelessly. ‘Then, a couple of weeks in the past, simply first and foremost of summer season, down we got here one morning and there have been letters for Alex, facet by means of part at the doormat. Oh, he was once happy – no-one writes to any extent further, do they? He proposal a pal had came upon him. you recognize, from ahead of. ’ She stated this tentatively, and back John had the curious feeling that she did so out of a delicacy for his personal emotions, yet couldn't imagine why. ‘Only they weren’t letters, in fact – simply newspaper clippings, and them all confirmed drownings, or floods. there has been one with a negative photo, from France, of 2 childrens who’d been stranded on a sandbank attempting to find shells. They have been mendacity at the sand, their hair all combined up with the seaweed…’ She shuddered.

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