Jonah, an apprentice oil field diver, is partnered with Seed, a parolee from Angola, Louisiana’s notorious maximum-security prison. The two strangers are made to work together in the brutal and exotic offshore world of the Gulf of Mexico. Jonah’s dive team is called to fix a leaking well and recover the body of a drowned deckhand after a drilling rig blows out. A small accident enrages Seed, and his shocking retaliation starts a blood feud. Roughnecks and Riggers across the Gulf want retribution against Jonah’s dive team. Every assignment sends Jonah farther out to deeper and more dangerous jobs. Topside, he must fight to survive the worst that men can do, while undersea he works in a surreal world where every breath can bring death, the night ocean lights up with bioluminescence, and giant predators hunt.
". . . entertaining . . . compelling . . . set in the colorful, dangerous world of oil field diving . . . Butcher's measured prose deftly captures the grit and violence of Jonah's world, both on deck and beneath the waves . . . The world of offshore oil rigs is indeed a rugged one, and Butcher's handling of it here will attract readers who might not have had any interest in the milieu before."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"Hands down the best sea novel I've ever read. Whether it's the texture of a shark's hide or the color of blood in the deep, Butcher gets it right. It's a story as ferocious and unpredictable as the ocean itself, with villains that will freeze your heart."
-- Dr. John F. Morrissey, lead author of Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life.
Lifetime Member of The American Elasmobranch Society
Sweet Briar College
"JONAH, A Novel of Men and the Sea by Howard Butcher -- is the story of those rough men who lay pipeline at the bottom of the ocean in a magical underwater world, but always must surface to the brutal reality of steel girders and the ongoing cage fight of rigs and oil platforms in the untamed Gulf of Mexico. You can smell the oil, brine and the sea in this one. Think Cussler or Benchley, but written with a shiv in one hand and a length of pipe in the other."
-- Keith Korman, author of Eden, the Animals' Parable, Banquo's Ghosts, and other novels.