The Incredible Winston Browne

Image of The Incredible Winston Browne
Release Date: 
March 2, 2021
Thomas Nelson
Reviewed by: 

After love went wrong in his younger years, small-town sheriff Winston Browne has led a simple bachelor’s life taking care of the people in his quaint, Gulf Coast community of Moab, Florida. With no big crimes to solve, he’s not sure he’s ever really made a difference in the world. But then a young girl arrives, carrying secrets that will change the hearts of everyone in town. With generational trauma trickling through the storyline, Sean Dietrich does what he does best by celebrating the everyday American hero and the positive difference a single person can make in the lives of many.

The legion of fans who have already discovered Sean of the South’s heartwarming southern stories will be raving about this knock-out novel, and readers new to his work will find this tale strikes every perfect note. A passionate baseball fan and kindhearted good guy, Winston’s an underdog-hero readers will love.

This story starts off with a kicker: “Winston Browne knew he was dying. He couldn’t explain how he knew. He just did.”

From there, we encounter one delightful line after another, proving that Dietrich has a natural ear for language and can capture even the most complex nuances of southern living: “To local residents it was covered dish socials, municipal meetings, and a bunch of people minding your business. To Eleanor Hughes, it was a river town full of millworkers, drunk, old biddies, Sunday school students whose sole purpose in life was to make her life miserable, and women who got old many years before they became elderly. But today was not a day for misery. Today was a day of matrimony.”

Dietrich is also a master of human emotions, exploring the various forms of love that can claim a heart: “She knew her love for Winston was not the same kind she felt for Jimmy, which had matured over the years. Like a house plant. A very dehydrated and moderately diseased house plant.”

He’s also one of the few male authors who writes female characters with authenticity and depth: “Elanor walked to town like a woman who knew her own mind. That’s how she was going to approach today. You don’t wear shockingly modern clothes in public and act timid. You act bold. Confident. Foreign. A little buck wild. . . . She was through pretending to be the quiet, mousy creature her mother raised, the old maid who wore tea-length skirts, pearls, and Peter Pan-collared blouses just to check the mail.”

This well-loved author is also celebrated for his character development, pegging the personalities of townsfolk with colorful descriptions: “He should have been a gameshow host or a toothpaste spokesperson.”

He’s equally adored for bringing small southern towns to life on the page, as he does so beautifully for the town of Moab: “The whole town looked golden in the early light. No traffic, no crickets, no voices. Just birds and the occasional noise of a sacred river. And the life-threatening, almost deadly bite of a yellow fly. The sound of lawn mowers in the distance brought the faint smells of cut grass. This was the quintessential smell of Moab, a town famous for its summer lawn care. When eight hundred-some people were obsessed with their front yards, all you smelled was their clippings.”

With relatable characters, comedic relief, sensory-rich descriptions, a dose of romance, and a fast-paced plot that keeps the pages turning, Sean Dietrich has hit a home run with this one . . . a victory that would surely make The Incredible Winston Browne proud.

But above all else, The Incredible Winston Browne feels like the book the nation needs right now—positive, inspiring, compassionate, and full of empathy. For anyone looking for a unique storyline that blends the tension of mystery and suspense with the emotional depths of upmarket fiction and content you could share with your teen or your mother, this book does it all.

Bottom line: Dietrich has once again treated us to fiction that’s good for the soul.