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Summary

A killer on the loose. A writer on the run. A town plagued by an ancient evil.

On tour with his latest book, true crime writer Martin Savage discovers one of his most-dangerous subjects has escaped. The so-called "Witch Hunter", a delusional murderer of women and their unborn children, holds a deadly grudge. He'll stop at nothing to get his revenge, and destroy everything Martin cares about.

With nowhere to run, Martin and forensic psychologist Sheila Tanner flee to the town he left when he was a boy, after his mother was locked away in a psychiatric facility. A town hidden deep in his past, where no one would think to look for them.

But things are not what they seem in Barrows Bay. The idyllic island holds terrible secrets. An ancient evil lived here long before the first Irish settlers crashed upon its shores in a coffin ship. An evil wearing the innocent faces of elderly midwives who've delivered every child in the Bay for 250 years.

Martin and Sheila think they’re safe in his childhood home. But Martin’s mother has plans for them. Plans that require sacrifice.

And sacrifice requires blood.

©2020 Duncan Ralston (P)2020 Duncan Ralston

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brilliantly read

I really enjoyed this audio book, it makes a change to find a narrator 2ho actually has different voices for different characters instead of being monotone.

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Profile Image for Spooky Mike
  • Spooky Mike
  • 04-12-20

Decent Cult Thriller

I'm a big fan of Duncan Ralston and he is an incredibly talented author. Having listened to a lot of his earlier books, I have gotten accustomed to some crazy stories full of gore, violence, and depth that requires some thinking while you listen. This one I felt didn't live up to those other stories. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this story, just didn't think it was the same caliber as his other stories that were really amazing. Ralston did bring the creep factor as midwives creep me out by themselves, yet alone cannibal midwives who are witches and ancient. I did enjoy the plot quite a bit. I liked the witch cult style as well as the mystery around the town. Every now and then I thought I was at the end when another mystery would turn up. Definitely kept my interest the entire time. I can't say I liked Martin as a person, but I did enjoy his character. Wasn't quite the person I wanted him to be, but he was great in this story. I liked Sheila a lot more than Martin ae she seemed to be the more sensible one of that group. The only one that really seemed out of place to me was Barkley, at least up until the end. Steven Barnett did a great job with the narration. I really liked his accents and I thought he did a great job with all the character’s voices. He was definitely able to breath life into this story and made for a pleasant listen. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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  • JChavez
  • 26-12-20

Great witch book

I love books about witches and this one didn’t disappoint. It was a great story with not a lot of filler. It has some gore. Lots of suspense. The narrator was great. The only thing I didn’t like was that I wanted for a little bit more to happen in the story, not saying nothing happens. Because a lot does. Overall it’s a really great story, and I’ll definitely be reading and listening to more of Duncan’s books.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-12-20

Very good book from the first lines

This book starts you off with a creepy scene involving these midwives and then things get going with our main character. He is flawed but is likable along with most of the supporting characters. The story flows very well and things come together at the end for a very exciting conclusion. There’s not a lot of fluff it was a great story. Duncan always does a great job this time is no different.

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  • latasha
  • 10-12-20

Don't call these Midwives!

Bravo Duncan Ralston! I loved The Midwives! Due to circumstances I don't want to spoil, true crime author Martin Savage and forensic psychologist Sheila Tanner are on the run. They flee back to Martin's childhood home on Barrow's Bay. And that's when things get good. There is a group of old ladies on the island. Everyone calls them the Midwives and they do in fact deliver babies. But what are they really, other than scary as hell? I did not read a thing about this book before I began it so I had no idea. Are they the fates (cause of those scissors)? witches? some kind of fey creatures? You will have to read the book to find out. The writing is very good and the story pulls you right in. It's hard to stop reading once you start. I can't wait to read more by this author! The audio book is read by Steve Barnett. He adds so much to this already great story. I enjoyed listening, maybe even more than reading it myself.

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  • TwiztidQueen17
  • 04-12-20

Such a good little town witch story.

Narrator , on point. Story is an A+. Duncan Ralston always weaves a story together so well. It made me look forward to my drives to work.

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  • Zachary Ashford
  • 26-11-20

A thoroughly excellent read

This was my first exposure to Duncan Ralston's work, and I'll definitely be checking out more. I thought this was a thoroughly excellent tale blending, as the book itself suggests in a clever moment of self-awareness, the folk horror of Midsommar with the more traditional horror of Rosemary's Baby. The moments of gore are expertly delivered, not focusing on the splatter, but delivering the grisly details with vivid imagery, the characters are well-realised, and the plot moves along at a steady pace, delivering mystery, horror, and a well-told story. Without giving too much away, Ralston uses his initial threat of a vengeful serial killer to drive his protagonists back home, and that's where things get really weird. Not everything is as it seems, and given the nature of the world today, seeing large groups of people falling for the glamour of charismatic leaders with ulterior motives is part of what makes this so good. You get the feeling that the evils exposed in this book really could exist - and people really would turn a blind eye to it. All up, it's a great listen. Ralston's style is pinpoint and tight, not wasting words or bothering with overly flowery descriptions while still creating imagery and a tight and engaging plot. The narration is exceptional and clear. The accents are fun, and the production is crisp. Loved it.

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  • LaceyHoney
  • 24-11-20

One Flew Out of the Cuckoos Nest

One of the things that I love most about the horror genre, is that the stories that hide there are often reflective of humanity’s most complex themes. In this instance: motherhood, strained relationships with parents (especially when mental illness is a factor) and returning to your home town after a long absence. These are all themes Ralston broaches in this story with reckless abandon in a no-holds-barred fashion that really grips you from the beginning and doesn’t let go. In addition to these complex themes, this story treats us to a lot of rare and impressive elements. It has complicated characters that are not necessarily winners (but you root from them anyway), villains that you almost can’t root against, and truly authentic voices and viewpoints. The latter of which is actually quite impressive given the number of feminine voices in this piece that were written by a male author. One can imagine the exhaustive research that must have been necessary to accurately depict the complicated nature of what a woman feels when reflecting on imminent motherhood. (he references the European cuckoo bird people, he’s not messing around!) All this complicated story matter is dressed up as folk horror, tied with a crime thriller bow, ensuing in a gory, gross, wildly pleasurable ride! This is going to be a re-read for me.

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  • Carpe Librum
  • 22-11-20

Intense

Ralston writes another amazing book! He’s fast becoming a favorite of mine! Gritty, intense, fast paced and just enough dirty bits to keep you intrigued!! Highly recommended for anyone looking for something that hasn’t been done to death already!

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  • JRd1st
  • 20-11-20

You'll Never See Old Ladies in the Same Light

Story – 5/5 Narration – 5/5 “The Midwives”, by Duncan Ralston is easily the best new horror I’ve listened to this year. It is literally all kinds of creepy; sometimes it’s creepy in a serial killer kind of way, at times it’s creepy in a cannibalistic kind of way, and often it just WTF kind of creepy. In my opinion, this is the author’s best novel, so far. The narrator was very good. His voice reminds me of Craig Wasson’s and his character voices are quite good. I’ve both read and listened to this one and I must say that listening brought a whole new appreciation of the creepiness of this tale. Recommendation – Buy it!