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Midnight is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead

Midnight is the Darkest Hour

by Ashley Winstead

Pub. Date: October 3, 2023

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary


🎧 5/5 audiobook


Beware of the dark. You might like what you find...

Ruth Collier has always felt like an outsider, even as her father rains fire and brimstone from the church pulpit. In Bottom Springs, his word is as good as law.

But there are things the townspeople fear more than God, like the Low Man, a vampiric figure said to kill sinners in their beds on moonless nights.

When a skull is found deep in the swamp, a hunt for the Low Man begins. Suspicion turns to Everett – Ruth's oldest friend, with a dark past. As Ruth and Everett grow closer, Ruth begins to unearth the town's secrets, determined to discover the truth.

But as the line between good and evil grows ever thin, how far will Ruth go to save the person she loves most?

My Thoughts:

Mystery set in the bayou with a legendary supernatural man in the town lore?? Sign me up!

This was my first by Winstead and I was not disappointed. I loved this gothic-esque Southern town that was wrapped up in religion that was shocked when a body was found near strange ritualistic carvings. If you are an audiobook lover, then the audio is fantastic for this - I loved the narrator!

I will admit it started out a little slow and I kept thinking it was historical fiction due to how religious this town was and how they were wrapped up in Ruth's father's sermons. But quickly realized that it was modern with references of Twilight. We go back and forth in time as this mystery unravels and there is a bit of romance as well. This book was giving Where the Crawdads Sing with a more gothic twist.

It winds and twists its way through the story giving you steady insights into the town but you keep wondering what really is going on. I thought I had it pegged multiple times but in the end there were still some things that shocked me. Ruth and Everett were the preacher's daughter and the bad boy in town.

This book was both darker than I expected it to be and more atmospheric as well. The ending was absolutely perfect in my opinion and I loved how it gave us things to think about. It almost reminded me of the Murdaugh Murders in a sense with how much power her dad really had over the town and how they all were terrified of anything that wasn't Christianity and of the "Low Man."

This was a 4-star read for me and I highly recommend it. It is slower-paced than I usually like my thrillers and was more of a Mary Kay Andrews style in terms of mixing mystery with character development and a little romance. I will definitely be checking out more of Winstead's work in the future!

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