“With his latest novel, Ralston combines true-crime with a supernatural evil from the least likely of sources … an innocent elderly woman.”
Martin Savage is on a book tour, promoting his latest true crime book. Now, one of his most dangerous subjects—the “Witch Hunter”—has escaped. A depraved murderer, the “Witch Hunter” holds a grudge against Martin. Deadly and relentless, he aims to destroy all Martin cares about.
Together with forensic psychologist Sheila Tanner, Martin flees home, his childhood town, a place he hasn’t visited since his mother was sent away in a psychiatric hospital.
Martin thinks they’re safe there.
But Barrows Bay has its secrets. An ancient evil calls Barrows Bay home, and it wears the faces of the elderly midwives who have delivered every child there for over two hundred years.
Martin and Sheila might think they’re safe, but now his mother has a plan.
A plan that requires sacrifice. A sacrifice that needs blood.
Why we’re excited about this book:
Duncan Ralston has been in the horror scene for several years, and has built quite a resume throughout that time with the novels Salvage and Ghostland, and the novellas Woom, Where the Monsters Live, Video Nasties, and Scavengers, as well as his short-story collection Gristle & Bone. With his latest novel, Ralston combines true-crime with a supernatural evil from the least likely of sources … an innocent elderly woman.
Why Duncan’s excited about this book:
“I’ve lived with these characters for almost ten years, and I’m thrilled to finally be releasing them into the wild. The concept of the “evil old woman” has stuck with me since childhood, when my mother would read us fairy tales before bed. It’s something you don’t see often anymore, for various reasons. The “evil child” trope has been the go-to for the past twenty years or more—and since it’s that perceived innocence people respond to, I thought it would be fun to twist it around. Who’s more “innocent” than a sweet elderly woman? (Of course, that’s not always true.)
The Midwives is as much a crime novel as it is “American folk horror,” but like many of my favorite recent works—Flanagan’s adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, in particular—it’s also a family drama about the harms we cause our loved ones, intentionally or not, and whether our pasts determine the adults we become. But it’s also about cannibalistic rituals and dark magic, in case you thought I forgot an ingredient or two. I’m pretty proud of it and I’m interested to see if it sinks or swims with readers.”
With fantastic cover art by Francois Vaillancourt, The Midwives by Duncan Ralston releases on ebook 24 February 2020 and is available to pre-order now.