Midnight Is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead

October 9th, 2023 Kimberly Review 9 Comments

9th Oct

Told from the perspective of Ruth, the preacher’s daughter we learn about this history of this bible town when a skull is found and the police investigate. Suspenseful, with secrets and twists, Midnight Is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead will keep you listening into the wee hours.

Midnight Is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead
Midnight Is the Darkest Hour
by Ashley Winstead
Narrator: Sarah Welborn
Length: 12 hours and 7 minutes
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 3.5 cups Speed: 1.5x

From the critically acclaimed author of In My Dreams I Hold A Knife and The Last Housewife comes Midnight is the Darkest Hour, a gothic Southern thriller about a killer haunting a small Louisiana town, where two outcasts—the preacher's daughter and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks—hold the key to uncovering the truth.

For fans of Verity and A Flicker in the Dark, Midnight is the Darkest Hour is a twisted tale of murder, obsessive love, and the beastly urges that lie dormant within us all...even the God-fearing folk of Bottom Springs, Louisiana. In her small hometown, librarian Ruth Cornier has always felt like an outsider, even as her beloved father rains fire-and-brimstone warnings from the pulpit at Holy Fire Baptist. Unfortunately for Ruth, the only things the townspeople fear more than the God and the Devil are the myths that haunt the area, like the story of the Low Man, a vampiric figure said to steal into sinners' bedrooms and kill them on moonless nights. When a skull is found deep in the swamp next to mysterious carved symbols, Bottom Springs is thrown into uproar—and Ruth realizes only she and Everett, an old friend with a dark past, have the power to comb the town's secret underbelly in search of true evil.

A dark and powerful novel like fans have come to expect from Ashley Winstead, Midnight is the Darkest Hour is an examination of the ways we've come to expect love, religion, and stories to save us, the lengths we have to go to in order to take back power, and the monstrous work of being a girl in this world.


The publishers classified this as a southern gothic thriller. The story takes place in Bottom Springs, Louisiana. Verity fans will enjoy this twisted mystery thriller. Told from the perspective of Ruth Cornier, the preacher’s daughter and town librarian, the story pulled me in.

Narrated by Sarah Welborn, the story shares memories of the past and the horrors of the present when a skull is discovered in the woods. Ruth and Everett, her childhood friend, have a secret, but so do others in town. When strange mysteriously carved symbols are found, the people of Bottom Springs fear that the Low Man, a vampiric figure said to steal into sinners’ bedrooms and kill them, has returned.

Winstead tells the story in then and now timelines as she weaves them together. While Ruth wants to be obedient to her father and is desperate for his affection, she is also curious. When she and Everett begin to investigate, they uncover something sinister and not at all aligned with the teachings of the church.

Ruth is a book lover, naïve and both heroic and cowardly. We watch her transform as she uncovers dark secrets and truths. Everett has secrets as well and has led a nomadic life before he returns to Bottom Springs. The author fleshed them out and some of the townsfolk as she touched on religion, isolation, feminine rights and one’s thirst for power. The entire story has an otherworldly vibe and macabre vibe.

Sarah Welborn captured both the tone of the story and voices of these characters. You could feel Ruth’s emotions, uncertainty, and strength. However, the Louisiana accent didn’t ring true.

Amazon | Audible

About Ashley Winstead

Ashley Winstead

Ashley Winstead is an academic turned novelist with a Ph.D. in contemporary American literature. She lives in Houston with her husband, two cats, and beloved wine fridge.

About Sarah Welborn

Sarah Welborn

Sarah Welborn has been acting for the past twenty-five years, and her credits include theatrical and film productions in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. Sarah has trained at some of the best acting schools in the country, including The School at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, The Groundlings School, and The Second City. Sarah graduated cum laude as a film production major at CSUN, one of the top twenty-five best film schools in the country. She brings the creative and technical skill set necessary for seeing projects through from pre- to post-production. Sarah has an engaging, warm, and dynamic vocal range. As a lifelong storyteller, avid reader, and lover of bringing characters to life, she is thrilled to collaborate on your project!

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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9 Responses to “Midnight Is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead”

  1. Katherine

    This looks interesting and definitely like a different kind of thriller. I haven’t read anything by this author yet but I definitely want to pick this one up!