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The Baptist: A Psychological Thriller

The Baptist: A Psychological Thriller [Kindle Edition]

R. A. Barnes
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Product Description

Product Description

The second novel from Ruby Barnes (author of Peril).

A contemporary psychological thriller set in the medieval Irish city of Kilkenny.

Early reader feedback on The Baptist:

'The writing is tight and very atmospheric. A chilling tale of real evil.'

'Dark and disturbing, but oh so good.'

'Dark and dingy, hot and steamy, everything you need from a novel in one swift download.'

'Well written and totally convincing, it provides an absorbing insight into the minds of some very strange characters. It's not without humour albeit of the dark kind.'

'Compelling and very, very different.'

'I was hooked right from the start and loved the dark and sinister quality of this tale.'

From the author Ruby Barnes:

The Baptist - he's clever, calculating and uncatchable. If you hear a knocking on your door don't let him in. John Baptist is cleansing a path for the Second Coming.
To deliberately drown your brother in a bathtub is a terrible, if clean, thing. Might it not be excused, if he is the manifest son of Satan? But that wasn’t the view of the Authorities, when they committed John to Fairfield Mental Institution. It wasn’t all bad; they let him keep his hair long and he met Dirty Mary. Like an institutionalised Bonnie and Clyde, they roamed the Victorian asylum and grounds, fulfilling their deluded fantasies. There were casualties.
John and Mary loved, lost and left. Thank God for Care in the Community.
When God shines a light, it burns. Feargal and his friends relight my fire.
The last prophet must wander, cleanse.
I am not the One. I am merely sent to prepare a way for the One.
I am The Baptist.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1302 KB
  • Print Length: 365 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1908943009
  • Publisher: Marble City Publishing (28 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006112NO8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,730 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I've pedalled the pushbike of life until the chain fell off. Now living in rural Ireland where the natives are friendly and the weather atrocious, I write crime fiction and thrillers.

My writing is dedicated to the memory of my late Scottish grandfather Robert 'Ruby' Aloysius Barnes.

Contact me on ruby dot barnes at marblecitypublishing dot com

Browse my blog at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous psychological thriller 14 Aug 2012
By Ignite TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This stupendous psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat with my brain-cells fully in gear. It's a complex plot and is told from several stand-points. The main protagonist, John, spends some years in a mental hospital after killing his brother. There he meets Mary, a fellow patient. The hospital closes and the inmates are dispersed into the community, each with suitable medication. John marries and has a family. Eventually he takes himself off his medication. We are faced with several personalities in this story, and the clues are there to tell us what is happening. John has delusions and is helped by his old friend 'Mary' to try to bring them to fruition.

The story is very cleverly told and I found the device of multiple narrators took us to places that John himself could not. I do enjoy the author's style of writing. It's immediate and thrilling and he really catches the Irish speech modes in his dialogue. I finished this book almost breathlessly and I look forward to Ruby's next book. He's a very talented story teller.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkness and desire . . . 14 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I have agonised over writing a review for this book, my words just don't seem to flow, I feel somehow inadequate for this task. The shadows of things unsaid and the impact of the things that are, memories and ghosts, fears and desires, darkness and light . . . This is quite a deep, and at times disturbing, tale with characters real enough to fall in love with. It is probably best for me to leave it there and let you dig deeper into it yourselves, you won't regret it. All that's left for me to say is - Thank you, Ruby Barnes, for writing the best book I have read in a long time!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy - in a good way 19 Dec 2011
By Plum
Format:Kindle Edition
You really don't want to meet this man!

I like a good serial killer tale and what I appreciate about this one is the angle from which it's told. For a change you are not bogged down with police proceedure, ferensics and all that good guy angst.

The writing is tight and very atmospheric.

A chilling tale of real evil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True noir. 16 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dark and darker still at times. What surprised me was the humour - persistent and nimble - which gives the narrative a fresh-air lightness ( a great two line description of Crewe for instance). It ain't plain old grim. Intriguing throughout with new characters seamlessly worked in and a lack of predictability in the plot.
I you like first person (in the main) shorter chapters and revell in noir then this is a real gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted. 11 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the second of Ruby's books I have read and it didn't disappoint. Ruby's craft is evident in the plot, the finely drawn characters and a narrative that switches between characters so they speak to us, not the author. It's a dark tale of mental health problems, violent deaths and pure lust. There's not a syllable wasted in the telling of the tale and its twists and turns left me desperate to read on. Back to the Kindle store now for another Barnes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex and Compelling 6 Feb 2013
By Janet
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ruby Barnes is never afraid to push all the book rule boundaries and The Baptist is no exception. Within the first few pages, we are fully embedded in the mind of the unlikely main character of the piece, right there with him as he leads us into temptation. The motivational trigger is right there too; the sibling jealousy, the fear and hatred of his brother, a brother who was maybe becoming a little too much like his controlling, insensitive father. Only a small step then, into that world which lies under the surface of our cosy lives and thoughts, a step which the majority of us don't want to know, or even think about. The mental hospital, the inmates and how all of this experience shaped him further, is well done with a dash of black humour.
Baptist, is a character fashioned slowly into madness, where the edges of reality blur into the imaginary and at times I had to double back in the story a little, just to check which part of his head I was actually in!
The axis comes when Baptist stops taking the tablets.
He's a psychotic killer, although there is an underlying empathy with this man, for despite not liking him, I was nosy enough to want to know what happens to him, and what he was going to do.
It is strangely intoxicating to read. Mesmerising almost as the tension is racked up by the clever, non-sensational use of narrative, the observational humour and scene setting.
Read slowly, and read every word... and don't answer the door.
A big beefy four for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Psychological Thriller 30 Jan 2013
In popular fiction the serial killer is a trope for the embodiment of evil rather than an extreme example of the everyday experience of madness that may affect ourselves or our friends. For that reason Hannibal Lecter has more in common with Dracula Prince of Darkness than, say, the Yorkshire Ripper in his ignorant ordinariness. For the same reason, the madness of the fictional serial killer is a permanent part of the character's identity - masked perhaps, but always there - while in contrast the madness of actual life is like a career of part time jobs: some good, some horrible, but all episodic. Ruby Barnes's insight into this reality is what makes The Baptist so truthful, convincing and distinctive.

The story is told mainly from the point of view of the killer himself, John Baptist. He is committed to an institution in his teens for the murder of his brother and here he meets Mary, whose madness is of a more chaotic type. On his release he creates a normal life in Ireland, including a marriage with children and a job running a small garage business. His tendency to madness is always there but it is managed by drugs, as is the case for many people. However - and this is another intelligent insight of the author - John secretly comes off his drugs: he actively chooses his psychosis over his sanity because the experience of madness is invigorating and empowering (at least on a temporary basis until its disruptive effects become overwhelming). In this condition John encounters Mary again and they embark on a spree to realise his mission.

The most effective passages of the book deal with John's encounter with a mysterious friend, Feargal, and the resumption of his relations with Mary.
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