by Andrew Michael Hurley
I started reading this book believing it to be a traditional horror story. By the time I realised it wasn’t quite what I expected, I had been gripped by the dark and poetic prose and wonderfully portrayed characters. There is an undercurrent of mystery and fear throughout the book, but it never quite gets to the high-tension you would expect from the likes of Herbert or King.
Instead, The Loney mixes faith, suspicion and psychology in such a way I found the book difficult to put down. Each page leads the reader deeper and deeper into the mysteries that surround the people and places that inhabit this book.
The Loney itself is an isolated stretch of the Lancashire coastline that seems to exist in a permanent winter. It is where Father Wilfred leads his annual pilgrimage from his London parish. The dark and brooding atmosphere of the place permeates the buildings and the people who inhabit it.
From the first brooding page to the last, The Loney is a great story and an encouraging debut from a new and exciting writer. Andrew Hurley’s style is easy but immersive. I was immediately drawn into the lives of these ordinary people who find themselves dipping into a word completely beyond their comprehension.
A really good book and one I would unhesitatingly recommend.