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The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

The Loney

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Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2015.

Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Fiction and Breakthrough Author Awards 2016.

Perhaps it's the sheets of rain which fall continuously on The Loney, that " wild and useless length of English coastline", a "strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest", but I've not read so chilling a horror novel for years. The setting for an Easter-time Catholic pilgrimage for Andrew Michael Hurley's teenage narrator, his mentally handicapped brother and a motley collection of parishioners, the dread builds slowly but inexorably, as strange movements from creepy locals start to intrude on the religious retreat, and it becomes clear that while some might be looking "for God in the emerging springtime", others are on the trail of something entirely different. A truly eerie, captivating read, as mysterious and disturbing as its foggy, wet, bleak location. Masterfully pulled off. ~ Alison Flood

One of our Books of the Year 2015.

"The Loney is not just good. It's great... an amazing piece of fiction." Stephen King

Costa Judges' comment: “We all agreed this book is as close to the perfect first novel as you can get.”

September 2015 Debut of the Month.

If you like Andrew Michael Hurley you might also like to read books by M. R. James, Robert Aickman and Ira Levin.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Catherine Bryce - 'A unique book that covers several genres and is a delight to read.'
  • Angela Rhodes - 'I enjoyed the calming story, the way you can see and hear in your head, the characters come alive... Can't wait for the next book!'
  • Victoria Emerson - 'A haunting book about family and faith.'
  • Katie Hoare - 'This book draws you in and engages the reader to find out how the area affects each of the characters, and it is about faith and what people believe in.'
  • Josie Barton - 'With more than a hint of the supernatural, this brilliant story conjures perfectly a dark and gloomy place and questions what it truly means to believe in a greater spiritual power.'
  • Linda Davison - 'It’s strange and mysterious, funny, sad and frightening but overall it is a very well written, easy to read story that will appeal to all sorts of different readers and should be top of everyone’s reading pile.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'The horror here is subtle which is what makes it so unnerving, surprising, and impossible to put down. I recommend this to fans of ‘The Woman In Black’ or similar stories. It is guaranteed to cause you unease.'
  • Fiona Rothery - 'The Loney is a wonderful novel about faith and the love and bond between two brothers, Hanny is mute and is fiercely protected by his brother, nicknamed Tonto, who narrates the story.'
  • Richard Coe - 'The prose is very eloquent. Do keep reading as the story twists and turns especially in the last 100 pages or so. Recommended and 4 out of 5.'
  • Sue Broom - 'A haunting story - a sense of foreboding builds up gradually, fuelled by wonderfully atmospheric description of the landscape and buildings - highly recommended.'


The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

'Modern classics in this genre are rare, and instant ones even rarer; The Loney, however, looks as though it may be both' Sunday Telegraph If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney - that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest. It was impossible to truly know the place. It changed with each influx and retreat, and the neap tides would reveal the skeletons of those who thought they could escape its insidious currents. No one ever went near the water. No one apart from us, that is. I suppose I always knew that what happened there wouldn't stay hidden for ever, no matter how much I wanted it to. No matter how hard I tried to forget ...


'The Loney is not just good, it's great. It's an amazing piece of fiction' Stephen King

'Modern classics in this genre are rare, and instant ones even rarer; The Loney, however, looks as though it may be both' Sunday Telegraph

'A thrilling first novel' Publishers Weekly

'The Loney is a stunning novel - about faith, the uncanny, strange rituals, and the oddity of human experience. Beautifully written, it's immensely entertaining, but also deep and wide. A moving evocation of desolate wilderness and a marvel of complex characterization, The Loney is one of my favorite reads of the past couple of years' Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times-bestselling author of the Southern Reach trilogy

'A modern classic: superbly eerie, beautifully human and immensely readable' Adam Roberts

'I can't remember a more confident debut: a mingling of horror, domestic strife and metaphysical ambiguities set against an arrestingly vivid landscape. Brilliant' Adam Thorpe

'The Loney transcends its generic roots by virtue of its depth and subtlety, imbuing horror with an intimacy, flavour and scent, meanwhile suggesting that horror's true face is meaningless, indifferent - and brilliantly blank' Grace McCleen

About the Author

Andrew Michael Hurley

Andrew Michael Hurley has lived in Manchester and London, and is now based in Lancashire, where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. He has had two collections of short stories published by Lime Tree Press. The Loney is his first novel - it was first published in October 2014 by Tartarus Press, a tiny independent publisher based in Yorkshire, as a 300-copy limited-edition.

Author photo © Johnny Bean

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Book Info

Publication date

27th August 2015


Andrew Michael Hurley

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John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray General Publishing Division




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