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The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

The Loney

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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

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

May 2016 Debut of the Month.

Winner of Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards 2016.

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2015.

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.”

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

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

WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 'The Loney is not just good, it's great. It's an amazing piece of fiction' Stephen King Two brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector. Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure. In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end ...Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother's care. But then the child's body is found. And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end. 'This is a novel of the unsaid, the implied, the barely grasped or understood, crammed with dark holes and blurry spaces that your imagination feels compelled to fill' Observer 'A masterful excursion into terror' The Sunday Times


'An amazing piece of fiction' Stephen King

'Here is the masterpiece by which Hurley must enter the Guild of the Gothic: it pleases me to think of his name written on some parchment scroll, alongside those of Walpole, Du Maurier, Maturin and Jackson' Guardian

'A masterful excursion into terror' Sunday Times

'An extraordinarily haunted and haunting novel' Daily Telegraph

'This is a novel of the unsaid, the implied, the barely grasped or understood, crammed with dark holes and blurry spaces that your imagination feels compelled to fill' Observer

'Written with the skill of a poet' The Times, Books of the Year

'An eerie, disturbing read that doesn't let up until its surprise ending' Daily Mail

'An unforgettable addition to the ranks of the best British horror' Metro

'A haunting and ambiguous novel that will keep you up at night' Daily Express

'A tale of suspense that sucks you in and pulls you under. As yarns go, it rips' New Statesman

'A masterclass in spinning out tension' Financial Times

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

7th April 2016


Andrew Michael Hurley

More books by Andrew Michael Hurley
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John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray General Publishing Division


368 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Debuts of the Month
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Horror & ghost stories



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