In his thoroughly engrossing debut novel, British writer Andrew Michael Hurley provides a chilling masterclass in gothic suspense.
Hurley’s protagonist is Tonto Smith, a man haunted by long-ago events on an Easter trip to “The Loney,” a desolate spot of coastline in Lancashire. Smith’s family, and their fellow parishioners, are confident that a shrine near the Loney will help Smith’s mute brother, Hanny, and make yearly trips there in the 1970s—but darker things are afoot. Decades later, another sinister event occurs at The Loney, and Smith is forced to revisit his past.
A bestseller in the U.K., The Loney has drawn comparisons to authors like Shirley Jackson and Sarah Waters, and the seductive and deliciously dangerous sense of place Hurley establishes does evoke these writers. The Loney is a perilous place that literally seems to swallow everything that comes near it, and it hovers over the novel like a ghost. In addition, the spot feels tactile in an organic, powerful way, from a floorboard that hides old treasure to a forest that reveals the darkest secrets of the Lancashire coast. With a breathtaking mixture of effortlessly evocative prose and authentic character moments, The Loney is an immersive story that will make you hope, and fear, along with every character. The Loney is a novel of innocence lost—a brooding, beautifully composed saga that will chill you to your bones.