The Loney is a superb new slow-burn British horror novel in the tradition of The Wicker Man.
Exploring issues of faith and the survival of older beliefs, Andrew Michael Hurley’s beautifully atmospheric and moving novel has at its heart the relationship between two London Catholic boys, Smith and his mute, mentally disabled brother Hanny.
The discovery of the remains of a young child during winter storms along the bleak Lancashire coastline leads Smith back to the Saint Jude’s Church Easter pilgrimage to The Loney in 1976. Not all of the locals are pleased to see the Catholic party in the area, and some puzzling events occur. Smith and Hanny, the youngest members of the party, become involved with a glamorous couple staying at a nearby house with their young charge, the heavily pregnant Else. Prayers are said for Hanny at the local shrine, but he also inadvertently becomes involved in more troubling rites. Secrets are kept, and disclosed.
After the pilgrimage, a miracle—of one kind or another—occurs. Smith feels he is the only one to know the truth, and he must bear the burden of his knowledge, no matter what the cost.
First published by Tartarus Press 2014. Now reprinted by John Murrays.
Copyright Rosalie Parker, 2024