Despite what is said on the blurb, The Loney is not a horror novel. It is creepy, there are sinister vibes, it is gripping but not, once is there anything frightening. In fact by the end of the novel you’ll realise that the book is a clever thriller.
Maybe I’m wrong but horror, for me, consists of either 1) gore or 2) sections which are genuinely terrifying. The Loney doesn’t really have this but is does have a sense of foreboding, and like a great thriller there is a build up until the final reveal.
The plot itself consists of a group of devout religious people and a priest are going to a far off area in the British countryside during Easter time. The main reason is because the narrator’s brother, Andrew, is mute and all the family and friends want him to start talking.
Throughout the novel, the reader starts seeing how things are not exactly how they seem and this disturbing atmosphere is bringing out the more fanatical side of the people, especially Andrew’s mother. As one continues reading, the real plot starts to emerge and that is whether religion is a true healing agent or are there other forces that fulfill the same function? and Hurley pulls this off brilliantly. Although I loved how Hurley manages to write in a serene way, especially how the little details creep up but when he is examining the dichotomy between Religion and pagan rituals this book elevates itself.
Despite the slow beginning, I could not put the book down and stayed up all night in order to finish it (I wasn’t creeped out in the least) because I had to know how Hurley was going to conclude Andrew’s predicament.
As debuts go this is a strong one and I’m definitely sure (Hurley does have a new book out) that this talented author will write a book that will scare me – the potential is there,.