Review published on February 1, 2017.
The Loney is a desolate strip of coastline in North West England that effectively sets the scene for what is described on the cover as “a masterful excursion into terror” and “a gothic masterpiece”. The main story is set in the 70s and it concerns two brothers, one of whom is mute. Their family is fanatically religious and they travel each year with other members of their church to a holy shrine on The Loney in the hope of a miracle cure. The book is also interspersed with glimpses into the lives of the brothers in the present day, showing how they have been affected by their pilgrimages to The Loney. I really wanted to like this book. It seemed to have all the ingredients of a really good gothic horror, but I was sorely disappointed. The book is well written and the descriptions of the characters and settings are well drawn, but the story never seemed to reach its full potential. Far better to read The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, The Winter Ghosts by Kate Moses or Dark Matter by Michelle Paver for a real sense of the gothic.
Val James 3/4
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
John Murray 9781473619852 pbk Apr 2016