Rain, mist and wind are intrinsic to the landscape of Lancashire and to the atmosphere of Andrew Michael Hurley's book The Loney. Described as Gothic fiction, it's not something I would ordinarily read, but I was drawn to the book because it won the 2015 Costa First Novel Award.
Most of the action takes place in an isolated house, somewhere near the coast around Morecombe, where a group of Catholics are staying whilst on a pilgrimage. Strange things happen during Holy Week which have far reaching consequences for the two youngest travelers.
The story touches on religious devotion, faith and superstition. Descriptions of the desolate landscape and the oppressive weather are vivid and chilling. They were made all the better when reading it on a miserable winter's day with low grey clouds.
Hurley says he's been influenced by Stephen King, who has described the novel as "an amazing piece of fiction," and I'd have to agree.
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