Hurley is a writer's writer, his descriptions of landscape and character precise and evocative…The novel is narrated from John's perspective. His voice is infused with the cadences of the local dialect, a style that is vibrant and melodic, yet just strange enough to throw me off balance from time to time. Such disorientation served a narrative purpose: I never felt fully comfortable in the novel. I was always left a little on edge, which is a good thing in a scary story. Hurley's ability to create unease, combined with his unquestionable talent, make
Devil's Day a standout horror novel as well as a piece of literary art…When you've finished, you will feel that the Devil is out there, waiting for the inhabitants of the Endlands. Maybe even for you.
The New York Times Book Review - Danielle Trussoni
Acentury-old folk legend—that the devil came down one autumn to the English sheep-farming community known as the Endlands and surreptitiously infected everyone he came into contact with before being driven out—colors the haunting events of this masterly thriller from Hurley (The Loney). In contemporary times, schoolteacher John Pentecost returns from Suffolk to his family’s Endlands farm with his wife, Kat, to attend the funeral of his grandfather and announce the impending birth of their first child. Almost immediately, they step into a mire of ominous portents: someone recently set fire to the nearby forest, animals are being killed, disembodied voices are heard on the moors, and one of the residents is mysteriously missing. Matters come to a head on Devil’s Day, celebrated before the annual gathering of the sheep, when the locals ritually give the devil his due and the border between superstitions and genuinely uncanny events wears perilously thin. Hurley keeps the explanations for what occurs deliciously ambiguous, filtering discoveries through John, who, as he selectively relates past memories to present happenings, reveals himself to be a less-than-forthcoming narrator at best. The result is an intensely suspenseful tale memorable for what it says about unshakable traditions that are bred in the bone. Agent: Lucy Luck, C+W Agency (U.K.). (Oct.)
CO-WINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE'S ENCORE AWARD "Masterly thriller . . . An intensely suspenseful tale memorable for what it says about unshakable traditions that are bred in the bone." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS: TOP TEN IN MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS “Like Hurley's celebrated debut, this beautifully told Gothic story of love, obligation, and legacy blends genres superbly. Hurley is considered one of the leading figures in what is called the British folk-horror revival.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review "Hurley explores the mysteries of human behavior and how they might explain strange events—not to mention the evil that men do—better than demonic influence. He delivers all this with consistently strong scenes, a few fine surprises, and good writing that often sparkles . . . A complex and highly satisfying work." — Booklist, starred review “The power of belief, the tyranny of tradition and the unsettling nature of a landscape that changes in a flicker from welcome to menace add up to a gorgeously written novel that leaves the reader wondering and perturbed.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review “Impressively uncomfortable reading.” — Metro “What Times Literary Supplement Wuthering Heights did with Yorkshire moors, Devil’s Day does with Lancashire moors. The writing is evocative and the bleak atmosphere is just as much a part of the story as the characters. Hurley combines an insidious, otherworldly story with folklore and mythology.” — “The new master of menace. This chilling follow-up to Book Riot The Loney confirms its author as a writer to watch . . . Hurley doesn’t need the Devil’s help to grip you. His taut writing does that for him. Nature’s routine cruelties are caught with a fierce accuracy that Ted Hughes would have admired.” — “This impeccably written novel tightens like a clammy hand around your throat.” — Sunday Times “ Daily Mail Devil’s Day is an assured follow-up to The Loney that considers the themes of exile, mythology and rural traditions . . . In the same way that Emily Brontë allowed the Yorkshire moors to become a character unto itself in Wuthering Heights, Hurley’s depiction of the hills and grasslands of Lancashire takes on an anthropomorphic quality, representing a place removed from the outside world, a timeless land with its own rules and laws . . . Hurley has a good ear for mystery, turning the woods into a magical but dangerous place . . . Hurley is a fine writer, with concerns that place him a little to the left of the literary mainstream, a remove that makes him extremely interesting.” — John Boyne , “This is a story with pull. Its lively, building sense of evil is thoroughly entangled with the assumptions of the way of life depicted, that apparently timeless relationship of the smallholder and the moor. As the young Adam soaks up his father’s tales of the Devil, he’s also learning how to manage the local landscape, how to live in, identify with and take responsibility for the Endlands. These two types of knowledge, the symbolic and the practical, are presented as distinct but interdependent . . . The Devil flickers and dances in the woods, and John Pentecost’s self-deceptions are bared for the reader in a horrific climax.” — Irish Times “This vivid tale of demonic high jinks in an isolated rural community is not for the lily-livered . . . Hurley is a superb storyteller. He leads you up onto the moors, into the eye of a snowstorm, dropping little clues, sinister hints at devilment and demonic possession. Then he changes course, scuffs over the prints in the snow, springs new villainies on you, abandons you overnight in the hills” Guardian “Hurley’s masterly second novel amply confirms the promise of his prize-winning debut.” — The Times “The nebulous presence of the Devil . . . is evoked so palpably in this novel that at times I hardly dared look up when reading for fear of seeing him grinning at me from the chair next to mine . . . Hurley’s riveting, disturbing novel is about the ways in which both communities and families create myths to make sense of their pasts, and about how the comforting embrace of these myths can turn, if they are allowed to become too powerful, into a stranglehold.” — Mail on Sunday “[Hurley] beautifully captures a bleak landscape and the feeling of something evil and unknowable in the moors, the hills and the byways . . . Hurley’s nature descriptions are lithe and lyrical.” — Literary Review "Like his debut, [ Sunday Express Devil's Day] is a work of gooseflesh eeriness . . . [Hurley’s] prose is precise and his eye gimlet." — "The successor to Hurley’s much-acclaimed 2016 debut novel, Spectator The Loney, reinforces his reputation as a master of flesh-creeping menace . . . Hidden horrors surface. Eerie malevolence flickers. Nature’s routine cruelties are caught with a fierce accuracy that Ted Hughes would have admired." — "His haunted Lancashire is unlike any other location in English fiction." Sunday Times "Adept at making his readers’ spines tingle." — — Daily Telegraph "Chilling and captivating; read at your peril." — The Times "Every word counts in his storytelling." — Stylist N "[Hurley] certainly has a big future ahead of him." — udge Books On: Yorkshire Magazine Praise for “It’s not just good, it’s great. An amazing piece of fiction." — The Loney Stephen King “The terrors of this novel feel timeless, almost biblical: there are abominations here, and miracles.” — "Fans of Shirley Jackson are sure to savor Andrew Michael Hurley’s Gothic horror novel New York Times Book Review The Loney . . . Tight, suspenseful writing makes this masterful novel unsettling in the most compelling way." — "[A] terrifying debut novel . . . Contains dark, unexpected depths, which only really reveal themselves long after his evocative prose has led you far from shore." — Washington Post Entertainment Weekly