I really enjoyed The Loney and had high hopes for Andrew Michael Hurley’s follow up, Devil’s Day. I can honestly say this was my favourite horror novel of 2017.
John Pentecost and his wife return to the Endlands farm his family has owned for generations to help with The Gathering when sheep who have wandered the hillsides freely all spring and summer come down to the farm for winter. The day before the Gathering is known as Devil’s Day when rituals, as old as life in Endlands, are enacted to stop the devil from possessing an animal or worse.
John and his wife are expecting a child, a state that they are keeping secret meantime. John senses his father is getting too old to manage their farm now and wants to come back with his family and make a life for themselves there in the small claustrophobic Endlands community. John isn’t the only Endlander with secrets and when Devil’s Day comes it brings with it more than a few surprises. Events from John’s childhood are revealed piecemeal and give an added horror to the current events.
This really is literary horror at it’s best. The author has given his readers such a sense of place I feel I could recognise the setting from a photograph. I know a little about living in a small, closed community and the issues his characters face are familiar – although my own experiences are far removed from those in the book.
Hurley walks the line between folklore and reality expertly and creates such an atmosphere of menace and evil. I was enthralled from beginning to end. A wonderful, beautiful, creepy, horrific slow burn of horror. I eagerly await the author’s next book.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.