Andrew Michael Hurley
John Murray Publishers 2018
Devil’s Day is the second novel by Andrew Michael Hurley.
Although Devil’s Day has plenty of mystery, it is not a whodoneit in the conventional sense. It is certainly not typical.
The tough patriarch of a close-knit enclave in what’s aptly called The Endlands, has died. John Pentecost has returned to the place of his birth to introduce his wife Katherine, and to honour and remember his grandfather; the man known to all as The Gaffer. They experience the wake, the funeral, violent animosity between neighbours, and family drama. Kindle: Devil’s Day
What seems like a simple sheep farming community is anything but. Generations of traditions, superstitions and disturbing secrets of the past mingle with the present. Loyalties are forged and tested, and the Devil is behind everything.
Devil’s Day has the feel of another era. It is formed of memories, flashbacks, and stories of the past, woven into the present business of life, ritual, and burying the dead. Stories of The Gaffer keep him very much alive.
Occasionally a bit confusing, rather than having a linear plot, time lines melt together.
That being said, Hurley has an incredible writing style. His evocative descriptions of the land are amazing. The reader is drawn in to the feel of The Endlands, and it’s people, and why it means so much to the generations who live there. It is in their blood and DNA.
Deeply layered and sensitive, the Devil is definitely in the details of this novel and its complex relationships. It’s easy to delve into the characters and consider why they make their life-altering decisions.
Used to novels dripping with excitement and fast-paced plots, I initially found Devil’s Day almost painful to get through, but as it wound along, I was surprised by how much it grew on me. I appreciated the rugged beautiful land, and the unique people who inhabited it. I felt like I got to know both.
When it was over, I found myself thinking about the characters days later, and I realized that Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley was a tale I definitely missed. Even now, I wish I could read more.