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On sale

24th October 2024

Price: £16.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399817486

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For centuries, the inhabitants of Barrowbeck, a remote valley on the Yorkshire-Lancashire border, have lived uneasily with forces beyond their reckoning. They raise their families, work the land, and do their best to welcome those who come seeking respite. But there is a darkness that runs through the village as persistently as the river.

A father fears that his daughter has become possessed by something unholy.
A childless couple must make an agonising decision.
A widower awaits the return of his wife.
A troubled man is haunted by visions of end times.

As one generation gives way to the next and ancient land is carved up in the name of progress, darkness gathers. The people of Barrowbeck have forgotten that they are but guests in the valley. Now there is a price to pay. Two thousand years of history is coming to an end.

‘Impeccably written . . . tightens like a clammy hand around your throatDaily Mail on The Loney

‘A work of goose-flesh eeriness’ The Spectator on Devil’s Day

‘A tale of suspense that sucks you in and pulls you underNew Statesman on Starve Acre


Sunday Times
A tour de force of physiological fantasia . . . Writing of this quality - sensuous, exact, observant - ensures that other scenes, too, pulse with vitality . . . Hurley's gothic storylines send spectres of deathliness through his fictional world. His prose brings it vividly alive
The Times
I will confidently predict that no reader will guess where it's heading . . . Hurley's ability to create a world that's like ours in many ways and really not in many others is again on full display . . . Starve Acre, leaner and perhaps even more unsettling than its predecessors, may well be his best novel so far
Mail on Sunday
Beautifully written and triumphantly creepy
A perfectly pitched tale of suspense and the dark side of folklore . . . perfect, page-turning reading for a dark night
The Spectator
This kind of book, as with ghost stories from M.R. James to Susan Hill, demands a phenomenal control of language and atmosphere to work at all, and Hurley provides it in spades . . . This is a wonderful story of its type that has all the qualities of unease, nastiness, terror, psychological trauma and implied physical revulsion one expects from folk horror. But it's nothing to the denouement it foreshadows