Take heart, aspiring authors. Andrew Michael Hurley‘s debut novel The Loney — originally printed in a very limited edition (300 copies) has been named the Costa First Novel of the Year. The Costa Prize judges considered Hurley’s gothic suspense novel “as close to the perfect first novel as you can get.” Stephen King is an admirer: he called it “an amazing piece of fiction.” Hurley’s novel is hailed as a modern classic of the genre and he has been compared to Daphne Du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, and Horace Walpole.
The novel was originally published by Tartarus Press before being picked up by Hodder and Stoughton. Hurley wins £5,000 (about $7,100) and will compete for overall Costa Book of the Year (fiction, non-fiction and poetry by UK and Irish authors are eligible.) The winner will be announced in London tonight. The other nominated authors are Kate Atkinson, Andrea Wulf, Don Paterson, and Frances Hardinge.