Bully coverBuy Bully as an ebook or paperback from here.

“A creepy spine-chiller”

“Akin to old school James Herbert”

They say you should never go back. But sometimes you don’t have a choice.
After Gary Bull’s miraculous survival from an explosion in Afghanistan, he is compelled to return to the small town where he grew up, a place that he thought he would never set his eyes upon again. Memories of a past long buried come back to him and he finds himself forced to face the horror of what he did when he was young. It started with the bullying…

Newton Mills appears normal enough on the surface, but scratch the surface and there is something far more sinister.

It has more than its fair share of graveyards and the skeletons are liable to walk right out of the closet.

Newton Mills is the scene of a despicable crime.

Industry Reviews

Andrew McQuade, Gorezone Magazine, Issue 60:

The work of ‘a talented writer’. There are ‘moments of genuine intensity in the horror scenes’.

Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Book Review, November 2010:

Bully is “a deep psychological thriller.” “The book constantly keeps you on your toes…”, “Bully is an interesting character with a shady past (…) When Bully returns back to his hometown in England he notices that things are not as they seem and that something is amiss. Kirby does an excellent job of describing the tiny hamlet and the various idiosyncrasies. The world building and characters are very well done.”

“Bully is fast paced and a quick read. It reminds me a little bit of Stephen King’s IT” and “In the end, it is a interesting psychological horror that may be just what you are looking for if you like the strange and unknown. It also does a fairly good job of subtly discussing post-tramatic stress in all of its many forms.”

Hannah Glick, Books Editor, Leeds Student Newspaper:

“Reading this book is like trying to get to sleep after drinking too many vodka red bulls…”

” …Where Kirby really shines is his naturalistic, boisterous dialogue. It is rare to read speech that is written as it should sound and it has worked to tremendous effect in this novel.”

” On picking up BULLY, I could tell I was in store for something sinister. But it was more than that; it was horrific, bitter, twisted and aggressive… If you like your stories dark and dramatic, it may well be your type of book.”


Amazon Reviews

Alison Littlewood, author of The Unquiet House and A Cold Season, said: “I really enjoyed reading Bully… It’s also a good chiller and keeps you turning the pages…”

Deano C from Manchester said: “A well written book that deserves to be up there with Ramsay Campbell and James Herbert.”

Foxexile said: ” I will certainly read more by this writer and I would say to anyone looking for a good read in the horror genre to pick up this book.

Heather R said: “This was a great read, and one that reaches far beyond the niche of traditional horror.”

Terry Gardiner of Gloucestershire said: “It is the only book I have deleted from my Kindle.”

John Johnson of Leeds said: “wonderful story”.

N. Button said: “I’d certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark fiction.”

LovingKindle said: “This novel gripped me from the start to finish – from the explosive opening in Afghanistan to the grisly climax in Newton Mills. Breathtaking stuff!”

Anna Stephens said: “Bully is a very accomplished second novel for A J Kirby. There are flashes of brilliance in this well-crafted horror tale and a sure forewarning of some more excellent fiction from this talented new writer.”

Jonathan Woolley said: “anyone who has lived in any Yorkshire town in the seventies and eighties will feel something for this book; the hopelessness of the job situation reflects the darkness of and aftermath of Thatchers regime.”

Holly Stacey of Essex said: “A a gripping read with an end that makes you want to sleep with the lights on.”

Lauren G (UK) said: “The tone of the novel is excellent.”

Joseph Stanley of London said: “This book stands head and shoulders above its genre. To label is as merely horror writing is to do it a grave disservice- this is a highly accomplished work of psychological fiction. Kirby’s writing draws you in from the first line – on many occasions I felt an idea or thought was planted in the readers mind only to be brutally played out later on in the narrative. The writing is impassioned, visceral, and shockingly powerful. The dialogue in particular stands out for how convincing it is, which only makes the impact of the novel harder as it reaches a conclusion. Be warned though – this book is a darker, grittier and more disturbing read than you might expect. Kirby’s writing leaves an imprint that remains long after the book has been closed…highly recommended.”

Vincent Rodriguez said: “Bully is a slow burning novel, which entertains, sickens, entrances and thoroughly entertains right up to the splendidly set up finale. I have to agree with other reviewers that this is so much more than a horror novel, and indeed it holds its own alongside the first class psychological thrillers of the Harris and King. Kirby has clearly studied the masters of this genre and as far as a second effort goes, this is right up in the first division. Through a meticulously woven narrative, he succeeds in making the reader feel uneasy, yet thoroughly enthralled as Gary Bull evolves from the perpetrator of childhood evils to the victim of the most harrowing psychological torture. In spite of his vileness in youth, Gary is a likeable character and you do find yourself rooting for him as he descends into terror. I know I should have felt that justice was being served, but sympathy for Gary was still hard to shake. This is the hallmark of a masterly creation, of which Kirby should be congratulated. The book is a real page-turner and can be read almost at one sitting. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark fiction, and I for one, will be searching out Kirby’s other tales.”



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