- Author: Kealan Patrick Burke
- Page Count: 308
- Pub. Date: October 25, 2011
- ISBN: 978-1-58767-219-4
- Status: Out of Print
a novel by Kealan Patrick Burke
About the Book:
On a scorching hot summer day in Elkwood, Alabama, Claire Lambert staggers naked, wounded, and half-blind away from the scene of an atrocity. She is the sole survivor of a nightmare that claimed her friends, and even as she prays for rescue, the killers — a family of cannibalistic lunatics — are closing in.
A soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder returns from Iraq to the news that his brother is among the murdered in Elkwood.
In snowbound Detroit, a waitress trapped in an abusive relationship gets an unexpected visit that will lead to bloodshed and send her back on the road to a past she has spent years trying to outrun.
And Claire, the only survivor of the Elkwood Massacre, haunted by her dead friends, dreams of vengeance... a dream which will be realized as grief and rage turn good people into cold-blooded murderers and force alliances among strangers.
It's time to return to Elkwood.
In the spirit of such iconic horror classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance, Kin begins at the end and studies the possible aftermath for the survivors of such traumas upon their return to the real world — the guilt, the grief, the thirst for revenge — and sets them on an unthinkable journey... back into the heart of darkness.
"It's odd that an Irish transplant to the Northern US has written one of the best Southern Gothic novels in recent memory. I'll look forward to Burke's next work just as much as I hated to see this one end. I would highly recommend Kin to lovers of old fashioned horror fiction with a twist. If you're going to read just one noir cannibal revenge novel this year, Kin should fit the bill."
— Dark Discoveries
"...with this novel, Burke has fully arrived as a novelist, his voice more assured, his hand steadier, and his talent running full throttle... It's compelling because what Burke does here, which so many of those slasher movies fail to do, is give us characters we care about. Even the Merrill clan, which shares plenty of unsavory traits with their blood-spilling forefathers, are fleshed out. Yes, these are isolated, ignorant rednecks with their own skewed view of right and wrong, people who kill in the name of God (and do so cunningly and efficiently). But Burke gives us a closer look at at least some of their number, and in them we see doubt, fear and even regret, which more than sets them apart from empty-headed killers like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers... Burke doesn't skimp on the violence in this one, but he shows just enough restraint at just the right times to keep it from becoming a simple gorefest. There's one scene in particular, which I won't dare spoil, that could have been so over-the-top as to be funny. But Burke handles it with precision, giving it the full, horrible impact it deserves, drawing gasps instead of guffaws. Trust me, you'll know it when you read it, and you'll be amazed at how deftly the author pulls it off. Kin ends a long period of silence from Burke, and has me quite excited to see what's coming next. It's due out this Fall from Cemetery Dance, and I urge you to get a copy. It gets my highest possible recommendation."
— Blu Gilliand, october country
"What places KIN apart from similar redneck horror tales is its time frame: our main protagonist, Claire, is brought into the picture beginning at the END of her first ordeal with the killers. Much of the novel is seen from her shattered viewpoint, giving the entire story a fresh tone. And while the novel works on the mental anguish of its characters, Burke also delivers some gruesome b-movie violence without sinking into silliness, and keeps a steady, dark aura until the grim and satisfying conclusion. KIN is basically an intelligent version of an 80s redneck slasher film, with genre staples (such as corrupt law enforcement and cannibalistic killers) molded into something that somehow seems new. THIS is serious horror fiction that has set a high standard for future stories in this subgenre. Don't miss it."
— Nick Cato, The Crow's Caw
"The blurb will tell you that this is in the vein of the ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre' and ‘Deliverance' and, while I can see what they mean, it doesn't do the book justice. This is not a ‘slasher' book or a book that reads like a movie. This is far more. This is a novel that begins where the other stories ended and explores the impact such horror has on the survivors, their family and, though we may not like them, the perpetrators of the horror. It doesn't excuse them but it does try to offer what their mind set is and where it developed from. This is not empathic per se; I still wanted to see them come to a gruesome end but the fact that their point of view was portrayed added depth to the story."
— Derek Gunn, The Big Thrill
"Kin is a horror thriller of the human kind that shows the worst the species offers. Kealan Patrick Burke provides an action-packed tale yet it is the cast, especially the malevolent Merrill mob, who make the tale exciting. Readers will be on edge throughout as we root for Finch and company to enact vengeance of an Old Testament kind."
— Genre Go Round Reviews
Born and raised in Dungarvan, Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke is an award-winning author described as "a newcomer worth watching" (Publishers Weekly) and "one of the most original authors in contemporary horror" (Booklist).
Some of his works include the novels Currency of Souls and The Hides, the novellas The Turtle Boy (Bram Stoker Award Winner, 2004), Vessels and Midlisters, and the collections Ravenous Ghosts and The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others.
Kealan also edited the anthologies: Taverns of the Dead (starred review, Publishers Weekly), Quietly Now (International Horror Guild Award Nominee, 2004), the charity anthology Tales from the Gorezone and Night Visions 12 (starred review, Publishers Weekly, British Fantasy Award & International Horror Guild Award nominee).
A movie based on his short story "Peekers", directed by Mark Steensland (DEAD @ 17), and scripted by veteran novelist Rick Hautala is currently scheduled for screening at a variety of international film festivals.
Published in two states:
• Hardcover Limited Edition of 750 signed copies bound in full-cloth and Smyth sewn ($40)
• Traycased Hardcover Lettered Edition of 26 signed and lettered copies bound in leather and Smyth sewn with a satin ribbon page marker ($175)
Excerpt... coming soon
Visit our official production update page for the latest news and updates about this project.