If you like reading horror, you’ve come to the right book. That book is KIN by Kealan Patrick Burke, one of the best horror novels I’ve read in years.
On a hot summer day, Claire staggers naked and bloody from a nightmare on a remote farm where a cannibal family preys on outsiders. Rescued, she now must cope with the horror of what she experienced, along with the loss of her friends. In time, she realizes she can’t move on unless she gets vengeance, aided by the boy who rescued her on the road and an Iraq War vet who wants his own revenge for what the family did to his brother.
KIN reads like a sequel to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The book takes place after the horror, though it is nightmarishly revealed in flashbacks. Claire got away, but she can never really leave what she experienced, plagued by guilt, grief and a desire for revenge that will take her back into the heart of darkness.
I was drawn to the novel because the idea sounded so interesting, and stuck with it because it’s frankly beautifully written. Burke creates flesh and blood characters with loving detail, including the bizarre family that preys on strangers. The style is accessible and engaging. When the moments of horror are revealed, they’re powerful. The book is fantastic. Some may find the final confrontation a bit rushed after the long setup, however.
Every once in a while, you fall in love with a book, and sometimes you become a fan of both a book and its author. I may be the latter, and will be checking out more of Burke’s fiction.