Saturday, 18 November 2017

Book Review: Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke

Following the tragic death of his infant daughter, Steve Brannigan is lost in grief, finding solace in alcohol and bad TV. His estranged wife can no longer be in the house where they lost their child, so Steve is left to himself in their family home. That is, until he hears a noise upstairs...

"All these moments, even the less pleasant ones, are snapshots we can never replace once they're lost."

I must admit, I get pretty nervous when it comes to reading the books of an author who is so present on instagram - particularly when it's someone I've conversed with a number of times and he's just SO NICE. But, in this instance, I really had nothing to worry about. Blanky is pretty awesome!! It's heartbreaking and terrifying in equal measures, reminding me of how I felt reading Pet Sematary by the King - and I think everyone knows how I feel about that book.

Burke's writing is incredible, it's intricate and detailed, yet so readable. And there's so much emotion in this book that you can really feel from the very first page. The very first line even! It's heartbreaking to even imagine what parents must go through following the loss of a child, and even sadder when it leads to the devastating disintegration of a relationship. I want to leave out as many details as possible, because there's so much I just didn't see coming and that's how this story should be experienced.

It's staggering how much Burke fits into such a short novella, that building sense of dread, you feel like you're on tenterhooks just waiting for the other shoe to drop. And Burke delivers. I actually would LOVE to see this adapted into a movie - there's so many terrifying sights that Burke describes that I think would work incredibly well visually. It would be pure nightmare fuel, but that's what we want when we read horror, don't we?

My only slight complaint would be that I wanted more - what can I say, I'm greedy when it comes to unrelenting terror. Don't get me wrong, it works perfectly as a novella, but... I just wanted to spend even more time in this story! Burke is a great writer, and I'm looking forward to reading more from him. 4 stars out of 5 from me! I highly recommend picking this one up for a quick scare. With heart.


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