Saturday, 25 November 2017

Book Review: Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke

Naked and covered in blood, Claire Lambert emerges from a massacre that has claimed the lives of her friends. As the sole survivor, Claire wants revenge for the cannibalistic family responsible for the hell that she has endured. But she's not the only one, others have been affected by this nightmare and they too want this family of lunatics to pay...

"It seemed he always had blood on his hands no matter how hard or how often he washed them."

What did I just read?! As a forewarning (I feel like I'm forewarning a lot these days... I've been reading some sick shit it seems), this is not for the faint of heart. It's brutal and visceral and raw... yet oh so AMAZING. I blew through this book in a matter of days - it's pretty much the definition of unputdownable. I love reading books that just hook you from the very first page, or in this instance, the very first sentence.

From the get-go, I felt like I was watching a great horror slasher movie. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibes were overwhelming, but very quickly it became apparent that there was more at stake here than gratuitous blood and gore. There was also really great, well-developed characters that you begin to care about. I appreciate the fact that this book kicks off right after the massacre has occurred - of course there are flashbacks to what happened - but ultimately this story is about what happens next and how those left behind are affected when such atrocities occur. The survivor's guilt, the need for revenge, the urge to make those responsible pay for what they have done.

I'm also very excited to announce that I have a new favourite literary family - the Merrill clan. Holy hell, what a bunch of fucked up individuals. Momma-in-bed (yes, that is her name) was literally in one scene (or two perhaps, without giving anything away), and yet she will probably be what I first think of when I refer to this book in future. Even now, if I concentrate for long enough, I can smell her bedroom... *vomits everywhere*. I loved loved LOVED reading about this family and would implore Mr Burke to consider writing more about the heinous acts of the Merrills some day, because I don't think I would ever tire of it. 

When you combine horror and scenes that have me grimacing and closing the book to take a breather WITH great, complex characters that you actually LIKE - then this, my friends, is my favourite kind of book. Definitely one of my favourite reads from this year. And certain scenes will stay with me forever (if you've read, you KNOW what I'm talking about). Highly recommend to all horror fans. 5 stars from me!


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