Blanky is the latest release from Kealan Patrick Burke. This slow burning novella tugs at the heart-strings and carries a sombre tone throughout. Burke’s latest story deals with loss and grief. It is a story told by unreliable narrator, Steve Brannigan-a man dealing with the aftermath of the loss of his family. As a father of two, Blanky resonated strongly with me. Blanky elicits a number of emotions throughout the novella. During the early stages of the book I wallowed in Brannigan’s grief, though things change as new truths rise to the surface.
Whenever I read a book or story by Kealan Patrick Burke I expect quality writing, and with Blanky he doesn’t disappoint. There are moments during the story that will bring you to tears and others that will make your flesh crawl. The cast is small and so we get to know the characters quite well. Brannigan doesn’t seem like anybody out of the ordinary, he lives his life bottle-to-bottle after the death of his daughter, his wife has left him and their house, therein lies the problem: Brannigan is alone, his grief is slowly driving him insane and the discovery of his daughters blanket suddenly seems like the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The memories come flooding back, but sometimes the memories awaken things you’d much rather forget.
Burke mixes urban horror with elements of the supernatural with ease. The story has a great flow to it, very smooth and easy to read, yet captivating and before you know it, you’re done, not only with the book, but also emotionally. Blanky is a moody and grim tale told by a master wordsmith. Can Kealan Patrick Burke write a bad story? I don’t think so. Highly recommended.
4/5 fragmented memories from the Grim Reader
Check out a recent interview I did with Kealan here.
Pick up a copy from here.
“In the wake of his infant daughter’s tragic death, Steve Brannigan is struggling to keep himself together. Estranged from his wife, who refuses to be inside the house where the unthinkable happened, and unable to work, he seeks solace in an endless parade of old sitcoms and a bottle of bourbon.
Until one night he hears a sound from his daughter’s old room, a room now stripped bare of anything that identified it as hers…except for her security blanket, affectionately known as Blanky.
Blanky, old and frayed, with its antiquated patchwork of badly sewn rabbits with black button eyes, who appear to be staring at the viewer…
Blanky, purchased from a strange old man at an antique stall selling “BABY CLOSE” at a discount.
The presence of Blanky in his dead daughter’s room heralds nothing short of an unspeakable nightmare that threatens to take away what little light remains in Steve’s shattered world.
Because his daughter loved Blanky so much, he buried her with it.”
A new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of SOUR CANDY and KIN.
Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from a very early age that he was going to be a horror writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving mother, and a family full of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written five novels, over a hundred short stories, six collections, and edited four acclaimed anthologies. In 2004, he was honored with the Bram Stoker Award for his novella The Turtle Boy.
Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a rock band, curriculum content editor, fiction editor at Gothic.net, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.
When not writing, Kealan designs book covers through his company Elderlemon Design.
A number of his books have been optioned for film.
Visit him on the web at www.kealanpatrickburke.com
Categories: Book Review