Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke || Review

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Title: Kin
Author(s): Kealan Patrick Burke
No. of pages: 278
Genre: Horror
Publication date: October 25th 2011
Date read: October 7th 2018
4/5 ★


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.


Kin is a highly recommended book in the (horror) bookstagram community and I can tell you that it’s absolutely worth all the hype and praise! Kealan Patrick Burke did a great job of making me even more afraid of ever visiting the thinly populated parts and little villages in the US. All I ever hear about it is that the chance of getting brutally murdered around those parts is pretty high. Or maybe I just read and watch too much horror …

This book contained all the typical horror elements: guts, blood, darkness, bad crazy people. It really was an exciting read and it had me entertained until the very end. Not only the horror elements had me hooked, but also Burke’s writing style and the different characters. I ended up fearing and caring for them all. Except for the Merrill clan, obviously. Sheess, what the heck was that family? And don’t even get me started about the horror that was Momma-in-bed! The most scary part is that I can easily believe that there are actually people like this family out there.

Kin was mostly about the aftermath of the Elkwood massacre. There were flashbacks, but I noticed that I missed the actual facts as they were happening. At the same time, though, you don’t need the gory details of what they did to Claire in the exact moment, because you can easily imagine them yourself. I think that’s also where the “art” of this book lies: you’re not there to see it happening, but reading about Claire’s scars is quite enough to be able to form the whole story.

After reading Kin I can’t wait to read more books by Kealan Patrick Burke!

3 thoughts on “Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke || Review

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