Horror Review: Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke

I was given a review copy as part of the Confessions of A Reviewer tour. Thanks, Nev!


Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke
Horror Novella
Released September 2017
AmazonGoodreads
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.


My Thoughts
 

Blanky is a grief saturated read that will ring true for anyone who has ever lost anyone prematurely.  It nails those dark, hopeless feelings that envelop you in the early stages of grief. It’s sad and it’s scary and it packs an incredible punch in so few pages. This kind of writing, the kind that is able to creep into my heart and shatter it, is what  keeps me coming back to books when there are always so many other things trying to pull me away from them.

“One rainy night I put her to bed and when I woke up, she was dead. That was the beginning of the end of my world. This is the rest of it.”

Steve is drowning in grief and he is all alone. His wife, unable to deal with their loss, has left to live with her parents for a while and Steve’s isolation and sadness is a living, breathing, soul sucking thing.

"We always said nothing would come between us, that there was nothing we couldn’t conquer. I know at the time we never imagined in a million years it would be something this fucking apocalyptic, but still...I meant it then and I mean it now. We’re stronger together than we’ll ever be alone.” “I know, but...I see her in you, Stephen. She had your eyes, and it got so that looking at you felt like looking at her, and all I could see was the accusation, the blame. I couldn’t bear it. I still can’t.”

Ouch, right? Talk about raw emotion. The writing here is so strong that it almost physically hurts to read these thoughts and experience the sadness that engulfs both of them.

One day Steve ventures into his deceased baby’s room and finds her blanky. The blanky that he could’ve sworn she was swaddled in when she was handed over to the paramedics. The blanky that should not be in her room . . .  Finding the blanky stirs a series of events that become increasingly sinister. Is Steve experiencing something supernatural or is it something far worse? I’m not a jerk and am not going to be the one to tell you!

This story gets all the stars. It is bleak and it may haunt you but I think all of you horror people should read it.

 Find two awesomely grueling reads from Kealan Patrick Burke within these collections:

https://barksbooknonsense.blogspot.com/2016/08/horror-review-bad-apples-2-six-slices.html

A Bit About the Writer

Kealan Patrick BurkeBorn 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 grunge 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 movie based on his short story "Peekers" is currently in development as a major motion picture.

Connect with Kealan Patrick Burke at his website.

Comments

  1. Love those bad apples on that cover! They are very cool...

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    Replies
    1. Aren't they adorable? The stories are great too.

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  2. I remember reading Sour Candy late one night and absolutely loving it. I have to get to this one now as well. Great review!

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    Replies
    1. I still have to read that one. I hope you enjoy Blanky when you get a chance to read it but I'm pretty sure you will :)

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  3. Oh, man. This sounds hella creepy! Very timely.

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  4. I love KPB, but this is one I know I can't read. I loved reading your review of it, though. You need to read Sour Candy now. :)

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    Replies
    1. I thought I owned it but it's not on my Kindle. I'll have to visit Amazon and see what's up!

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  5. I'm kicking myself for not having read this one yet. I have Bad Apples 2. Great stories, including Patrick's. I'll be looking for this one now!

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    Replies
    1. There are just too many books to get to them all. Damn, that is a bleak thought!

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