Belinda Frisch's Reviews > KIN

KIN by Kealan Patrick Burke
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Mar 02, 12

Read from January 17 to March 01, 2012

Where most stories end, KIN picks up. A young girl named Claire is wandering--beaten, raped, and maimed--down a road in the kind of southern dead end town you’d never want to go to. Her three friends have been brutally murdered by a family of cannibalistic religious nuts known as the Merrills and they are hunting for Claire, the one that got away, even as she is rescued.

Claire’s rescuers, a young boy named Pete and his Pa are introduced as well as a cast of supporting characters that include a well-intending old physician and the victims’ families, most prominently Finch, one of their brothers who is an angry war veteran that had once dated Claire's sister.

Each character in KIN has their own run-ins with the Merrills, their own motivations for engaging with them, and their own reasons for not wanting to. The story deals with what happens when dysfunctional family dynamics and back woods justice meet the need for revenge.

I am a Kealan Patrick Burke fan. His descriptions are bar none and his flawed characters have a way of drawing me in. Having read Currency of Souls, I was curious to see what he cooked up with KIN and the tale did not disappoint. The writing was engaging, descriptive, and often disturbing. The story was evocative of the Last House on the Left, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I dare say a bit of the Devil’s Rejects.

Claire was by far my favorite character and it was her story that compelled me to keep reading even when part two of the book introduced Finch and a line of war-related commentary that had me a little ugh. Not my thing, it’s purely preference, but the comments about the war feel, at times, like the author intruding on the characters and that’s my only complaint.

Overall, KIN was suspenseful and written in Kealan’s signature powerful prose. Many stories start with a group of kids taking a wrong turn. None that I’ve seen or read pick up in the emotional aftermath of their torture. The raw feeling and realism that follow Claire’s recovery has you rooting for her until the very end. An excellent read and highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

03/01/2012
97.0% "Review coming soon!"

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