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Kealan Patrick Burke ‘The Turtle Boy’ Review


THETURTLEBOY

Written by: James Keen

“It sounds like one of your comic book stories, but I believe you.” – Kealan Partrick Burke

Telling stories using a child’s perspective is always a tricky feat to pull off as very often the results can be cloyingly sentimental or the characters prone to coming across as annoyingly precocious. Often the results are baffling and confused as the author can all too easily fall into the trap of appearing to be undecided about his or her intended audience. Kealan Patrick Burke’s ‘The Turtle Boy’ is an engrossing tale, one not concerned with entertaining a specific audience or pandering to a specific literary niche. Burke’s tale, the first in a series, shares much in common with the dark and intriguing whimsy of a Ray Bradbury or a ‘The Body’ era Stephen King. He’s here to delineate a tale of dark fiction, pure and simple. And it’s a particularly harrowing one at that.

The focus of Burke’s narrative is Timmy Quinn,  an eleven year old boy fairly bubbling with the excitement of having the school semester end and the Summer open up for him and his best buddy, though as Burke notes almost ominously, “School had ended three days ago, the gates closing with a thunderous finality the children knew was the lowest form of deception.” Hanging around with the painfully timid Pete Marshall, Timmy spends his free time time sword-fighting with fishing rods, digging for buried treasure and visiting a nearby pond, a body of water with a curious legend attached to it. They’re a couple of kids “united by their unflagging interest in the unknown and the undiscovered.”

Going any further with this review would be doing this book a disservice given the brevity of Burke’s intriguing and gruesomely detailed narrative. It’s a well-paced affair with the frequent use of judiciously chosen prose, but make no mistake – this is most certainly not a ‘children’s book’. At all. Once Burke has set up his ‘stage’ he’s off, dragging the increasingly unnerved reader along at a entertaining page-turning gallop, delivering chills with style and a haunting resonance.

Pick this one up right here.

Rating: 4/5

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About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

2 Comments on Kealan Patrick Burke ‘The Turtle Boy’ Review

  1. A coming of age story filled with horror and harrowing experiences …sounds like an interest road to travel down . Well done James…you have piqued my interest once again…as always…Vitina

    Like

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