by Kealan Patrick Burke

  • I read it between Feb 16 & 19, 2018
  • Genre: HORROR

I wish I’d written this ...

... because ... it ... is ... BRUTAL!

Pretty much every character in this novel is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are widows, widowers and orphans, victims of domestic violence, abused children, war veterans, and—principally—a young woman who escaped from a family of cannibalistic sadists (though she left some bits of herself behind). Even without the graphic rape and torture, this would be a savage story ... with them, it's hellish. It's also brilliant. Kealan Patrick Burke has done something truly exceptional here. He's taken the movie genre that had its inception with DELIVERANCE and which perhaps reached its apogee with THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and he's transformed it from sheer bloody spectacle into a tale with depth and meaning. Yes, it's grim, but it makes you think about human endurance, about how suffering can extend to people not directly involved, and about how revenge, rather than being motivated by a need for justice, can be driven by the yearning of victims to re-assert some sense of themselves. I envy the skill it takes to inject such significance into hacking and slashing!


The first paragraph

From the novel

About Mark Hodder

Mark Hodder is the author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK and its sequels, and of the first officially sanctioned Sexton Blake novel to have been published in nearly half a century (he created and maintains BLAKIANA: The Sexton Blake Resource). He also writes short stories, flash fiction and vignettes. Find out more on his Patreon page. Mark was born in the UK but currently lives in Valencia, Spain, with his partner and two children.