Kealan Patrick Burke is simply one of my favorite horror authors. A Bram Stoker Award winner, Burke has published numerous horror novels, over one hundred short stories, and four collections. And if that isn’t enough, he was also a vocalist in a metal grunge band.
The Turtle Boy is Burke’s first novel, and although his writing and storytelling improved significantly with each new release (Kin may be his very best), The Turtle Boy stands the test of time as one of the great coming of age horror tales ever written. So well-received was The Turtle Boy that it served as the launching point to a five book series – The Timmy Quinn Series.
In the first book, we meet Timmy Quinn, a young boy trying to find his way through a lazy, hot summer, when he and a neighborhood friend sneak off to the old pond down the road. When they arrive, the friends discover a boy they’ve never seen before seated across the pond, bobbing his bloody foot in the water. The strange boy claims to be “feeding the turtles.”
What happens next is part ghost story, part coming of age horror, complete with serial killer overtones. The Turtle Boy is a masterpiece page turner, an amazing accomplishment for a debut author. At times sad, and often scary and tense, The Turtle Boy catches your attention early and never lets go. Once you begin reading, you will have a hard time putting The Turtle Boy down, and an equally difficult time resisting the next four books in the Timmy Quinn series.
I may be biased when it comes to Kealan (full disclosure – Kealan Patrick Burke is the amazing artist who designed all four covers in my Dark Vanishings series), but I recommend The Turtle Boy to anyone who loves coming of age horror, like Stephen King’s The Body (Stand By Me).
Oh, and if you are looking for a great deal, The Turtle Boy is currently available for FREE.