Publication Date: 12th September 2017
REVIEWED BY NEV
A copy of Blanky was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Kealan Patrick Burke, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.
This one needs another disclaimer. I read this one while I was working with Kealan on a publicity tour for Blanky. This is no way affects the honesty in my review, nor the rating of this book.
Kealan Patrick Burke, writer of all things scary. If you have read him before, you will know this to be true. If you haven’t read him before, come back and agree with me once you have. I know he has a huge fan base. All the men want to write like him and all the women want to cuddle him. I have no idea why with the second part, but that’s the way the world works sometimes. I am still waiting on the new books relating to Timmy Quinn. Looks like I will be waiting a bit longer. I’m also waiting on Kin 2. Looks like I will have to wait a while on that one as well. So, we will read Blanky in the meantime.
This is what I thought.
Steve Brannigan is in a place no person would ever want to be. He is trapped inside his head and doesn’t know how to get out of it. His young daughter has recently died, and his wife has left him. It is all falling apart.
In the middle of all this torture, he finds his daughters favourite Blanky, just lying on the floor in her old room. Strange. He thought it was buried with her.
Steve embraces the blanky and it strangely becomes a go between for him and his wife. Things are looking up.
He should never have touched it.
Characters are minimal in this one. We have Steve, a man going through the ultimate mental torture. He has lost his entire family in such a short time and he feels like there is nothing else to live for. His wife, Lex, is more or less feeling the same. She can’t be in the house, such is her torment at losing their child. Very few other characters come and go that are even worth a mention in this one. Other than Lex’s parents, no one really takes a hold on the story for any length of time.
The plot is as it is suggested in the synopsis. Everyone is in torment and then the mysterious Blanky re-appears and the troubles begin. That is as far as I am going to tell you anything about the book itself.
Apart from the writing! I can tell you about the writing.
There is a little prologue in this story. A short snippet to set the tone for the book. When I read it, I was hooked. I was also very close to tears. This is the power of the writing style of Kealan Patrick Burke.
Listen, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. KPB is one of my favourite writers of all time. I have never read anything of his that didn’t blow me away in one form or another. And that is the important phrase, “in one form or another”.
No two books of his have ever been the same. He comes up with stories that are so fresh each time you open a new one to read. They never follow the same pattern. From the gothic horror style of Master of the Moors, to the inbred hillbilly killers that feature in Kin, to the man-eating tent in The Tent. None of it is the same, apart from the wonderful writing. It is quite simply sublime.
So, Blanky. This one did not turn out how I expected it to. It was going the way I expected it to. Then something happened. A twist to kill all twists. One that, at one moment, made me want to message him and call him a nasty name, and at another, made me think why the hell did he do that and then finally made me think you know what? This is perfect.
One thing for me though is the fact that this story is not as scary as others I have read from him. It’s more bleak than scary. The level of emotion running through it, from start to finish, is immense. It pours off the pages. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. I don’t care if you are as butch as they get or as feminine as they get, you will have watery eyes when you read this one.
Kealan Patrick Burke gives you no choice about that. The words he has put on the pages of this story come together in a way that will make you sit back and take a very deep breath when you are finished. You will be exhausted, and you will wonder what just hit you. Superb stuff.
To summarise: it is written by Kealan Patrick Burke. You must own it. Keep the tissues handy.
☆☆☆☆☆ just wonderful.
☆☆☆☆ more emotional for me.
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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.
Born 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 rock 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 number of his books have been optioned for film.
And for more about Kealan, visit his site or find him on social media: