Kealan Patrick Burke
Cemetery Dance, Sep 2011, $40.00
Elkwood, Alabama is home to the redneck psychotic Merrill clan. They rape, torture, skin and kill outsiders and anyone else not considered pure even their own kin. The group is cannibalistic with a form of Christianity that the patriarch Pap Jim Gray uses to keep his offspring in line.
Four hikers cross paths with the clan to their misfortune. All types of depravity are done to the outsiders. The only survivor is Claire Lambert. While the clan’s eldest son pursues her, Jack and his son Pete take her to Dr. Wellman. Jack informs the doctor that she must go to a hospital for her safety before he kills himself so that Merrill brood don’t get him as death is a better alternative. The killers murder Wellman, but Pete enables Claire to escape; he drives her to the hospital. Evidence is created to show that Wellman was the perpetrator of the killing. At home Claire knows the lie and decides to return to Elkwood to confront the Merrill murdering marauders. Also going to Elkwood is Finch, the brother of Claire’s late boyfriend. He has just returned from Iraq and, with his brother in arms, plans to destroy the Merrill clan for what they did to his sibling. However with a town living in fear, urban warfare may prove more dangerous than Bagdad.
Kin is a horror thriller of the human kind that shows the worst the species offers. Kealan Patrick Burke provides an action-packed tale yet it is the cast, especially the malevolent Merrill mob, who make the tale exciting. The creepy gothic like atmosphere will have no one, not even Lynard Skinner sing Sweet Home Alabama as the fear factor is so great, the locals know not to leave or else expect a visit regardless of where they move to. Readers will be on edge throughout as we root for Finch and company to enact vengeance of an Old Testament kind.