On a scorching hot summer day in Elkwood, Alabama, Claire Lambert staggers naked, wounded, and half-blind away from the scene of an atrocity. She is the sole survivor of a nightmare that claimed her friends, and even as she prays for rescue, the killers — a family of cannibalistic lunatics — are closing in.
A soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder returns from Iraq to the news that his brother is among the murdered in Elkwood.
In snowbound Detroit, a waitress trapped in an abusive relationship gets an unexpected visit that will lead to bloodshed and send her back on the road to a past she has spent years trying to outrun.
And Claire, the only survivor of the Elkwood Massacre, haunted by her dead friends, dreams of vengeance... a dream which will be realized as grief and rage turn good people into cold-blooded murderers and force alliances among strangers.
It's time to return to Elkwood.
In the spirit of such iconic horror classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance, Kin begins at the end and studies the possible aftermath for the survivors of such traumas upon their return to the real world — the guilt, the grief, the thirst for revenge — and sets them on an unthinkable journey... back into the heart of darkness.
I have had this on my kindle for quite some time. It was part of a boxed set I scooped up for 99 cents back when I had barely heard of Kealan Patrick Burke. The only thing I had read by this author at that time was The Turtle Boy, and not too long after that I bought the The Number 121 to Pennsylvania after seeing it mentioned in Cemetery Dance magazine. That was when he turned into a "must read" author for me. Believe me, it's a short list. There are not many authors whose name on a cover is enough for me to get my wallet out, but that is all it takes, I see his name, I make the purchase. Why? because he has never let me down, ever. I won't bother to mention who has fallen off my must read list, the big names with bigger price tags and the lazy crazy plot because they know they have hit the big time and all it takes is their name on a book for the money to pour in.
So anyway this gem has sat there trapped in my kindle for years, this week I finally set it free. It was worth the wait.
Personally I think Deliverance pales in comparison and I don't know who it was that decided to describe this book as being "in the spirit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre." To that I say no. Oh no no no. This can not be compared to such simplistic blood and guts and cannibalistic gore. This book has real heart. It is a story not just of horror, but of loyalty, love, greed, and revenge.
Papa-In-Gray and Momma-In-Bed believe they are the righteous, the chosen, doing as the Lord sees fit. They have raised their children to believe the same. That is why people go missing in Elkwood. No one escapes the Merrill clan. Not until Claire Lambert sees her chance to make an escape. She is not satisfied with being the sole survivor. There's no justice in that. She wants revenge and she isn't afraid to go after it.This isn't just gore and show me your tits. It's a masterpiece of horror.
5 out of 5 stars from me.