I had no idea what to expect from Blanky, other than it touched on a subject most authors shy away from – the death of a child. Kealan Patrick Burke handles this subject well and I was swept along with the grief Steve felt, understanding his agonies and struggles with the bottle. When we were introduced to Blanky, a tatty little blanket his daughter had loved and kept with her at all times before her death and after as it was buried with her, I knew we were in for a different kind of tale.
I found the build up wonderful, the use of language helped invoke terror and heartache through out. Poor Steve had lost everything yet what little hope he had was battered away as the story unfolded and he was swept along with events he had no control over. I loved how the ending introduced a possible real world solution, then wham KP turned the tale on its head once more – very clever and satisfying.
From this tale I can say that I will be searching out other work from this author and suggest you do the same.
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.
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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.
Visit him on the web at www.kealanpatrickburke.com