The Turtle Boy by Kealan Patrick Burke

Timmy Quinn is a normal boy who is enjoying a normal summer. He and his best friend Pete spend their days digging holes, exploring the local pond and spooking each other with tales of youthful tragedy. The basic ritual that most of us took for granted in our youth. Well, things change a bit when Pete and Timmy stumble upon a strange boy hanging around Myers Pond. The boy appears to be a little off- his skin sags a bit too much, his eyes have a dead quality and he also lets the turtles in the pond use his heel for breakfast. Timmy becomes fascinated with the boy and as he learns more about this mysterious Turtle Boy he uncovers the truly unsettling secrets that his neighbors have been hiding.

Kealan Patrick Burke packs a ton of story in a small space. He is able to build the story and dread with tight pacing and just enough ambiguity to keep the reader guessing. In the midst of this tense story, Burke uses Timmy as the vehicle to bring the reader back to their own youth. He establishes the character of Timmy with just enough generic childhood traits that the reader can instantly place themselves in the small shoes of the lead character. As a result, we feel a personal connection to the fear and shock that permeates through Timmy as he discovers the true origin of The Turtle Boy.

The Turtle Boy is a well-written, well-told coming of age story that leaves much of the answers open to interpretation. It really was a treat to read and I can’t wait to read the other stories in the Timmy Quinn series.

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About Pat Dreadful

Father of three. Impregnator of one. Pat lives in the backwoods of Pennsylvania where he splits his time between moonshining and moonlighting. He used to be the sole proprietor of a funky little site called Grade Z Horror but jumped at the chance to work with Meli and Colum. He was raised on King and Crichton but quickly found true salvation in the works of Ketchum and Laymon. When not selling plasma to afford those highly sought after Jeff Strand limited editions, Pat can be found sitting on his back porch with a pipe full of Perique and the sounds of summer coming through a beat up transistor radio. Simply put, he is a true ramblin’ boy of pleasure. The books that have shaped Pat’s warped lil’ ol’ mind have included Dweller by Jeff Strand, It by Stephen King, Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon, The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon and The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. Pat is always on the lookout for a good coming-of-age yarn so shoot your suggestions to You can also follow his unsavory exploits over at

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