I like Burke's writing. He portrays a real world and believable characters. Plus, his stories are often uniquely scary; SOUR CANDY is a perfect example of this. And while THE TURTLE BOY was good, it also felt slightly splintered.
Timmy Quinn is eleven years old and home from school for the summer. He is excited to spend it with his best friend Pete. However, a dark discovery at the beginning of summer leaves Timmy alone for most of the summer. Until his mom intervenes and forces Pete to be friends with a girl, Kim Barnes. Together they discover the darker secret behind the dark discovery.
The story is solid and enjoyable. The characters are interesting and believable. The disjointed part was that the novella was part Young Adult and part adult. It seemed that Burke was creating his own YA character that teens and pre-teens could follow. The novella had all the characteristics of a YA novel. However, at the same time, the story seemed a bit intense and graphic for a YA story. Personally, I liked the extra intensity but then as the parent of a pre-teen, I'm not really part of the YA audience. There are five books in the Timmy Quinn series by Burke, so I imagine that it has resonated with people fairly well. Hopefully Burke is finding and pulling in the next wave of new readers who love horror and who like that extra-gore instead. I'm kind of digressing. I found the story fun to read, it kept me engaged all the way to the end, and I wasn't disappointed at the end. I probably won't pick up other Timmy Quinn stories, but I will be picking up other Kealan Patrick Burke stories.