Title: Master of the Moors
Author: Kealan Patrick Burke
Release date: October 1st, 2008
I’ve probably read 6 or 7 of KPB’s novellas and 2 or 3 of his short story collections, but previous to this, I’d only read his novel ‘Kin,’ which was a blast. Kealan (or KPB to me!) has become a master of writing short fiction and novella length releases, and for many fans that’s what he’s known for. Well that, and his cover design work. But KPB has a number of long reads out, and I’ve had ‘Master of the Moors’ sitting on my Kindle for far too long. I was very happy to see it arrive at the top of my TBR list last week and I dove in, excited to see what was in store.
Strangely, and enjoyably, I found this book to almost be a sibling to John F.D. Taff’s ‘The Bell Witch.’ A historical piece (although this isn’t based specifically on a real event) written with a very similar style of prose.
What I liked: The story opens up with a frantic search along a foggy moor, a local man’s wife having been reported missing. From there Patrick Burke gives us a moving, haunting piece of things not always what they seem.
At its core, the book really does a great job of making the reader uncomfortable, and while the story itself has some truly shocking and disturbing moments (that opening sequence alone would make for a stunning novella) it is the atmosphere that KPB creates throughout that really was the highlight for this reader.
The characters are flawed people, which I really enjoyed. A prime example of this was the local physician who pines for the widowed barmaid, only to be made a fool and find himself in the fog.
What I didn’t like: I did find a few spots lagged a bit. Mainly the family dinner-type scenes. While necessary and did add to the tension between some characters, I wanted to know more about the rest of the events whenever these scenes arrived.
Why you should buy this: If you’ve not read Patrick Burke, this would be a great starting spot. You get his ability to inject every sentence with atmosphere and emotion. If you’ve read him before, but not this one, you know what you’re in for and get on it.
I really enjoyed this one and there are a half dozen scenes that have already worked there way into my brain to take their place where they’ll live forever. Creepy, haunting and filled with atmospheric dread, KPB really delivers with this full length.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Master of the Moors by Kealan Patrick Burke”
Holy boggy bovine, Batman, that cover is awesome! Good review. I have read and enjoyed Burke, but not this one.
This one is a really great read, Priscilla. Think you’ll really enjoy it!