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The Turtle Boy (The Timmy Quinn Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Kealan Patrick Burke
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (473 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Available for the first time on Amazon Kindle, Kealan Patrick Burke's Bram Stoker Award-winning coming of age story The Turtle Boy.

School is out and summer has begun. For eleven year old Timmy Quinn and his best friend Pete Marshall, the dreary town of Delaware Ohio becomes a place of magic, hidden treasure and discovery.

But on the day they encounter a strange young boy sitting on the bank of Myers Pond, a pond playground rumor says may hide turtles the size of Buicks, everything changes.

For it soon becomes apparent that dark secrets abound in the little community, secrets which come cupped in the hands of the dead, and in a heartbeat, Timmy and Pete's summer of wonder becomes a season of terror, betrayal and murder.


"..takes the small town setting of Delaware, Ohio, and imbues it with just enough wonder to evoke Bradbury and early King and even a dash of Mark Twain circa Tom Sawyer." -

"If you have a young child, or remember when you were one yourself, The Turtle Boy is a book you don't want to miss." - The Midwest Book Review

Editorial Reviews


"Kealan Patrick Burke is one of the best writers in horror fiction today. He has a the disturbing talent for looking into the darker places of the human mind--and the human soul--and building stories clearly designed to give the reader a permanent dose of the creeps." - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of ROT & RUIN and DEAD OF NIGHT

"The Turtle Boy is fresh in a way that most horror fiction is not. It is equal parts hopeful and shocking, mixing carefully drawn scenes of horror with passages that sing with innocent wonder." --Mark Justice, HELLNOTES

"The Turtle Boy is a literate and haunting novella and serves as a fine showcase for the remarkable talent of its author" --Drew Williams, SURREAL

"Creepy and atmospheric, it will make you reminisce about your own youthful summers, but also make you look at them in a slightly different, darker light." - Ron Dickie, HORROR WORLD

"[a] disturbing coming-of-age story..." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Burke masterfully recreates that magical time from childhood: summer vacation...More than a simple trip down memory lane, the short novel pulls readers along a dark path toward horrifying events." - SFREADER

"a fantastic mix of youth, magic, and horror...You will love this one." - BOOK DEN

"All parts thriller and horror and reminiscent of Stephen King's The Body" - THE BEST DAMN CREATIVE WRITING BLOG

"A boyhood romp through the wilderness turned deadly...There is enough tension and danger to keep you glued to the page (or, as it were, your Kindle) while you root for the boy to solve the mystery with his life intact" - PANDORA'S PEN

From the Back Cover

"Strange and out-of-kilter, a cold breeze come from nowhere on a sultry day; THE TURTLE BOY is a tale that takes your hand and leads you to a creepy, unforgiving place, a place you can never leave."
- Michael Marshall Smith, author of THE STRAW MEN, and ONLY FORWARD

"Kealan Patrick Burke's THE TURTLE BOY is a tale of dark secrets that combines skillfully etched characters with rich, evocative prose to create a haunting depiction of relationships shredded by violence and the supernatural. A highly memorable and disquieting work."
- Chet Williamson, author of SECOND CHANCE, and ASH WEDNESDAY

"THE TURTLE BOY is a fine example of the Dark American Pastoral--not the heart of darkness, a dead end of absolute despair, but a more shadowy realm that is equally troubling for its mingling of the sad and the sinister, of dreams and the things that kill dreams."

"At a time in Fabulist fiction when genuine vision has been replaced with nebulousness and affectation, Kealan Patrick Burke's THE TURTLE BOY is a startling breath of fresh air whose intensely focused style borders on revelation; not only is this story scary and atmospheric, but it's also poignant and wise, and will haunt both your days and dreams for a very long time. Easily one of the finest novellas I've ever read in any genre."
- Gary Braunbeck, author of IN SILENT GRAVES, and COFFIN COUNTY

Product Details

  • File Size: 4101 KB
  • Print Length: 87 pages
  • Publisher: Elderlemon Press (September 2, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041T5BCI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,870 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!! August 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Turtle boy sounds like a sweet innocent story about a boy and his turtle right? Wrong!! Sure the story starts out innocent enough, two young boys playing outside while on summer vacation, just a lazy day trying to figure out what to do. That is until they decide to make their way to the pond, and that is where it begins to get a little disturbing. Once they meet the turtle boy their lives will change forever!

This book was such a great intro to Kealan Patrick Burke and his work. I am of course planning on reading the rest of the series, and anything else I can get my hands on by this author. This book isn't going to hit you over the head with graphic violence and gore, but is instead geared for those who appreciate the subtle eerie nuances that can make for an interestingly creepy read. There was a point in the book towards the end when something was revealed (not going to say what beside that it involved a single flicker of lightning) where my mouth literally fell open. For anyone who is debating on whether or not to read this book, stop debating and READ THIS BOOK!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minor gripes do not effect a great little story! October 20, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting and fun story that tried to cram in a ton of explanations and speculations in the last 15 pages of the book. The story's protagonist is an 11-year old boy named Timmy, who along with his friend encounters a horrific child at a local lake that he ends up calling The Turtle Boy. Timmy has unknowingly come upon a secret involving the boy and his neighborhood, and the story unfolds as Timmy's actions force the secret of the Turtle Boy back into the open.

It's really hard not to give away spoilers here as this is a novella. But the story builds up slowly and then at the end you get slammed with the answers, and even more than you were expecting or needing. I think some of this could have been spread out through the story rather than crammed in at the end. It felt like there was a narrator telling you what just happened, like we really needed all that explanation. *shrug* Regardless, this was a very entertaining story, effortless to read, and left the reader wanting more, which the author helps with by leaving open speculation about his father. This story is easily recommended.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Turtle Boy July 30, 2011
The Turtle Boy meanders like a lazy summer afternoon that soon turns itself inside out. With frightening speed that warm afternoon is ripped away to reveal a night sky, razor shredded by lightening. Images back-lit, sickening and unexpected crawl off the pages and carve their way under your skin like so many demonic chiggers.

This story was awesomely disturbing. The beginning had a bit of a To Kill a Mockingbird/Stand By Me vibe. The pacing was perfect as this creepy little tale whipped itself into a horrifying frenzy. The images jump out, stick there and simmer, brewing `til you try to sleep. Buckle up, Skippy, the nightmares are going to be intense.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! December 20, 2004
I read recently a review in which the reviewer compared THE TURTLE BOY favorably to such classics as Stephen King's "The Body" (from DIFFERENT SEASONS--filmed as STAND BY ME) and Robert R. McCammon's BOYS LIFE. After reading this novella, I have to agree. At turns heartwarming, terrifying and funny, this creepy little story will get under your skin and stay there. It may also serve to remind you of your youth and when you first realized magic can end.

Highly recommended.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but oh soooo sweet August 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must admit the second biggest reason that I got this book was because it was free, but I have to say it great. The langue is stunning and the story compelling and creepy. I know that one person didn't like it because they didn't seem to get that this is a ghost story. If you are the kind of person that has been ruined by instant gratification, buckets of gore, and are a fan of the Saw movies then don't waste your time. But if you have imagination and are looking for something more than your typical vamp book then this is for you.
The only problem that I had with it was that it's too short, I wouldn't event call it a novella. It's not even a terribly long short story, but I will definitely get the next in the series, I'll event pay for it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars POTENTIAL HERE February 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Burke's THE TURTLE BOY is the first novella leading to a book series about eleven year old Timmy Quinn. Kind of a frighteningly simple story that leads to the fantasy edges. The potential is here for a nice series, but the story slipped a little away from the author toward the end of the story. But hey, try it...Free!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb story from an under-appreciated author September 9, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Turtle Boy, originally published in Cemetery Dance, is a great example of the sort of slow-building terror.

Kealan Patrick Burke really gets horror; the Turtle Boy isn't about "gotcha" scares and gross-outs, but rather showcases the kind of terror that creeps up when you least expect it and glues your eyes to the pages.

In the beginning, you might be convinced that you're reading a light coming of age tale as Timmy Quinn enjoys summer with his best friend Pete and they talk about the things that 11 year old boys do: digging for treasure, being bored, and going fishing.

Burke describes his scenes in vivid detail, which makes it all the more scary when the weirdness starts to quietly bleed in around the edges. Things start going wrong when the titular turtle boy shows up, gaunt and pale, with a head like a "busted squash". The creepy undertone fades in and out and grows until it's so oppressive that you can no longer remember how simple and normal everything seemed in the beginning. The payoff is an unexpected, terrifying climax that makes The Turtle Boy worth reading by even the most finicky of horror fans.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Skimpy
Lame short story. Just another attempt to pawn off an intro book as a novel.
Published 3 days ago by Calvin Hobbess
5.0 out of 5 stars Horribly good! This book takes the protagonist places no ...
Horribly good! This book takes the protagonist places no one in his right mind would want to go, but all logically, naturally (OK, supernaturally, to some extent), and sensibly. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Parity Animal
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I was not expecting graphic gore. Couldn't get past the 3rd chapter.
Published 26 days ago by Jenny Drake
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Kept Me Riveted Didn'tWantTo Put It Down.
Published 1 month ago by Craig Bale
4.0 out of 5 stars good short story
Wasn't scary but enjoyed it
Published 1 month ago by Lois Sladek
3.0 out of 5 stars You may, but I did not care for it
It was a free book, I didn't get very far into it, was not keeping my attention
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars The turtle boy
I was not to impressed with this book. I thought the description sounded great but I had a hard time making it thru the book.
Published 3 months ago by brandi
2.0 out of 5 stars The Turtle Boy
I was not expecting a story like this.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. H
5.0 out of 5 stars On our way with this boy becoming a man...
Ridiculously well-written and engaging, this piece is but a snippet of the Timmy Quinn world. However much more there may be to this character's story, I must say, this initial... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jason McIntyre
3.0 out of 5 stars The Turtle Boy
Vivid descriptions, concrete setting and a little boy lost in a whirlwind of mystery, ghosts, and violence. This book had some wonderfully creepy moments that I really enjoyed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BC Gornick
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More About the Author

Born and raised in Dungarvan, Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of five novels (Master of the Moors, Currency of Souls, Kin, The Living, and Nemesis: The Death of Timmy Quinn), over a hundred short stories, four collections (Ravenous Ghosts, The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others, Theater Macabre, and The Novellas), and editor of four acclaimed anthologies (Taverns of the Dead, Quietly Now: A Tribute to Charles L. Grant, Brimstone Turnpike, and Tales from the Gorezone, proceeds from which were donated to children's charity PROTECT.)

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 grunge band, and, most recently, a fraud investigator. He also played the male lead in Slime City Massacre, director Gregory Lamberson's sequel to his cult B-movie classic Slime City, alongside scream queens Debbie Rochon and Brooke Lewis.

When not writing, Kealan designs covers for print and digital books through his company Elderlemon Design. To date he has designed covers for books by Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, Scott Nicholson, Bentley Little, William Schoell, and Hugh Howey, to name a few.

In what little free time remains, Kealan is a voracious reader, movie buff, videogamer (Xbox), and road-trip enthusiast.

A movie based on his short story "Peekers" is currently in development through Lionsgate Entertainment.

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