Of course it was love for my children, love for my son that caused me to act as I did. It was a lapse of judgment. If I could have foreseen the rippling aftershocks that followed I would have acted differently, but by the time I realised the extent of the consequences, it was too late....
The MacBrides have always gone to Far Barn in Devon for Bonfire Night, but this year everything is different. Lydia, the matriarch, is dead; Sophie, the eldest daughter, is desperately trying to repair a crumbling marriage; and Felix, the youngest of the family, has brought a girlfriend with him for the first time. The girl, Kerry, seems odd in a way nobody can quite put their finger on - but when they leave her looking after Sophie's baby daughter, and return to find both Kerry and the baby gone, they are forced to ask themselves if they have allowed a cuckoo into their nest....
©2013 Erin Kelly (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"Revenge" would be a better title for this book. An act of revenge, some twenty years previously, but not generally known about, leads to a second attempted counter act of revenge and the lives of the McBride family are irretrievably affected. Three generations have gathered in Devon for the bonfire celebration as they always have done, but the death of the matriarch of the family and the recent birth of a third child to the eldest daughter, who had suffered badly from post-natal depression after her second delivery, mean that the family dynamic is altered. We learn why the McBride's have been targeted by someone who has good reason to hate them and the story outlines how the second act of revenge unfolds with its tragic outcome. None of the participants are particularly sympathetic, smug complacency on one side, destructive obsession on the other, but all are believable. This is not a "nice" story with a happy ending but I couldn't put it down and Candida Gubbins does an excellent job of narration.
"A terrific read!"
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Erin Kelly is certainly skilled at creating a tense atmosphere! The reader's sympathies are encouraged to shift between characters due to the use of different narrators to tell the story. Candida Gubbins did the whole thing justice with her beautifully flowing narration too. The lead up to the end of the book creates a totally unexpected ending. Well worth a read!
The audio edition is by far better than the printed version. For a start, without going into details of my disability, I can listen to this book anywhere on my iPad. I can lie in bed and listen without having to hold up a printed book. I expect for able bodied people it would allow them to get their jobs done around the house while listening to an excellent book. Audio books such as this one is essential to my quality of life. I like listening to good, well-written murder mystery and thriller books.
As I mentioned, The Burning Air is an excellent book in every way. The whole book was memorable for me but if I have to choose a particular part of the book then it had to be the twist at the end. Throughout the book there are twists and turns. It is a very clever story. Well thought out and very gripping. I found my sympathies alternating between the the MacBride family and Darcy and his mum, which I found unusual. The plot was convoluted but fairly easy to follow once your mind assimilated all the players in the story. I found myself going back over previous parts of the book to understand who was who and the part they played in the plot. The girl Kerry was weak and impressionable and it is such people who draw to them like a magnet the twisted people in society. Having said that, she was not as dim as one first thought, and, again, I could find sympathy for her. The twist at the end was not expected and turned everything the reader had thought throughout the book on its head. The title 'The Burning Air' is a good title for this book and the title and write-up were deciders in me wanting to download and listen to it. Having read this then I am going to read Erin Kelly's The Poison Tree. I can recommend this book to everyone who likes a good thriller.
Candida, I think, balanced the reading very well. She sounded sympathetic, while upping the tension, in all the right places in the book. She gave each character his/her own voice so it was easy to distinguish who was speaking in the book. Candida also built up the tension as the book progressed through the first half of the book telling the MacBride Family story. And she did the same as she narrated Darcy's story. When the two parts of the story came together is was a tremendous twist and Candida did very well to give it the gravitas it deserved/required. A good narrator.
Yes, I would have liked to listen to it all in one sitting but I wasn't able to. It is a long book, but I like long books. And stretching it out over a few days added to the excitement and anticipation of the next time I was able to listen.
Erin Kelly is a new author to me. I think she has only published three books to date, but if she continues to write more books like The Burning Air, I predict she will be a popular author and her books will have a huge following. She is a very clever author and describes her characters so well but didn't dwell overly on their descriptions like some authors do. She pitched it just right for me. I was able to listen and imagine in my mind every scene and every character as it happened. Without sounding clichéd, I felt that I was there looking on as the story unfolded, especially at Far Barn. I would love to listen to more stories by this author. I hope she writes more.
"A gripping tale"
Good plot and believable characters
This story was full of surprises and twists and turns. The final undeniable "madness" of Darcy in his quest for revenge against the Mc Bride family was awesome.
Brilliant interpretation of the characters of which there were quite a few and a seamless move between the characters every time. Easy on the ear.
My only surprise was that It was some hours into the book before I realised that Darcy was a male! Maybe I missed something along the way but the only Darcy I had previously come across was Darcy Bussell!
"A fantastic, gripping listen"
I loved Erin Kelly's first novel 'The Poison Tree' but was hugely disappointed by her second novel. This, her third novel, is excellent, her best yet. I was gripped from the opening lines to the last and could not stop listening. It is the best novel I have listened to this year, without doubt and has renewed my faith in the genre of psychological crime fiction. Like 'the Poison Tree' there is a hint of Barbara Vine at her best. Erin Kelly writes beautifully, her characterisation is perfect as is the evocation of place. I found the characters a little unbelievable in 'the Poison Tree' but they are far more developed here. I love the use of different narrators as I think this adds an extra twist to the story. Of course the excellent writing is also helped by the brilliant narration of Candida Gubbins who brings the characters to life perfectly.
The reason I call this unbelievably fantastic is that is what it is. The story/plot is full of so many twists, turns and unbelievable coincidences that I just wanted to keep listening to it even when I should have been doing other things. Erin Kelly has an amazing way of putting a complicated plot together and making it interesting and easy to follow without the strain of confusion. It is, in fact, beautifully written and in my opinion her best yet.
"A very gripping read."
The only fault I had with this really great story, was the fact it was narrated by a Women - it took me a good few chapters before Darcy was revealed to myself to be a Man.
Written well, I was believing the main character was in the right....at first. It was a bit ott on the revenge part, but I was curious how the writer would bring it all together.
The only thing was a creaking sound during the whole narration, like a chair, which was distracting, especially because I was home alone and made me pause the book to listen.
"Family secrets unfolding and..."
I knew the setting of the story and was interested to see how it entwined into the story. A middle class (not an every day) family emerged in secrets that unfold, I enjoyed the way that they also seemed to create more of a problem for themselves as the story progressed. An unsatisfactory conclusion with more secrets but a reflection of the whole story.
I finished because I started it but the storyline was bad, ridiculous in places even. No exciting bits, no surprises, no suspense, quite boring really. Narrator's voice was exceptionally annoying throughout. May not have been so bad if I'd just read it rather than listened to it.
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