A best-selling author who draws comparisons to the masterful Ruth Rendell, Erin Kelly crafts suspense novels that have raised the bar for thrillers everywhere. The Burning Air follows the affluent MacBrides, who look to family matriarch Lydia as the rock upon which they all depend. But when Lydia passes, Rowan and his three grown children gather at the family’s weekend home in the country. And there a stranger, convinced Lydia was a murderer, attempts to shatter the remaining family members’ lives.
©2013 Erin Kelly (P)2013 Recorded Books
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
The book starts off a bit slow, as it sets up the character dynamics, but it is WELL worth the time, as the payoff is a gripping, intelligent novel set in the UK. As I listened to this, I thought of Ruth Rendell at her best, and to some degree, the psychological mysteries of Tana French and Susan Hill. One big difference from the traditional Christie-esque mystery, though, is there is no detective or Miss Marple-like character pursuing the clues, nor is there the traditional denouement at the end (no, "and the killer is....moment.)
Some of the primary characters aren't terribly likable, but we become engaged in their stories and cannot help but empathize with some of them. The writing is taut and well-plotted. There are twists and turns and surprises. Kelly moves the story forward by using different character point of views, which works well to increase the tension as we witness events through different eyes.
The narrators are all excellent and further develop the characters through their performances.
I highly recommend this chilling novel!
Yes. It is gripping and chilling and fully shows the power that obsession and deceit and guilt can all have. The narrators were all superb, with the possible exception of Rowan, who was just OK...
I liked how it all tied together, except for the ending... without spoiling it, I personally don't like what the family did... but it would have been out of character for them to do anything else... I guess my ambivalence about the climax of the story is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
The narrators for Darcy, Lydia and Sophie were superb! I will be checking them all out!. Rowan's narrator was just ok, with very little nuance.
Read this book! It is both a cautionary tale about the power of obsession and just a thrilling good read!
Yes, there are a few twists to the story that will make you want to go back listen to some of the earlier chapters.
I found the story of Darby's youth to be most engaging.
Erin Kelly is a brilliant writer and it was a joy listening to the story.
The story line was completely far fetched and unbelievable. The family was completely unlikable, which made it hard to root for them, and the narrator was horrible.
Their were several narrators, the only one I didn't mind was the voice of Matt. The other ones were harsh and emotionless.
SPOILER ALERT: How on earth would this well educated family allow a cover up for a 12 year old boy who killed someone in self defense? And act like the poor kid murdered him and it needed to be covered up? Talk about PTSD for this poor kid and the whole family for the rest of time, when it could have been handled properly and the family could have moved on. Just terrible terrible writing and plot.
Writing reviews is work. Therefore, I need to be really happy or really unhappy with a book to write one.
If you like a good tale of revenge - and are willing to suspend quite a bit of disbelief - this book's for you. Coddled self-centered, self-satisfied family meets vengeful self-centered protagonist in a very cleverly structured novel.
It starts with the family, just a bit slowly, with what appear to be missing bits of backstory - If it had been a book I would have been leafing back to see if I had missed something - but all the little missing bits begin to become clear as we move into the second part of the book.
The deed that inspires the lust for vengeance is nowhere near the level of those found in The Count of Monte Cristo, The Woodcutter, or the Prisoner of Birth, or in many other good vengeance stories, The beauty of the book is that it allows, even encourages, the reader to believe that someone can be as hurt by, and as determined to avenge, what would be to many a small slight.
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