The Burning Air by Erin Kelly
A Novel

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“Erin Kelly is a seriously good writer, and this gripping novel is her best yet.” —Sophie Hannah, author of Kind of Cruel

A stand-out author of deeply atmospheric psychological thrillers, Erin Kelly is on her way to joining the bestselling ranks of Kate Atkinson and Barbara Vine. Until now, the MacBride family has led a cozy life of upper-class privilege: good looks; tuition-free education at the prestigious private school where their father, Rowan, is headmaster; an altruistic righteousness inherited from their mother, magistrate Lydia. But when the MacBrides gather for the first time since Lydia’s passing at their restored barn in the secluded countryside, the family discovers a stranger in their midst: a stranger who is convinced that Lydia was a murderer—and who has been plotting a spectacular revenge that may shatter their world forever.

About Erin Kelly

See more books from this Author
ERIN KELLY is an author and freelance journalist. She lives in North London with her husband and daughter. Her previous books include The Poison Tree and The Dark Rose.
Published February 21, 2013 by Penguin Books. 337 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Burning Air

Book Reporter

In the late ’90s, detailed in a deftly woven flashback tapestry, the MacBride family encounters Darcy Kellaway, whose life “read like a synopsis for Dickens.” The MacBrides --- elite private school headmaster Rowan and magistrate Lydia, and their teen progeny, Sophie, Tara and Felix --- lead priv...

Feb 22 2013 | Read Full Review of The Burning Air: A Novel

The Bookbag

(By the way, both books are stand-alone novels that don't share the same characters so the cross-reference is a nice surprise.) I'm sure that someone somewhere will accuse the novel of middle class stereotyping or will try to pick away seeking a plot hole but I was too close to the edge of my s...

Jan 04 2013 | Read Full Review of The Burning Air: A Novel


The Burning Air is a classic of the psychological thriller genre and puts Kelly firmly into the same league as Ruth Rendell writing under her Barbara Vine pseudonym Enigmatic (actually, more space cadet) Kerry is a natural with baby Edie, so Sophie leaves Kerry to babysit ...

Jan 20 2013 | Read Full Review of The Burning Air: A Novel

Red Online

Her first novel, The Poison Tree, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and gained a fan in Stephen King: 'I wish I had written it.' In The Burning Air, the MacBride family is already on a knife edge after the death of Lydia, the matriarch of the family.

Jan 02 2013 | Read Full Review of The Burning Air: A Novel

Lit Witch

Darcy seems intellectually primed for that scholarship but when Darcy is not granted the scholarship a chance meeting leads the two to believe that Rowan MacBride stole the scholarship to give to his son Felix.

Mar 25 2013 | Read Full Review of The Burning Air: A Novel

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