Thursday, 10 July 2014

Book Review: The Burning Air - Erin Kelly

I am sitting in bed, curled up with a mug of lemsip because it seems being free of illness for a year is much too much good fortune for anyone and the evil Cold Monster has finally caught up with me. So, bedridden, it is time for me to talk about a book I finished in a day - The Burning Air by Erin Kelly. 

I started reading the book, eager to get stuck into the psychological thriller. And my psyche was most definitely thrilled... The suspense - GREAT! The emotional unrest - GREAT! The evil and creepy characters that definitely have something to hide but you can't quite put your finger on what or why - GREAT! 

It has the components of every great psychological thriller and Erin Kelly has even been praised by Stephen King himself. 

I was gripped. I spent the day in London, and my friend told me she was going to be late. I did not mind at all. All the more time for me to sit in the cafe above Paperchase and read my book, uninterrupted. Completely enthralled.

So far so good, right? 

The train home - long and boring - gave me the best opportunity to read but the mysterious characters had revealed their true chilling identities, all the secrets of the novel had been revealed except for one. 

And this one, I expected to be huge. Bigger than all that had gone before. 

But it wasn't. And I was thoroughly disappointed. And because the final secret was not as SCARY and CHILLING as all that had gone before, all the SCARY and THRILLING events ceased to make sense. They ceased to be proportionate to their cause. And what's worse - the big secret that the character of Darcy tries to use against the outwardly perfect Stepford Family, the Macbrides - is not a secret at all! We, the readers, knew this from the beginning, there was only one shock - and maybe this makes me heartless - but it wasn't as big as everything we'd just read about! 

There was no heart stopping finish, but plenty of heart stopping beginnings and middles. 

Erin Kelly has the gift of suspense. Really and truly. But the plot, for me, lacked the vital and terrifying finale that all good psychological thrillers depend upon. 

This said - the book cannot be put down, even if the ending was slightly disappointing. I'd say give it a read - definitely - and then let me know what you think. It is definitely a novel to get you thinking - perhaps Kelly intended to have such a tiny ending upon which everything was based to make us question further the character of Darcy and the integrity of the Macbrides - who knows. 

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