The Burning Air

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 judgement. 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…

Gripping and chilling, with a killer twist, THE BURNING AIR reaffirms Erin Kelly as one of Britain’s foremost psychological thriller writers.

Available at:


“Kelly’s most accomplished book to date is a gripping tale of secrets, revenge and obsession, masterfully done.”
– The Guardian

“GEORGE Orwell pointed out that the British love reading about crime and are fascinated by class. Erin Kelly takes both these elements and spins them into this gripping psychological thriller. The Burning Air is a classic of the genre and puts Kelly firmly into the same league as Ruth Rendell writing under her Barbara Vine pseudonym; both women showing a great gift for characterisation and a mastery of understanding human nature’s twisted desires.

Erin Kelly puts a satisfying contemporary spin on her genre, showing a sympathy for all her characters, even the supposed “baddies”, and a love of a moral dilemma which could happen to any one of us. It is this realism, a hand-grenade thrown into uneventful and supposedly comfortable lives, which makes The Burning Air such an involving read.”
– Sunday Express

“An author in total command of the tensions within dysfunctional families… Gripping all the way.”
– Marcel Berlins, The Times

“Creepy and claustrophobic.”
– Sunday Mirror

“A tense family drama that demands to be read in one sitting.”
– Daily Record

“A masterfully plotted dark tale of how a small injustice can have devastating consequences. I devoured it in one sitting.”
– Irish Independent

“Written with empathy, psychological insight and a real feel for the menace and conflict at the heart of families, it’s a superior example of its genre.”
– Big Issue

“Very cleverly written and full of unexpected twists as the tension keeps being ratcheted up another notch before the big reveal at the end…. Deeply enjoyable but deeply unsettling: the perfect mixture for a psychological thriller!”
– The Sun – Fabulous blog

“An absorbing thriller.”
– Choice magazine

“If you were glued to ITV’s recent psychological drama The Poison Tree, get your nose in the author’s latest spine-chiller, pronto… Family politics mixed with revenge make for a super-spooky read.”

The Burning Air is a clever, creepy exploration of the deceit hidden even within the most apparently loving of families and the very fine line between justice and revenge. Erin Kelly is brilliant at showing the relentlessness of obsession and the evil that can be done in the name of love.”
– Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into The Darkest Corner

“Kelly excels at thrillers set in middle-England idylls, that sidestep the clichéd and the cosy to go for the jugular. [The Burning Air] sees her reach another level.”
– Independent on Sunday

“Heart-pounding and page-turning… You won’t be able to get anything else done until you’ve finished it…completely compelling: just take the phone off the hook and cancel any plans you might have.”
– HEAT (5 stars)

“Erin Kelly masterminds her most psychological thriller yet… has a twist so shocking you’ll need a lie down.”

“It’s not often I read a book where the twist is so surprising, I have to go back and work out how I missed it, but that’s what happened here… Brilliant and heart-stopping.”

“Her new book is every bit as dark and intriguing as her previous novels.”

“Erin Kelly is a seriously good writer, and this gripping novel is her best yet. I really loved it – couldn’t put it down!”
– Sophie Hannah

“In a strong field, Kelly is among the strongest. Her formidable control of plot twist and character keep you gripped, unsure of the outcome, until the bitter end.”
– Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls

“It’s all extremely clever… The writing is exemplary… The twists are scattered throughout… The author can manipulate mood and, indeed, expectations and assumptions as we realise that we’ve been filling in gaps ourselves…If this was a film, it would be an Alfred Hitchcock great.”


“Everything you want from a psychological thriller – elegant writing, clever plotting, shocking twists and a looming sense of menace… Erin Kelly just gets better and better with every book!”
– Good Housekeeping

“Tension-filled… Skillfully drawn characters and masterful building of suspense, which reaches a literally searing climax, will leave… readers well satisfied.”
– Publishers Weekly

“An atmospheric setting and an absolutely genius twist… Nothing is as it seems in this tense domestic drama, as fresh revelations uncover a maze of interconnected secrets.”
– Marie Claire

“You’ll be transfixed as you uncover the truth in this unputdownable novel.”
– Easy Living

“Full of can’t-bear-to-look intensity, this is a great, taut read.”
– Red Magazine (Book of the Month)

“Her creepiest and classiest yet… witty and unnerving.”
– Elle

“Suspenseful and clever, this book, Erin Kelly’s third, is her best so far.”
– Literary Review

“Erin Kelly has produced another excellent psychological thriller in THE BURNING AIR. Dark, chilling and with nail biting twists, I read deep into the night, unable to put it down. From start to finish, I was gripped…A must-read for all fans of the psychological thriller”
– New Books Magazine