On the eve of a solar eclipse, a couple forced into hiding discovers that they can no longer run from their past in this taut psychological suspense novel.
In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share.
But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his.
The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder—did she trust the wrong person?
15 years later, Kit and Laura are living under assumed names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.
From Erin Kelly, queen of the killer twist, He Said/She Said is a gripping tale of the lies we tell to save ourselves, the truths we cannot admit, and how far we will go to make others believe our side of the story.
About Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.
She has written for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.
I’ve read two of Erin Kelly’s books, The Burning Air and The Poison Tree, both ages ago but they left memorable impressions on me. The blurb for her new one is quite mysterious but I like the sound of it.
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.
‘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 Burning Air tells the story of a privileged family, the MacBrides, and how one small decision changed their lives forever. The story opens with Lydia, the matriarch, in her final days of life looking back on past regrets and one in particular that altered life far more than she had ever thought possible.
It’s funny, but this first came out in the UK and not only does it have a different cover but a completely different summary that, in my opinion, gives away far too much regarding the plot. I’m quite glad I didn’t actually notice this until after I had finished reading and knew less going into this. It made it much more exciting (so stay away from those UK summaries!)
There is much that can be given away, so I will keep this brief. Erin Kelly can really write one twisted, sordid mystery. I actually had a hard time getting into this one at first, I believe because you’re given information in huge chunks that doesn’t make a single bit of sense at first until you continue reading and all the answers slowly unravel themselves. And once those answers slowly begin unraveling and you think you know what’s going on, you’re thrown for a loop, then you find yourself reading at break-neck speed because you have to know what’s going on right now. I was completely captivated. To me, there’s not a better book than one like this.
So why only 4 stars? Wellll…. I was looking for a different ending and was actually looking for ‘evil’ to trump ‘good’. This family is the definition of prominent, however, even they have their sordid secrets and those secrets definitely had the effect of changing your opinion of them. This essentially caused questions as to which side to root for, since neither side is truly ‘good’. The Burning Air is a highly convoluted yet fantastically written tale of family secrets and an obsession that changes their lives forever.