"Sponsored" Post- The Burning Air

I must preface this review with the fact that I don't generally read mysteries, mostly because most are driven primarily by plot, letting other factors I consider important go by the wayside. The nice people at Viking sent me a copy and I was optimistic- I want to like the genre. It's hard to find a literary mystery, and, unfortunately, I did not find one in Erin Kelly's The Burning Air. 

The story itself is interesting and entertaining, and in terms of the components a mystery needs it met the requirements. Sophie's family is getting together one weekend at a country estate to spread their mother's ashes. After leaving her baby home with her brother's new girlfriend one evening things go horribly bad. The narration is primarily split between Sophie and a man named Darcy, whose connection is revealed about half way through the book. The final two sections are narrated by Rowan, Sophie's father, and Kerry, the girlfriend. Like with any mystery, it's hard to summarize, since it's so easy to give away part of the surprise. Let's just say it's all about family secrets, vendettas, and inner demons (not literally). 

While the overall plot was fairly interesting, I wasn't impressed by the execution- the writing wasn't exceptional and the characters (especially the MacBrides) lacked substantial depth. The relationships between the characters were at times frustrating- for example, Sophie and her husband Will are experiencing difficulties as a result of his affair, which she had found out about through pictures being sent via the mail. Kelly refuses to elaborate- does Sophie question who sent the photos? Are they planning to stay married? Does Sophie know who the woman is? The lack of communication is infuriating and unrealistic, as are some of the developments that happen towards the end that I don't want to give away. 

If you enjoy standard mysteries that go for it- the pacing is fast, the general story is interesting. I can absolutely see this as a beach read this summer. If you are looking for something a bit more cerebral it may not be for you. 

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