Title: The Thinnest Air
Author: Minka Kent
Read: August 2018
Read: August 2018
Expected publication: out now
My Rating: 🌟🌟
Meredith Price is the luckiest woman alive. Her husband, Andrew, is a charming and successful financial broker. She has two lovely stepchildren and is living in affluence in a mountain resort town. After three years of marriage, Meredith’s life has become predictable. Until the day she disappears.
Her car has been discovered in a grocery store parking lot—purse and phone undisturbed on the passenger seat, keys in the ignition, no sign of struggle, and no evidence of foul play. It’s as if she vanished into thin air.
It’s not like Meredith to simply abandon her loved ones. And no one in this town would have reason to harm her. When her desperate sister, Greer, arrives, she must face a disturbing question: What if no one really knows Meredith at all? For Greer, finding her sister isn’t going to be easy…because where she’s looking is going to get very, very dark.
I recently read The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent and was totally blown away by it. It contained all the elements I hope to find in a twisty psychological thriller, and I couldn’t wait to read Kent’s latest novel, The Thinnest Air, settling in for another breath-taking experience.
Initially, Kent fully pandered to my wishes. I really enjoyed the dual POV: the elder sister, Greer, narrating the present, in which she is looking for her missing sibling; and Meredith, the younger sister, telling us about the last 3 years leading up to her disappearance. As in The Memory Watcher, all characters are flawed, some more unlikeable than others, and even though I did not feel warm and fuzzy about any of them they were all somehow relatable in our screwed up society. As the story unravels, some dark secrets come to light that had me construct all sorts of wild and wonderful theories about Meredith’s fate, remembering how Kent had totally blindsided me in the past. The author has a way of setting the scene that allowed me to vividly picture all characters and settings, which created an irresistible sense of tension and quickly drew me into the story.
Picture my jaw-dropping disappointment when the story made an unexpected turn about ¾ into the book, totally surprising me – unfortunately not in a good way. Really, that was it? None of my theories were even remotely in the ballpark, seeing how I had expected the unexpected (if that makes sense). Instead, the story followed the lead of thousands of other been-there-done-thats in the genre, predictable, boring, unoriginal. If I did not know what Kent is capable of in terms of delivering a well-constructed plot and a great twist, I could have seen this one a mile off! What happened? Where did it get bogged down so badly in clichés and stereotypes? I admit that I am feeling extremely let down right now and had to force myself to read to the end just in case there was a surprise lurking there. But no, it all meandered along the well-trodden path of same-old and fell totally flat for me. There was one element in the ending (which I can’t give away because of spoilers) that irked me so much that it knocked another star off my rating!
In summary, the ending was a major let-down in what could otherwise have been a fast and entertaining read. Not only was it predictable, boring and unoriginal, but it also left some questions unanswered and hinged on some questionable actions by some of the characters. Some threads led nowhere at all and I was left wondering what the point had been to include them at all. I guess that part of my disappointment is related to the fact that I know what a brilliant writer Kent is, and how much I loved her earlier novel. That said, if you are new to the author and a reader who prefers a fairly straight forward and predictable story to a crazy twist that messes with your mind, then this will probably be a good read for you. I love my stories dark and unpredictable, with complex characters, so it didn’t live up to my expectations this time. However, I am looking forward to the author’s next novel, hoping she will return to her habit of delivering a well thought out plot with a gob-smacking finale!