Today I’m reviewing The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent.
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 enjoyed Minka Kent’s debut novel, The Memory Watcher, so I was happy to read The Thinnest Air, which has been published earlier this month.
The Thinnest Air is a well written and tightly plotted psychological suspense.
There are plenty of things to praise and enjoy about this novel and one aspect which disappointed me.
In the first place, I loved the dual narrators and the two time-lines in their narration. Meredith Price starts telling the story backwards, in chapter one, starting from her honeymoon, three years earlier, and her sister Greer, starts telling the story the day her sister, Meredith, goes missing and moves forward for ten days until the mystery is finally solved, starting at chapter two. Both narratives merge in the final chapters.
The plot was cleverly contrived and unravelled by both sisters’ alternating narratives.
The second aspect which stands out positively is the characterisation, especially of the narrators. Both sisters have a very close bond, in spite of their completely different characters and lifestyles. Greer is too forthright and lacks social skills, while Meredith is too easy-going and pleasure-loving. Neither is completely likeable, although Greer’s, no-nonsense approach to life and strong work ethic appealed to me more than Meredith’s laid back approach and excessive love of luxury and short-term satisfaction.
The secondary characters were mostly well-rounded, although a few did seem to be clichés, for example the bitchy ex-wife.
Thirdly, the suspense was cleverly built up from chapter two and never slowed down. Most of the twists and turns were believable and added to the suspense, but not all of them, one or two, especially towards the end, did seem to have been placed just to add another red herring.
Although I’d recommend this novel and overall I enjoyed it and couldn’t stop turning the pages to find out what had happened to Meredith, the one thing that irked me was the ending.
I wasn’t personally satisfied with the final outcome, although it was mostly rational and, more or less, believable.
I fully understand the need for the psychological suspense genre to surprise and/or shock the reader with the resolution, but there were plenty of unlikable characters, who had the motivation and opportunity to harm Meredith, and finally I was more disappointed than surprised by the identity and motivations of the actual culprit, and the way this person was caught, but that’s only my personal response to the final outcome. We all have our triggers and preferences, so I’m sure other readers might enjoy the ending.
I listened to the audio version of this book and enjoyed the reading by two narrators very much.
The Thinnest Air on 1st July and is already has almost 1,400 reviews on amazon.com and 104 on amazon UK.
Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media: