Desert Isle Keeper
The Thinnest Air
I discovered the work of author Minka Kent early in 2017, and I was immediately struck by her ability to craft a story that is utterly chilling and compulsively readable. So when I saw that her latest novel, The Thinnest Air, was available for review, I was eager to get my hands on a copy.
Meredith Price has gone missing, and no one seems to have a clue where she’s gone. She’s married to Andrew Price, an extremely wealthy, middle-aged financial mogul who seems to worship the ground his pretty young wife walks on. Her car was found abandoned in the parking lot of a local grocery store with her purse, phone, and keys inside, and despite the efforts of the police and volunteer searchers, no leads to her whereabouts have been uncovered.
Greer Ambrose, Meredith’s older sister, has never been a fan of Andrew’s. He’s significantly older than Meredith, and Greer can’t shake the feeling that he married her sister in response to some kind of midlife crisis. She’s sure he views Meredith as just another one of his many possessions, and she wonders if he might have something to do with her strange disappearance. Frustrated by the lead detective’s seeming inability to learn anything useful about what happened to Meredith, Greer begins an investigation of her own, determined to bring her sister home before it’s too late.
Unfortunately for Greer, Meredith’s trail really does seem to have grown cold. No one in the sleepy little town where Andrew and Meredith have lived for the three years since they got married is able to shed any light on the life of the couple. In fact, Greer begins to wonder if any of these people really knows her sister at all. She doesn’t seem to have made many friends, and the ones she does have seem convinced that Meredith was living an absolutely perfect life. But Greer won’t give up until she learns the truth, even if the truth she uncovers threatens to destroy her.
The story moves seamlessly back in forth in time and is told in alternating chapters from both Meredith’s and Greer’s points of view. Greer narrates the events immediately following her sister’s disappearance, while Meredith’s chapters show readers what led up to it. It’s not uncommon for authors to employ this narrative style, and it’s one I’m particularly fond of since I love seeing things from more than one perspective. It works really well here. Meredith and Greer have very distinct personalities, and I came away from the story feeling I knew both women intimately.
Neither sister is particularly likable. Meredith is shallow, vain, and incredibly self-centered, and I honestly couldn’t understand what Andrew saw in her. She is constantly thinking about how beautiful she is and how many men practically fall at her feet the moment they lay eyes on her. Greer is much less obsessed with her own fabulousness, but she possesses a no-nonsense, take-charge attitude that grated on me at times. It’s obvious she loves Meredith fiercely, but I sometimes felt like she flew off the handle with very little provocation and then blamed it on her desperation to bring Meredith home.
The novel contains several great twists that I in no way saw coming. I did manage to figure out a few small things, but the big reveal left me stunned, and that, in my opinion, is the mark of a great thriller.
At just under three-hundred pages, this is a book you can easily read in a single sitting. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you won’t want to put it down once you get started, so do yourself a favor and carve out a few hours so you can completely lose yourself in this gem. I promise you won’t be sorry.
There are lots of books out there about missing women, but The Thinnest Air is one of the best I’ve read. Minka Kent is a true master of her craft, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. If her future works are even half as good as this one turned out to be, I’ll be one happy reader.