A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Unst, Shetland's most northerly island, to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends to a Shetlander. It's mid-summer, a time of light nights and unexpected mists. But late on the night of the wedding party, one of them, Eleanor, disappears - apparently into thin air. The following day, Eleanor's friend Polly receives an email. It appears to be a suicide note, saying she'll never be found alive. And then Eleanor's body is discovered, lying in a small loch close to the cliff edge.
Detectives Jimmy Perez and Willow Reeves are dispatched to Unst to investigate. Before she went missing, Eleanor claimed to have seen the ghost of a local child who drowned in the 1920s. Her interest in the ghost had seemed unhealthy - obsessive, even - to her friends: an indication of a troubled mind. But Jimmy and Willow are convinced that there is more to Eleanor's death than they first thought.
Is there a secret that lies behind the myth? One so shocking that someone would kill - many years later - to protect?
Ann Cleeves' striking new Shetland novel explores the tensions between tradition and modernity that lie deep at the heart of a community, and how events from the past can have devastating effects on the present.
Thin Air was shortlisted for the fourth annual Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year (formerly the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year).
In the UK
Thin Air was published in the UK by Pan Macmillan on 11th September 2014:
- Order the hardback edition now from Amazon UK (or from any bookshop or library - tell them the ISBN is 978-0-2307-6019-6);
- New paperback edition (ISBN: 978-1-5290-5023-3) reissued May 2021.
- Download the Kindle edition from Amazon UK,
- or order the large print edition from the Reading House or as an audio download (read by Kenny Blyth) from Amazon
In the US
The US edition was published by Minotaur Books on May 5th 2015: