Into the Thinnest of Air by Simon R. Green is the fifth Ismael Jones story. It was published in 2017. Of the books in the series, I definitely think this is the weakest of the bunch. Honestly, this one is a a pretty lazy effort by an author that does not usually need to do a whole lot of work to create a mostly amusing wintertime story.
There is a lot that fails with this novel and it feels like it fails because of no effort. The entire book is 167 pages. The characters all convene at a remote inn/tavern that has a history peppered with murders, crimes, and smugglers. The characters arrive for a dinner they are invited to by the current owners of the place. There are only eight characters total, the inn is owned by a husband and wife. Way too much of the novel is spent saying the same things over and over and over and over again. Literally, it is painfully repetitive and pointless. The novel goes nowhere. The characters just sit around the dining table being surly and miserable and saying unhelpful things about why the inn is such a rotten miserable storied location.
People start disappearing. For no reason, it seems, and in a locked-room sort of theme. The characters stupidly keep returning to sit around their table and saying stupid things at each other. At one point, one character, Valerie, decides she needs to lead a seance. It is pointless and stupid as all of the other events that transpire in this novel. Valerie was particularly annoying to me because her character did not seem to have any reason to be forceful with her opinions. My favorite character was Eileen. Honestly, when Eileen disappeared, I was ready to quit reading. She was the star of the show.
This is the first Ishmael Jones novel that did not directly involve the supernatural/unnatural. It also painted Ishmael poorly – he is smarter than he is in this novel. And one of the main draws for me to this series is the endlessly amusing banter with Penny; that was absent here, too. So, maybe this is just a turd of a book. Lazy effort.