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Unmissing: A Thriller

Unmissing By Minka Kent Summary

Unmissing: A return from the past knocks a family dangerously off-balance in a novel of spiraling suspense by Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Minka Kent.

Merritt Coletto and her husband, Luca, have the life they dreamed of: a coastal home, a promising future, and a growing family. That dream ends with a late-night knock on the door.

Weak, broken, and emaciated, it’s Luca’s first wife, Lydia. Missing for ten years, presumed dead, and very much alive, she has quite a story. Her kidnapping. A torturous confinement that should’ve ended with her dead. And finally, escape. Racked with guilt over the beautiful life they’ve built, Merritt and Luca agree to help get Lydia back on her feet―it’s the least they can do.

But the more enmeshed Lydia becomes in Merritt’s family, the more questions Merritt has. What is it about Lydia that’s especially unnerving? Why hasn’t she gone to the police with her harrowing tale? What does she really want of them? The answers, when they come, are terrifying.

About the Author

Minka Kent is the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Watcher GirlWhen I Was YouThe Stillwater GirlsThe Thinnest AirThe Perfect Roommate, and The Memory Watcher. She is a graduate of Iowa State University and resides in Iowa with her husband and three children.

Unmissing By Minka Kent Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I am—by all accounts—a reasonable woman.

I don’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural. I don’t subscribe to fortune-tellers, palm readers, or psychic mediums. I don’t place stock in afterlife concepts like heaven or hell—which means I certainly don’t imagine a person can come back from the grave.

You must be Merritt.” A sunken-eyed, cadaverous figure stands on the other side of my front door. The porch light spills shadows across her gaunt cheeks as a wintry breeze cuts between us.

We’ve never met, but I’ve seen enough photos of my husband’s first wife to know the face that haunts my occasional nightmares. I’d know those features anywhere—those expressive, heavy-lidded eyes the color of dirt. Her full, perpetually downturned mouth. The ordinary, everywoman features.

I try to respond, but disbelief robs my voice.

I thought she was dead.

We all did.

You don’t know me,” she says in a voice so docile it disguises her age. Luca’s first wife would be around thirty by now, but this woman speaks like a child, subdued and hesitant. As she wrings her hands, her deep gaze widens and pleads, like she expects to be turned away. “My name is Lydia Coletto.

My husband’s last name on her lips serves as a jarring reminder of a tragic past Luca and I haven’t spoken of since a lifetime ago. I lift a palm to my chest and suck in a February breath that coats my lungs in a paralyzing layer of ice and Oregon petrichor.

The proper half of me considers inviting her in . . . until the flutters of my unborn son in my stomach steal my attention. I place a hand over my eight-month bump, an attempt to comfort us both. Upstairs, our daughter, Elsie, sleeps safe and sound, the projector painting hundreds of tiny stars on her ceiling, accompanied by tinkling lullabies.

Crazy people wander through this town all the time. Drifters mostly. Opportunists. Though it’s usually in the warmer summer months when our population nearly triples. There’s a homeless camp a few miles down the ocean. Eight miles north is the infamous and controversial Aura Sky Coliving Commune, which tends to draw unconventional types from all over the world.

This isn’t Lydia. It can’t be.

This is some kind of sick joke.

And this woman, I’m positive, is an opportunistic psychopath.

An impostor.

I’m so sorry,” I say, bracing myself to inject as much courtesy into my tone as possible, deserved or not, “but the woman you’re claiming to be died years ago.” With a death grip on the doorknob, I force a civil smile. This is clearly an unstable person trying to cash in on a prominent local businessman’s personal tragedy. “Please leave now.

She sighs, emitting a foggy breath that temporarily clouds her expression so I can’t gauge her reaction. When the condensed air fades into the night sky, her hollowed eyes hold mine with such intention I can’t peel my gaze away.

I use the opportunity to take a closer look at her—memorizing everything about this moment should I need to make a police report. The tattered, paper-thin gray hoodie that hangs off her narrow frame is ruined with stains, and the ripped light-wash jeans drooping from her lower half are at least three inches too short and one size too large. A stained, acid-washed denim backpack sags off one shoulder, and a sock-covered toe pokes out of her left canvas shoe. An assaulting cocktail of unwashed hair and stale cotton invades my nose, sending a wash of nausea through my center.

Behind her, our driveway is dark and the moonlit, seldom-traveled road that stretches beyond our home is vacant. Not a headlight. Not a tire crunching on gravel or bicycle leaning on a kickstand. No friends waiting in the distance behind the needled cover of evergreens. I’m not sure how she got here—or how she plans on leaving.

It’s as if she manifested from thin air.

I’m happy to call you a ride.” I steal a glimpse of the oily strands of hair framing her narrow face, realizing they don’t stop until well past her waist. She needs a shower. And a meal. Some clean clothes. A haircut. Warmth. Comfort. Professional help. God only knows what else.

Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to be her savior tonight.

“Is he here?” she asks. No name necessary when you’re claiming to be someone’s dead wife, I suppose.

I don’t tell her Luca’s out of town this week, which would imply we’re home alone. Bent Creek proper is a solid five miles from here, there isn’t a neighbor in sight, and the roar of the crashing ocean waves to the rear of the property would drown out the sound of anything nefarious. The nearest security panic button is three rooms from here, and I’m quite certain I left my phone upstairs by the washing machine.

I stiffen my posture—I’m getting ahead of myself. No sense in getting worked up . . . especially when it could hurt the baby.

Clearing my throat, I hold my head high and move the door a few inches closer to the jamb until I can see only half of her. “I’m sorry, but you have to leave or I’ll have no choice but to call the police.

The woman peers past me, scanning the twilight surroundings of our foyer, a nonchalant yet intrusive move. I attempt to swallow. If this is Lydia, I don’t know where she’s spent the last ten years or what her life has been like, but I can only imagine the thoughts running through her head as she soaks in the comfortable amenities of the beautiful coastal haven Luca and I have made together.

But I refuse to believe it’s her.

It’s impossible.

People only come back from the dead in movies and nightmares.

I need to talk to Luca.” The glassiness in her eyes reflects the moon above, and with a quivering lip she adds, “Please. If you had any idea what I’ve been through . . . how long it took me to get here, to find him . . . I just need to see my husband . . .

Her voice wisps into nothing, and she swipes at two tears that slide down her haggard cheeks with the back of her hand.

Real tears . . .

She’s almost convincing.

This little coastal town attracts all kinds. Old-moneyed. New-moneyed. No-moneyed. Young families. Retirees. Grifters and drifters. Educated professionals and professional-life escapists. We even have a Powerball winner and a handful of B-list celebrities with seldom-used second homes. Bent Creek is a modern-age melting pot, and everyone here has a story.

I’m certain she does, too—but it’s not part of ours.

Perhaps she’s a failed actor? Maybe she abandoned Hollywood years ago and has been making her way up the coast. Seems like sooner or later those lost souls jump ship and settle around Portland or Seattle. Every once in a while, we catch a few of them here, like fruit flies drawn to a honey jar. And it makes sense—this place is heaven on earth. Relatively affordable, charming, scenic. The perfect place to raise a family. It’s the sort of town where locals never leave, vacationers buy property before the end of their first trip, and transients linger longer than most.

Luca—” she starts to say before I wave my hand to silence her.

I’m sorry. Goodbye, now.” Because there’s nothing more to say to this strange woman, I close the door.

A pit forms in the bottom of my stomach, weighing me in place.

I’ve never closed a door in anyone’s face before. Then again, I’ve never had a reason to.

An unsettled knot remains in my core as I flip the dead bolt, slow and steady. Unmoving, I wait until the sound of her shoes scuffing against my front walk grows fainter, and then I peek out the sidelight window to find pure darkness.

It’s almost like she was never there, as if she were a ghost—if a person believed in that sort of thing.

Taking a moment to quell my nerves, I head upstairs to check on Elsie, lingering in her doorway. After I’ve soothed myself with the sound of her breathing, I triple-check the back door, side entrance, and garage door. Last, I make my rounds through the house, ensuring every one of our twenty-six windows is double-latched and all exterior lights are shining brighter than the sun.

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Unmissing: A Thriller

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Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN1542032016, 978-1542032018
Posted onFebruary 15, 2022
Formatpdf
Page Count251 pages
AuthorMinka Kent

Unmissing By Minka Kent PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

Unmissing: A return from the past knocks a family dangerously off-balance in a novel of spiraling suspense by Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Minka Kent.

URL: https://amzn.to/34jGutC

Author: Minka Kent

Editor's Rating:
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