Book review: Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Friday, March 11, 2016 Permalink

I love flawed characters. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Of course there can be a fine line between someone having the odd idiosyncrasy and someone who’s downright psychopathic… in an evil, rather than quirky way #obvs!

There needs to be something redeeming or likeable about them, but – in general – the odd weakness or foible makes characters more relatable (and usually more enjoyable).

In Missing, Presumed, we meet (key player) DS Manon Bradshaw on a date with someone she met online. It’s a great introduction as well get an early understanding of her no-nonsense and kinda screwy take on the world.

Book review: Missing, Presumed by Susie SteinerMissing, Presumed
by Susie Steiner
Published by Harper Collins
on February 22nd 2016
Source: Harper Collins
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 9780008123291
Pages: 416

Edith Hind, the beautiful, earnest Cambridge post-grad living on the outskirts of the city has left nothing behind but a streak of blood and her coat hanging up for her boyfriend, Will, to find. The news spreads fast: to her parents, prestigious doctor Sir Ian and Lady Hind, and straight on to the police. And then the hours start to dissolve and reality sets in.

Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw soothes her insomnia with the din of the police radio she keeps by her bed. After another bad date, it takes the crackling voices to lull her to sleep. But one night she hears something. Something deserving of her attention. A girl is missing. For Manon the hunt for Edith Hind might be the career-defining case she has been waiting for. For the family this is the beginning of their nightmare.

As Manon sinks her teeth into the investigation and lines up those closest to Edith she starts to feel out the kinks in their stories and catch the eyes that won’t meet hers. But when disturbing facts come to light, the stakes jolt up and Manon has to manage the wave of terror that erupts from the family.

The disappearance of Edith offers some excitement for Manon and the team – a case they can get their teeth into. But also a case which could make or break them as they’re still recovering from some recent bad press and need to redeem themselves.

We’re predominantly in Manon’s head though swap to colleague Davy’s and Edith’s mother Miriam. I initially found the head jumping a bit of a challenge as I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to identify with – particularly given the fact I bonded early with Manon.

In fact I loved Manon, though Steiner writes her as pretty desperate. In her late 30s, childless and single I could more than relate to her occasional despondency over her circumstances.

As an aside, I very much enjoyed a parallel plot in which we see more of Manon… the person.

Like many novels I’ve read recently this features many threads, which ultimately come together. The fact they’re fairly disparate however, means it’s hard to predict what’s coming. But Steiner certainly keeps readers guessing.

I have to admit to getting lost on a couple of occasions, feeling I was missing some backstory (reference to characters who hadn’t really yet been introduced). It may have been an editing issue, but more likely a ‘Deborah-skimming-too-much’ issue.

I very much enjoyed the ending of the book and would have liked this eked out a little more perhaps… which I know is something I RARELY say!

This was an enjoyable read however and – I’m not sure if this is to be part of a series – I’d certainly enjoy meeting Manon and her colleagues again.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner was released in Australia via Harper Collins in late February 2016.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes.

  • Makeesha Byl
    March 11, 2016

    Looks like a great read! I look forward to picking this one up. Thanks Debbish 🙂

    • Debbish
      March 13, 2016

      You’re very welcome and I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read it!

  • Karen Comer
    March 11, 2016

    I am the same – is it a case of Karen-reading-too-quickly or is it a flaw in the novel? Sounds like a great read.

    • Debbish
      March 13, 2016

      Glad to hear it’s not only me Karen!

  • danielaark
    March 12, 2016

    I love disparate plots that are hard to figure out. And the more I read the easier it is for me to figure out where a story is going so I’m harder to surprised. 🙂

    • Debbish
      March 13, 2016

      Very true Daniela – and this had some interesting twists…

  • Greg Hill
    March 13, 2016

    I like the sound of this one. I’ve been enjoying thrillers lately and just finished The Passenger, and kinda struggled with the protagonist and whether I liked her much or not! Same w/ Girl on the tRain when I read it. This one sounds interesting in that I’d like to read from the perspective of a detective, and I’m curious what happened to the missing grad. I may have to add this one!

    • Debbish
      March 13, 2016

      I hope you get to it and enjoy it Greg. I know what you mean re the protagonist. I enjoyed Alafair Burke’s The Ex for the same reason… flawed messy lead but very likeable!

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