Missing Presumed – Susie Steiner
Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.
Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.
Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?
My thanks to the team at Harper Collins/The Borough Press for my review copy which I received through Netgalley
Edith Hind is missing. She should be at home yet her front door is ajar, her coat and phone are still in the house and there is a blood splatter that no-one can explain. Thus begins a police investigation to track down a clever, independent and headstrong young woman.
Missing Presumed follows the investigation with a narrative which switches between key players in the tale. DS Manon Bradshaw is the primary voice of the police and we see behind the scenes of a major incident through her eyes. What I found particularly refreshing was that everyone on the force seemed so human – police officers booking their holiday travel while at work, comparing dates, struggling with day to day tasks with young twins at home. There are loads of lighthearted scenes sprinkled through the story (particularly when Manon is embarking on her latest internet date).
The characters in the book are well mixed – the reader will come to like some more than others…some being totally unlikeable. The constant switch in narrative actually had me looking forward to certain characters returning to the spotlight as I enjoyed their contributions more than most.
As you would hope from a good police procedural there are plenty of red herrings and dead ends to try the patience of the investigative team. You may think that you know where the story is heading…I was convinced I knew how the plot would resolve – yet I was totally wrong (which as a reader is a pleasing outcome). It is not a fast-paced tale but it is wonderfully constructed and the reward is there for those that stick with the story.
A very realistic investigative story and a highly enjoyable read.
Missing Presumed is published by The Borough Press and is available in Hardcover and digital format now.