Sunday, April 10, 2016

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

From the publisher: At thirty-nine, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep—and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene. Edith Hind—a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family—has been missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry. Manon instantly knows that this case will be big—and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive. … Suspenseful and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are.

Things were off to a great start when Missing, Presumed opened with a quote from a T.S. Eliot poem. This police procedural is not really so much about the mystery of the missing girl but about how her friends, her family, and the police react to her disappearance. There is a lot of character development, and the characters are messy and imperfect.

The author is not afraid to show her main characters in an unattractive light. Manon gets conjunctivitis and doesn’t take care of it for several days, and her eye becomes more and more inflamed and ugly. She sleeps with men on first dates just to get rid of them, and she cries a lot. When she is in a relationship, she is needy and impatient. But I warmed to Manon right off when I learned she can only fall asleep to the sounds of her police radio.

I found most of the characters interesting – the missing girl is about the least interesting – and I enjoyed the author’s writing style. I felt immersed in the lives of the police officers and their investigation. Some plot twists surprised me and some did not. Missing, Presumed is a definite recommend from me for lovers of British police procedurals. I think readers will want to see more of Manon and crew. I know I do.

I read an advance reader copy of Missing, Presumed. It will be published in late June and will be available at the Galesburg Public Library. 

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