Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner

From the publisher: In this brilliant crime novel from the author of Missing, Presumed, a detective investigates her most personal case yet: a high-profile murder in which her own family falls under suspicion.

Persons Unknown is the second book in Susie Steiner’s police procedural mystery series. The lead character is a detective, pregnant through artificial insemination, who has recently moved to provide a better life for her adopted black son Fly. Then the father of her sister’s toddler is murdered, and Fly becomes the main suspect when he is seen on camera walking home from school near where the man was killed. The evidence is flimsy and circumstantial, but Manon’s colleagues seem to be working against her as she tries to prove Fly’s innocence.

Steiner is a good writer, and I wanted to see where the case was going and how Manon was going to cope with pregnancy while striving to clear her son’s name. Manon is messy and imperfect, and while I don’t always like her I appreciate that she seems like a real person.

The plot was inspired by a real case. While I fully believe young black man are falsely accused and even convicted on weak evidence, I did have a hard time fully buying that the adopted 12-year-old-son of a white police officer would be railroaded in quite the way that Fly is in this book.  Still, like the first book (Missing, Presumed), Persons Unknown is a definite recommend from me for lovers of British police procedurals.

I read an advance reader copy of Persons Unknown. It will be released in early July and will be available at the Galesburg Public Library as a print book and an ebook.