MISSING, PRESUMED by Susie Steiner (January 26th 2017, Borough Press)
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?
I find myself torn writing this review as on one hand – I did enjoy this book, but on the other hand…. meh. I think my expectations are too high with my crime fiction these days!
Let’s get the ‘bad’ out of the way first. Now for me, when I see on the front ’72 HOURS TO FIND HER…’ I was expecting a really fast paced police procedural (Helen Grace style) on the hunt for this missing woman. Unfortunately this isn’t what I got. The timeline jumped a bit too much for me with the ‘ONE MONTH LATER’ and ‘ONE YEAR LATER’. The jumps do help the story line, but again, with that strap line, I was waiting for more.
I also strangely found myself not caring for the missing woman at all! Normally as a reader, you care for the victim and hope for their ‘happily ever after’ moment. However the more I learn about our victim; Edith in the book, my sympathy withered and I became more interested in finding out who was behind her disappearance then what actually happened to her.
The positives I took from this book is that the writing is very well executed. The author has a great eye for detail and is able to bring that out for each of our characters so we get a real sense as to who they are. The detail is then extended across the board to make MISSING, PRESUMED a solid police procedural.
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