Missing, Presumed – Susie Steiner

 

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A crime novel I received on Netgalley it took me only a couple of days to finish. The novel follows an investigation into the disappearance of a Lord’s daughter and the looks into some of the various lives of people involved in the case, from the officers to family and friends we look into the life of Edith, the missing presumed dead, woman.

The novel predominantly focuses on Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw’s life and her involvement with the case. At first the case seems simple but, as the plot progresses, more twists arrive in both the case and the life of the detective. To begin with Manon fills the stereotypical role of an older female detective, lonely and in need of company. Through the narrative of Davy, her younger male colleague, we see how others in the world view her as well as her own self-perception. Manon evolves throughout the course of the novel, from a single woman to a still single woman with different priorities. I liked that. Manon is a strong female character who by the end of the novel is able to view her life in a different way.

At times the investigation seems to take a back seat in the narrative however, it is fully present in the lives of the characters and how they deal with it. I feel that Steiner has accurately portrayed the lives of police officers in the United Kingdom and how their lives and the job constantly intersect with one another.

The investigation not only gives insight into the officers lives but how they are perceived by the public, press and their other colleagues and the pressures they face in a high profile investigation. The officers are not made to be indestructible, they are real people and that comes across in Steiner’s narrative. I thought at times perhaps too much attention was being given to the officers lives but, as it is set over a larger period of time than what I am used to in crime novel I can see why Steiner did so.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. It showed the many aspects of police work while still maintain an engaging and believable story. I would recommend that anybody who enjoys crime to read this book. Unlike other crime novels it wasn’t spread over a matter of days, weeks passed between chapters adding to the verisimilitude of the novel. A crime is not always solved in a matter of days. I hope that there will be a second novel and look forward to reading it.

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