Tuesday 23 August 2016

Missing Presumed Book Review

I was kindly provided with a copy of Susie Steiner's latest book Missing Presumed by HarperCollins UK via Netgalley for the purpose of this honest review. Coming under the genres of mystery & thrillers, this is crime novel with less of the crime and more of the thought behind it.

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 reported 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 this case will be big—and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.

The investigation starts with Edith’s loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, and her patrician parents. As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith’s tangled love life and her erratic behavior leading up to her disappearance. With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith’s family, but for Manon herself.

A front door left wide open, a trail of blood on the floor, this looks like the scene of a crime but right from the beginning it comes across as odd, and with the 72 hour deadline for missing persons looming Detective Manon Bradshaw and her co-workers certainly have their work cut out for them.

The woman missing is Edith Hind, the daughter of Ian Hinds an influential surgeon that happens to work for the Royal family.  Reported missing by her boyfriend Will, could he be a suspect? Everything becomes more and more mysterious the more pieces of the puzzle that start to appear. Not to mention the boy's body that has just washed up on the shore line, could he be connected to Edith's disappearance.

With Edith's family being so prominent and the media storm brewing, the pressure is on to not only find Edith but to not make any mistakes along the way. The trouble is with no clear cut evidence it is hard to know just which path to take. We see that the job in this case isn't always left at the office, it is hard to switch off when something so high profile is hanging over you.

If I am honest I had worked out part of how the story would pan out quite early on but I was kept guessing as to the why? With plenty of twists and turns, little red herrings and secrets that so many keep, Susie has showcased some rather clever writing, a plot that remains mysterious as you turn the pages.

I'll admit this novel wasn't quite what I was expecting. Told from numerous characters perspectives it is a book that needs a certain amount of concentration to keep up with all them, maybe a little too complicated? But I will say that the characters of Davy and Helena for me added an element of wit and humour to the story and the dialogue was very British which made it more enjoyable.

I'm going to give Missing Presumed 3 out of 5 stars. For her debut novel in this genre it is well written and cleverly thought out however in places I found it slow going. The characters themselves are well developed but I think the concentration on their lives rather than the case itself made it into less of a page turner and the ending sort of fell flat for me. 

Having read other books of similar genre recently overall I'd say that Missing Presumed is a decent tale just not a blow your socks of one.


  1. Umm, will probably give this one a miss. But I loved the cover. Thanks for the review.

  2. I don't read many crime books lately but this sounds interesting.


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