Missing Presumed: Susie Steiner

Susie Steiner’s Missing Presumed is the first Manon Bradshaw novel (1 of 3) and since the author died this year at age 51 from brain cancer, there will be no more.

The crime under investigation is the disappearance of Emily Hind, a 24-year-old post graduate student from a privileged background, who vanished from her home. Emily lived with her good-looking boyfriend, Will, and he returned to their home to find her gone, some blood on the floor and two used wineglasses. Since Emily is missing, we get various views of what sort of person she was, and the views offer a range of opinions about Emily. There’s Helena, aka the limpet, Emily’s friend, a slightly sleazy older male fellow student who has a sour view of Emily’s privileged social posturing, and Emily’s ‘perfect’ and perfectly boring boyfriend, Will Carter. As time passes with no news of Emily, details about Emily’s private life float to the surface. Emily is the daughter of Sir Ian Hind (Dr to the stars royals) and his wife, Miriam. Her father resents the media coverage of Emily’s relationships and uses his connections to try to control the narrative about his daughter’s life.

As always with police procedurals we see the lives of the detectives handling the case. DS Manon Bradshaw is working the case along with several other officers. There’s Davy, always upbeat who has an unpleasant girlfriend and also a strong interest in foster kids. DI Harriet Harper, in charge of the case, must juggle the intricacies of the investigation against keeping her superiors happy.

Police Procedurals are my least favourite type of crime novel but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Police work is presented as a hard, unglamorous slog with not enough sleep for those on the case and not enough time to have much of a private life. The main player here is Manon, who at age 39, throws herself into internet dating with depressingly similar results. She has a best friend who is married with kids and Manon feels that life has passed her by. While Manon is devoted to her career, she “remained a DS because if you were smart, you realised things didn’t get better when you climbed the ranks.” Most of the officers we see have failed at relationships (even the ones who are supposedly happily married) and so they plough into the one thing they are fairly good at: police work.

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2 Comments

Filed under Fiction, posts, Steiner Susie

2 responses to “Missing Presumed: Susie Steiner

  1. I don’t know this author. Sounds rather good.

  2. It is good for the genre. I will read the next 2 in the series.

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