Susie Steiner's newest book, Missing, Presumed, has just released.
The opening chapters introduce us to to DS Manon Bradshaw of the Cambridgeshire Police. Manon comes across as real - the insecurities about her own life and relationships make her both believable and likable. Her internet dating forays are quite laughable.
As Manon and her squad are called out to a missing persons case, we get to see a different side of Manon - the calm, cool professional. Edith, the missing person is high profile - her father is surgeon to the Royal Family - and he wants results.
I always enjoy British police procedurals - the focus is not on blood or gore, but on the clues, the investigation, and the players. Missing, Presumed has a good mystery as its basis, but it is a character driven novel. The interactions between the parents, the glimpses into the life of the missing girl, her friends and family drive the story as much as the crime. Relationships and interactions between the member of the police squad are just as detailed. I was quite drawn to Davy - the 'nice guy' of the group. I liked that many characters are given a voice and a point of view - the reader benefits from having information and perspective from many.
The plotting is good and moves along at a good pace. There are many possibilities as to what has happened and whodunit. The ending is not what I expected at all. At first, it made me a little angry, but with reflection it fits well with the character driven plot that came before. Read an excerpt of Missing, Presumed.
I really liked Manon as a lead character and would love to see her again. Looks like I'll get my wish - Steiner has said there will be another Manon book in 2017. You can connect with Steiner on her website and follow her on Twitter.