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DS Manon Bradshaw #1

Missing, Presumed

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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?

400 pages, Hardcover

First published February 25, 2016

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Susie Steiner

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Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 23, 2018
look - a book involving a missing woman that ISN'T compared to Gone Girl!

it is however, compared to both tana french and kate atkinson, which are totally fair comparisons - kate atkinson for her jackson brodie novels, and tana french for … any of 'em.

it's similar to tana french in that they are both character-driven british police procedurals, but this one seems slightly more weighted towards "character" than "crime." this debut doesn't have the same confident insider-vibe in its police parts as french, which is fine - lord knows i didn't love tana french's first book, and she didn't become "TANA FREAKING FRENCH who can do no wrong" to me until her third. but it does have that same easy camaraderie and rivalry behind-the-scenes in the department, the characters are well-rounded, and she switches perspectives in a way that is both (pleasantly) frustrating and engaging.

the case we find ourselves in the thick of is a high-profile missing persons case involving edith hind; the twenty-four-year-old daughter of sir ian and lady hind, her father a prominent physician whose patients include the royal family. the door to edith's home was found wide open, with indications of a struggle inside - coats fallen to the floor, a broken wineglass, a small amount of blood. there have been no ransom demands, but also no contact from edith since the night she left a pub wildly intoxicated and was seen home by her best friend helena.

DS manon bradshaw leads the investigation, questioning helena, edith's family, her boyfriend will, and the usual inquiries and avenues of investigation are pursued, all of which come up empty. the story flits between the perspectives of, among others, edith's mother, helena, manon's partner davy, and manon herself, focusing on the details of the case but also branching much more widely out into the personal lives of the characters, most notably manon's unfulfilling forays into internet dating.

manon is the most carefully-developed character in the book, and there's the potential for her to become the center of a series in the future. i understand why the blurbs and other reviews are gushing over her as a character but i'm not instaloving her just yet. she's good - she's a strong character who's realistically portrayed, fleshed-out into three-dimensional form - capable and tough and funny and driven, but also deeply marked by a desperate loneliness and vulnerability. i have zero problems with vulnerability in a character - i'm not someone who needs my female leads to be tough-as-nails and unscarred by the world, but there were a few scenes that made me cringe a little for her, and they were so incongruous with her professional comportment, it tarnished my appreciation a bit.

i did love davy, though, and i really liked seeing manon through his eyes - as a sympathetic friend/colleague who knows her well enough to see beyond her gruff exterior, but is not close enough to her to avoid mythologizing her in his own way.

the mystery itself plays out well but hews pretty close to the traditional bone - secrets, red herrings, false leads; the clock ticking as the trail grows cold, the pressures of the public and the media complicating the investigation and the reality of limited resources and other crimes pulling attention away from a case in which it is unclear whether they are dealing with a missing person, a homicide, or simply an impulsive rich girl scarpering off. steiner also does a great job in her awareness-raising treatment of tangential social issues like at-risk youth and in skewering the selfie-and-cause-addicted smugness of the narcissistic idle rich.

i am definitely interested in reading more by this author, particularly if this becomes a series, à la tana french, where each member of the department is given their own time in the spotlight to drive subsequent books. oh, and please more tony wright.

a very impressive debut, even without the power of smartfood-bribes clouding my judgment.


i just got this in the mail, completely unexpected/unrequested - BUT it also came with a bag of smartfood, and for the record, I AM EASILY BRIBED WITH SMARTFOOD.

in related news, i already ate the smartfood.


come to my blog!
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
February 25, 2020
”Misanthrope, staring down the barrel of childlessness. Yawning ability to find fault. Can give off WoD (Whiff of Desperation). A vast, bottomless galaxy of loneliness. Educated: to an intimidating degree. Willing to hide this. Prone to tears. Can be needy. Often found googling ‘having a baby at 40.’

Age: 39

Looking for: book-reading philanthropist with psychotherapy training who can put up shelves. Can wear glasses (relaxed about this).

Dislikes: most of the fucktards I meet on the internet.”

Detective Manon Bradshaw did not post this rather honest dating assessment to her profile. After all, the purpose of a profile is to actually convince men to contact her. No, she cut and pasted another woman’s profile that she thought sounded enticing. She shaved a few years off her age, because she knows very well how desperate being single and 39 sounds to men because it sounds desperate to her, too.

When Cambridge student Edith Hind goes missing, you would think a case of this magnitude would allow Manon to set aside her own problems and throw herself into the task of finding this woman, but the insecurities, the loneliness, bleed into all aspects of her life.

She sometimes bursts into tears for no discernible reason.

The case is odd from the beginning. There is next to nothing to go on. There are no easy to grasp handles, no ready made suspects, and those few peripheral people of interest who can be loosely tied to Edith have iron clad alibis. Her father is a prominent surgeon named Ian Hind. Let me rephrase that her father is Sir Ian Hind and is a doctor for the ROYAL family.

Oh crap.

There is always pressure with a case like this. A beautiful, affluent, bright white girl goes missing, and the press is already up everyone’s nostrils for information, but then you add in a prominent family with ties to the Crown, and suddenly everyone has to think about more than just doing their job. They have to think about covering their arses. They have to think about the future of their careers. They have to consider that one misstep might have them brushing up their CVs for a career outside of government work.

A body washes up from the river, a young man, a young black man.

Somehow it seems tied into the disappearance of Edith Hind, but there are too many pieces missing from the puzzle. Drugs would be one angle, but according to everyone who knew her, drugs were not of interest. She did causes, not drugs. She was almost militant about saving the planet and participated in city lot gardens. She grew chard. She beat people over the head with chard. Look at me, I grow Chard! She was a self-serving narcissist.

Spoiled little rich girls have time to fuss around with growing chard in abandoned city lots, but most of the rest of the world has to spend their time worrying about making a living, or if you are a 39 year old police detective, finding yourself a man to make babies with. She finds a man, unexpectedly, the natural way but loses him over a few ill chosen words.

”One minute you are loved, and then you are not.”

We spend most of our time with Manon, but Susie Steiner also devotes chapters to the other characters, the members of the police team, the parents, Edith’s best friend Helena, and her handsome boyfriend Will. We meet Tony Wright, convicted rapist, who is a cool cucumber under interrogation. He knows something; everyone knows something, and slowly, methodically the pieces start to fall into place. This is such an authentic police procedural that I felt like a fledgling recruit for the Cambridgeshire Police Department.

The characters are all fully developed. Within a few chapters, I felt like I knew Manon, that I could pop down the street and take her out for a beer so she could cry on my shoulder about the latest bloke she met online. Edith’s mother Miriam is particularly well drawn.

”He has been crying in his study. She heard him on her way up the stairs an hour ago, had stopped, one hand on the banister, curious to hear his upset expressed. Man sobs are so uncommon, they were quite interesting. His were strangulated, as if his tears were out to choke him. Hers come unbidden, like a flood, dissolving her outline, and it’s as if she has failed to stand up to them. A weakness of tears.”

Miriam feels weak, but she will prove to be strong. ”Fear is physical.”

The depth of the characters is impressive. Steiner reveals their souls and clothes them in truths.

This book transcends genre. To call it a mystery or a detective novel or a thriller is too restrictive. This is a book that will appeal to readers who want more than just a clever plot or a likeable protagonist. This book has those qualities, but also has lyrical, insightful, honest writing that insures that you will be thinking about this book and these people for a long, long time. There is a twist that will knock you on your arse, and then just as you stumble to your feet, the second twist will knock you back down again. It’s ok though because you will probably need a few minutes of staring at the ceiling, letting these revelations unravel what you thought was true and start a new strand of understanding.

The buzz is going to grow as more and more readers discover this book, so put a kettle on, put out a plate of cookies, and let yourself become part of the buzz.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,481 reviews79k followers
April 22, 2018
I was immediately requesting this book once I saw it compared to Tana French (Gimmie Gimmie!); my love of a good police procedural knows no bounds. This one turned out to be very classic in its unraveling, reminiscent of something much richer than your typical thriller as it goes much deeper into its various character’s lives than most books do. The POV changes frequently between Manon (detective assigned to missing girl’s high profile case), Miriam (missing girl’s mother), Edith (missing girl), Davy (Manon’s partner) and Helena (Edith’s best friend). It was a bit confusing in the first 10%, but once the characters were established I was able to keep up well.

“Were she to tell the truth, her profile would go something like:
Misanthrope, staring down the barrel of childlessness. Yawning ability to find fault. Can give off WoD (Whiff of Desperation). A vast, bottomless galaxy of loneliness.
Educated: to an intimidating degree. Willing to hide this. Prone to tears. Can be needy. Often found Googling having a baby at 40

Manon is clearly the most developed and focused character of the book; we follow her not only throughout her side of the investigation, but also through her mishaps involving internet dating. I loved how even in the midst of her neediness, there was a bit of bite behind this character and she seemed so human and relatable. She meets Alan and begins a relationship with him as well, and almost immediately becomes infatuated. (“My heart has made its mind up, and I’m afraid it’s you”) I also really liked Davy and Miriam’s characters; Davy has a heart of gold and Miriam, while faced with some of life’s most devastating blows, takes it like a champ and emanates strength and dignity for her family. There’s also a good bit of humor to keep the mood from becoming too sombre; my favorite moment was when Manon was depressed and states:

“My bottom’s probably as big as that. A single person’s bottom. I’m about to be forty, I will never have a baby, and I have a bottom the size of-Don’t cry. Just don’t cry, not in the middle of MIT.”

Why is it so funny imagining a British accent saying the word “bottom” so many times in a row? Any way, I enjoyed the author’s sense of humor and picture her being someone I could prop my feet up with while drinking a hot cuppa. My only slight concern was that the ending was a little underwhelming; this could be because I have just recently read a book with a very similar ending and storyline. I believe if I had read this at a different time, this would have been a non-issue. An impressive debut from an author I think we’ll be watching, and I would be very excited to see some sort of series sprung from the characters in this book (maybe a focus on Davy next go around?!). EDIT- author has confirmed this WILL be a series focused around DS Manon; yay!

* I received my copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review; this did not influence my opinions and all thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,310 reviews120k followers
November 8, 2020
Susie Steiner’s new novel, Missing, Presumed, is a welcome addition to the world of British procedurals. It is the first in what one hopes is a long series of whodunits. Steiner offers a fascinating puzzle and a marvelously accessible and engaging heroine to guide us through the mess that is everyday, everywhere.

Twenty-four-year-old Edith Hind is a Cambridge University postgrad who lives with her matinee-idol-handsome boyfriend, Will Carter. Her father is an eminent surgeon, who counts the Home Secretary among his friends. Edith is a member of a bicycling lobbying group and a gardening association. She and Will do not possess a television. A nice middle-class life lies ahead for bright, educated and connected Edith. But when Will comes home and finds the front door ajar, and patches of blood in the house, he fears foul play. The rule of thumb in such cases is 72 hours. If the “misper” is not located within that span, they usually turn up face down. Start your countdowns.

Susie Steiner - from her site

Detective Sergeant (DS) Manon Bradshaw is 39, single, and is quite aware of the clock. There is pressure enough to find any missing person. But when the missing person’s parents employ their friendship with a cabinet minister to add even more pressure, the strain grows, quickly and heavily. Manon is not the most cheery of sorts, not having much of a life and all. She suffers from a bad case of lonely, and treats it with an ineffective series of internet-arranged dates. Even when dessert extends to the bedroom, she often leaves with a bad aftertaste. Not surprising. The name “Manon” actually means bitter in Hebrew.
Her lonely bench, police blue, on a deserted Sunday platform; wondering what’s left in the fridge for tea. The problem of food, for one: it symbolizes everything. She wants delicious morsels, yet cooking for herself is so defeating: a surplus of ingredients, the washing-up unshared, and the sense that it doesn’t matter—the production of it or whether it’s nice. The daily slog of being alone washes over her on the cold latticed bench, the sense of being unassisted in the minutiae: broadband down; washing machine stuck on the spin cycle. Oh yes, people spoke of their freedoms—no one to answer to!—but there was such a thing as a surfeit of freedom, a sort of weightless free fall through nothing.
As with most procedurals there are two tracks. First is the presenting mystery. What happened? What was done, how, why, and by whom? A young woman may be missing but the presenting mystery is a delivery mechanism for our real story, Manon. A good novel of this sort must not only present an engaging mystery, one that invites us to sort out the clues along with the coppers, but it must offer us an investigator we want to follow. Missing, Presumed presents a pretty good puzzle, but the real strength here lies in Steiner’s heroine.

Manon Bradshaw has been fitted with a supply of quirks that make her human without making her off-putting. My favorite is that she goes to sleep to the soothing hum of the police radio. Her on-line-generated dates, actual and by reference, offer a bit of bittersweet comic relief, with maybe an actual prospect in the offing. Manon has real-world friends, so she is far from a shut-in when away from work, but we can definitely feel her loneliness, her need for personal companionship and love. Steiner gives her a complement of family issues, including estrangement from a sib and a father whose girlfriend she refers to as Mein Fuhrer. Best of all, she gives Manon a good heart, which may be a bit of a cliché, but it works well.

In telling the story we get to see events through the eyes of Manon mostly, but also peer out from the perspective of the missing girl’s mother, Miriam, Manon’s work partner, Davy, (love seeing Manon from his POV) and a friend of Manon’s, Helena, getting glimpses of their worlds and their intersections with Edith and Manon. We see not only the appearances, but what they disguise. Is this family all they seem? Is Manon’s dating profile reality-based? Eyes and perspective are a particular issue for Steiner. She was born with the genetically-based retinosa pigmentosa, a disease that usually blinds its victims in their twenties. Steiner’s variation allowed her to make it into her forties before the lights grew dim enough to require her to use a stick to get around in unfamiliar places. She gives Manon an eye infection, clouding her ability to see the truth, no doubt, and a reluctance to get it treated. Steiner is hopeful that promising treatments for her condition may brighten her future. Now, if Manon would only take her bloody meds.

Steiner offers us a look into the political landscape of the Cambridgeshire police department. This will feel about right to anyone who has read more than one or two in this genre. She takes in the media circus that comes to town whenever a high-profile case pits the police against a ticking clock and high end political pressure, and considers some of the collateral damage such attention can generate. Resources are always in short supply, even with a minister loosening some strings.

Manon and her cohorts follow the available clues to diverse locations, personalities and social issues. Human trafficking enters in, as does drug abuse, secrets and lies, hidden desires, and suspicions galore. Parenting comes in for some close inspection as well. The parents of the missing girl could probably have used some tips. A chronic drug-abuser of a single-mother does no favors for her two mixed-race boys. Manon, herself, is facing decision time on her own parenting wishes.

The baddies come in various shades, some are just sorts trying to muddle through, some are darker shades of gray than others. Some are repentant, some are dead. I particularly enjoyed the charming but potentially deadly ex-con Tony Wright. I kept imagining the appealing Blank Reg, of Max Headroom fame, with some actual menace in him.

The writing is rich with the detail of human interaction, sensitive to the small bubbles that indicate underlying currents. There is a lot of keen observation, both of individual interactions and larger social issues. Manon and her partner, Davy, hold great promise for future crime-solving adventure. Missing Presumed, while not exactly dazzling, is pretty darned good, a worthy addition to the British procedural landscape. It certainly held my attention. I am already looking forward to the next volume in what absolutely must be a series. You might say that Missing, Presumed was found, riveting.

Publication date – June 28, 2016

Review posted – April 8, 2016

FYI, I received this book from the publisher in return for an outstanding a gushing an honest review.

=============================EXTRA STUFF

Missing, Presumed has been optioned by Clerkenwell Films in the UK.
The third book in the Manon Bradshaw series is due out on May 28, 2020

Links to the author’s personal and Twitter pages

There are many useful links on Steiner’s site, including not only the following piece, but a host of others, including articles she wrote when she was still with The Guardian.

A marvelous piece by Steiner about her blindness - Susie Steiner: ‘The less I can see, of the world, the more I can focus’

This video is mostly about her earlier novel, but from about the two-minute mark there is for more general commentary

On the nifty publicity campaign HarperFiction ran in the UK when the book was released there

A Twitter feed of the marketing variety for the book

June 13, 2020 - Steiner writes in The Guardian about her medical challenges and books that capture the experience - It has been easier to cope with my cancer during lockdown - and books have been a lifeline
Profile Image for Jan.
424 reviews256 followers
September 29, 2016
2.5 stars

I hated this more than I liked it. But I finished it, so there is something to be said about the writing that made me keep going.

I think the lack of suspense was the first thing I was missing right from the start. The story revolves around the disappearance of Edith Hinds-the daughter of a well known prominent physician. Was she kidnapped? Is she still alive? The story is told in multiple POV's, but anything pertaining to Edith's disappearance seemed to take a back seat to the characters back stories and personal lives.

The worst was the main protag Manon, who is one of the lead Detectives on the case. I really didn't care for her-she came across as desperate for love, needy, self centered, and depressed. She did redeem herself at the end, but only as being a better human, not an intuitive detective. I did like Davy though, and was happy he found his backbone.

Bottom line is that I found myself bored throughout most of it. The pace was slow and there wasn't much build up, so when the case is finally resolved I found I didn't much care anymore.

Others have responded very positively to this, so don't let my rating sway you. I usually don't know what I'm talking about half the time as it is!

ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Emily.
706 reviews2,045 followers
July 12, 2018
I received an ARC from the publisher for review, and initially I was really enthralled and excited by the book. It combines many elements that I tend to enjoy, like the British upper class, psychological thrillers, a large cast of detectives, and a slow burn mystery. I've seen it compared to the Tana French books (which are my favorites forever). But about 2/3 of the way through, I figured out that this actually wasn't a mystery book: it's bad literary fiction with a salacious side plot thrown in, just for fun. The more that I thought about this book, the more annoyed I got. It had a ton of potential that was totally squandered.

First of all, I strenuously object to the idea that this book has a "twist" at the end (and I'm side-eyeing all of the other mystery writers who blurbed this book and gushed about it). The definition of a "twist" is an unexpected or cleverly concealed reveal of events that happened previously. Either we've been presented with the information before - but the twist gives us a new way to think about it - or the twist is a huge and surprising new development in the plot that completely upends the story. This novel has neither of those things. Instead, it presents us with a series of facts about the "mystery" that the detectives are trying to solve, and then throws in a new fact at the end that is supposed to wrap up the entire story and force some semblance of reality. As the reader, this is a hugely unsatisfying mystery because there's no possible way that you can solve or predict the outcome. And once Miriam , it's so obvious what happened that the rest of the book is a snoozefest. You know it's a bad sign when one of the main suspects in the case, Tony Wright, is someone the police just decide to go question: he doesn't originally have any connection to Edith's disappearance. And the original setup of the mystery, with Edith's apartment door open and the wineglasses out, . It's a big mess.

Since the mystery is bad - I think truly, objectively bad - the only reason to read is for the characters. You either have to care about them, or they have to be interesting enough to carry the book. Unfortunately, that is not the case here. Manon, the main detective on the case, is so horribly lonely that her online dating career is painfully embarrassing to read about. She's at least believable, if unlikeable. The other characters, however, are one note. Davy is the classic nice guy who dates a terrible woman whose flaws are only invisible to him. I kept waiting for this storyline to evolve into something interesting, but it never does. There are also too many minor characters at the police department, so they're easy to mix up and don't add anything (the misogynistic dad I found a particularly odd inclusion). But I don't hate any of these elements as much as I hate Edith.

Edith is possibly the worst person in the world, let alone the book. Plot spoilers follow. It all left a bad taste in my mouth.

By the time I reached the end and there's a weird summary of events after the book's conclusion, with I was skimming. Ugh. Thinking about this book is making me mad. The thought that it might be a series is intolerable.
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,254 followers
December 30, 2016
3.5 stars
Think less crime, more character study - If you do that this could be a gem. Though you might want to enjoy both if you pick this up :)

^I didn't have the right expectations when expecting full blown mystery. I would've enjoyed it more had I known.

Twenty four year old Cambridge student Edith Hind is missing. She’s the daughter of Sir Ian Hind, a distinguished doctor to the royal family. Her boyfriend arrived home to find the front door left wide open and signs of a struggle including a broken glass, blood, and coats in disarray. She was last seen by her best friend Helena when she helped Edith get home after a drunken night at the pub.

Detective Sergeant (DS) Manon Bradshaw is on the case. She leads the investigation with her team including Davy, her partner. (side note: Davy is one of my favorite characters. It’s so fun to see Manon from his perspective). Manon is thirty nine and deep in the internet dating game falling a bit on the desperate side. She’s insecure, lonely, and vulnerable. She has some interesting quirks and ends up being quite likable despite all her flaws. It makes her appear more real.

The investigation holds an enormous amount of pressure over Manon and her colleague’s heads with the prominent family and media closely examining their every move. It could end up being a career making case for Manon. There are plenty of red herrings, secrets, lies, and twists. The thing is if you’re expecting a full blown mystery, you should know this is one of those very character driven stories. It ends up being more of a character study than a crime novel. Yes, it is police procedural, but it really explores the characters behind the scenes more than anything.

Missing, Presumed alternates between numerous perspectives including Manon’s partner Davy, Edith’s mother Miriam, Edith’s best friend Helena, and Manon. Though it maintains a third person POV throughout. This helps to add enlightenment on every person involved in the case.

In the end, this was a very strong debut. I do wish I had known to expect less mystery than I originally thought when picking this up. The fact that it focuses more on the characters makes the pacing a bit slower than I had planned for. If you go in with the right idea, I think it’d be even more enjoyable. The characters are excellent and very well-developed. If this turns into a series (think Tana French), I'd be excited to see Manon and her colleagues again- especially Davy- and to dive deeper into Susie Steiner’s characters.

I won this in a Goodreads firstreads giveaway. This has no influence on my review. Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads.
Profile Image for Christine.
596 reviews1,182 followers
May 31, 2016
I wish to thank Net Galley, Random House, and Ms. Susie Steiner for an advanced review copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

I went into this read with few expectations, basically just knowing I liked the blurb, and I was in the mood for a police procedural. Well, what a terrific surprise it was—I just loved this book!

This is Susie Steiner’s 2nd book and first crime fiction novel. I would actually classify it as a semi-literary police procedural with psychological overlay. I thought it was extremely well done, especially for a first try. The protagonist is DS Manon Bradshaw, a good cop though a very lonely one. As Manon works on a complicated high profile missing person case, she is also dealing on the side with her desires to find someone to share her life with. The POV is mainly from 3 sources—Manon, one of her team members (DC Davy Walker), and the missing person’s mother, Miriam Hind. The character development is outstanding and really enriches and brings the story to life. This type of characterization is a huge plus in my police procedurals. This alone thrusts Susie Steiner onto my “must watch this author” radar. I really connected with Manon and also with Davy. Another favorite was DI Harriet Harper whose occasional rants and amusing use of profanity actually had me lol’ing. Fly is also a very appealing character and his interaction with Manon is priceless.

The plot had me stumped the whole time, and I was really taken by surprise by the stellar twists in the story near the end. There is a lot happening in this tale, but Ms. Steiner does a thorough job tying up the loose ends. I was impressed by the amount of research that went into this novel—this is borne out in the Acknowledgments at the end. I was stuck by Ms. Steiner’s lexicon. She has a way with her vocabulary that appealed to me; I learned lots of new words reading this book (a good thing).

I enjoyed every minute I shared with Missing, Presumed and hated it every time I had to put the book down. I strongly recommend it to all readers of crime fiction. I have my eye on you, Susie Steiner. Congratulations on this accomplished piece of writing; please don’t make me wait long for another novel!!
Profile Image for Frances.
192 reviews324 followers
October 24, 2016
4.5* Missing Presumed is a highly charged British crime mystery following the daily lives of Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw and DC Davy Walker with the Cambridgeshire Major Incident Team. Early one morning, they are notified of a missing female, Edith Hind, who has disappeared on a frosty wintry day leaving behind her personal items; keys, phone, coat and her car parked outside. Arriving at Edith’s apartment they are met by Edith’s boyfriend Will Carter who is frantic and extremely upset about his missing fiancé. Will informs the detectives that when he arrived home the door to their apartment was open and he found small droplets of blood in the kitchen and hallway.

This is a captivating character driven story, and as the plot unfolds the reader is drawn to DS Manon Bradshaw, an extremely complex individual who feels quite miserable with her personal life. Manon reveals her desperation for love and companionship by trolling the internet for dates with no hope of finding the perfect partner. Time after time she meets her date for dinner and winds up in bed after a boring evening not knowing or caring what his name is, or ever wanting to see him again. It has become nothing more than an endless revolving door of disappointment and despair.

Author Susie Steine has written a taunt, intricate mystery, which will keep the reader captivated and well entertained. Recommended to all readers.

** Thank you to Publisher Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. **
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,782 reviews14.2k followers
June 29, 2016
3.5 A young woman from a prominent family goes missing and the case is assigned to a team from the Cambridgeshire police force. Not so much a mystery as a character study of all involved, but features 39 year old, Mahon, who is looking for love and Davy, who thinks he has found it.

Very slowly paced, especially the first half. Since it centers on Manon more than the others it is important I think for the reader to like this character or at least be able to identify with her in some way. I didn't, found her a complainer, whiner until........... half way through and she makes the acquaintance of a young boy named Fly, whose brother has been killed. Finally, for me she seemed more human, not so self centered, more palatable.

Secrets within families, how well do we know the people we live with? So the case proceeds, threads are eventually untangled and I found myself avidly turning the pages. Still,that first half of the book, thus my rating. So a read that turned out better than it started, a good read but could have been better with a little less internal dialogue, in my humble opinion.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,710 reviews25k followers
April 16, 2016
I had heard many good things about this book so was really looking forward to reading it. I was not disappointed in the slightest, it is a brilliant and atmospheric police procedural. Detective Manon Bradshaw is overburdened with insecurities, has bad internet dating experiences, desperate to lose her single status and wants children. She is also about to find herself on a heavily pressurised case.

Will Carter, the boyfriend of Edith Hind, reports her missing after the state of her home raises suspicions. Edith is a Cambridge student from a prominent family, her father, Sir Ian, is the attending physician to the Royal family and has influential political connections. The high profile family and the young and attractive missing Edith creates the perfect media storm and places horrendous pressures on the police to find Edith. With a black man's body being washed up by the river which has connections to Edith, the police begin to build up a picture. Manon does a lot of in depth interviews of the family and friends of Edith like her best friend, Helena. She encounters human trafficking, drug abuse, secrets, lies and deception.

Susie Steiner excels at character development and plotting whilst her writing is sublime. She has a keen feel for human relationships and the undercurrents that can be present. Her representation of the police department feels authentic. An assured and not to be missed debut. You will not regret reading this book. Thanks to Random House for an ARC via netgalley.
Profile Image for Emma.
986 reviews1,002 followers
November 11, 2016
God, this book felt long. Looooong. It was one of those that made me check the percentage left to read pretty often, with the despairing realisation that there was loads more to go. I had to continue because I'd already put in so much effort and wanted to know what happened at the end. But damn, it was drawn out.

Even though there were a few moments of amusing interaction on the part of the lead detective, her constant moaning about how desperate she was for a relationship got on my nerves, and I honestly just feel relief that the book has ended. Also slightly annoyed by the last part of 'lets tie it all up with a bow'. And actually just annoyed by the whole ending of the plot line. Right, i'm leaving it there because it's just going to be spoilery ranting if i keep on....
Profile Image for Krystin | TheF**kingTwist.
498 reviews1,761 followers
August 30, 2022
Book Blog | Bookstagram

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “what would a boring Bridget Jones be like as a homicide detective?” then this is the book for you.

Missing, Presumed is the first book in the DS Manon series – a UK police procedural. This first novel revolves around the disappearance of the twenty-something daughter of a prominent doctor.

For me, this was severely lacking on the procedural part and overwrought on the personal “character-study” side, like to such an annoying degree that I’m physically disappointed by this book.

There was a massive disconnect between the main plot and the endless pages covering family stories and relationship issues and personal whining and blah blah blah, none of which progressed the story or its themes or was even that engaging or interesting.

Really all it did was highlight how booooooring most of them were. The missing girl’s mother had a lot of chapters and she was mind-numbingly dull in all her fretting and worrying and reminiscing about family events and past conversations that, in the end, had nothing to do with the conclusion and didn't move the plot forward.

It was just...

The main character, though, DS Manon, was the fucking WORST.

She is a 39-year-old woman who spends 90% of the novel being an insane girlfriend and crying about her empty uterus.

She was Bridget Jones without the humour or the joyful absurdity. This particular story doesn’t give the space for an immature, neurotic character to be those things in a way that isn’t fucking annoying. And I did not like her one bit.

After finding a guy she likes, Manon turns into the stereotype of a "crazy girlfriend." Pressuring her new love interest after only two weeks of dating because she feels like she's running out of time to have a family. I get it, but girl, shut the fuck up. When she becomes too overbearing and the dude breaks up with her, she sends those texts. You know the ones:

Let’s talk. We shouldn’t leave things that way.

I’m sorry about how I acted. Give me another chance.

Oh, so you’re just not going to talk to me?

That’s fine, you had a small dick anyway.

You stupid motherfucker cocksucker! I hate you!

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.

Please don’t leave me.

I’m not even kidding. That's what she sends to a grown man with a career and a mortgage and shit.

She’s supposed to be finding a missing person and focusing on her very serious, life-or-death job. But all the immature nonsense made Manon embarrassing and painful to read.

The only reason I kept reading was to wrap up the mystery. But the missing person, Edith, was just as annoying as Manon, and also dumb. And the convenient wrap-up to her case left me feeling kind of like this whole thing had been a giant waste of my time. I have so many other books to read!

This is a lazy mystery and a bad fictional drama with terribly immature characters. Hated it.

⭐½ | 1.5 stars rounded down.

book source: HarperCollins UK via NetGalley in exchange for a review
Profile Image for Esil.
1,118 reviews1,363 followers
June 20, 2016
An enthusiastic 4+ stars. Missing, Presumed was a real treat. I love good mysteries, but they’re not always easy to find. Missing, Presumed fit the bill, having all the right ingredients:

-Strong smart female lead detective with plenty of flaws and troubles to keep her interesting
-Good set up, which is the disappearance of a female graduate student from Cambridge
-Story told from the perspective of a handful of interesting characters, including the mother of the missing person
-Decent pacing, with some good twists, including a particularly dramatic one toward the 2/3 mark
-Good balance between focus on the story and focus on the detectives’ personal lives and troubles
-Some reflections on class and race – but not too heavy handed
-A clever unexpected – but not off the wall -- resolution
-Moving scenes at the end involving our lead detective and the mother of the missing person

A small change I would make to the recipe:

-Removal of one unnecessary coincidence that defies credibility

I very much hope this one becomes a series. I would happily add it to my favourites: Michael Connelly, Louise Penny, Elizabeth George, Camilla Lackberg, Sara Paretsky, Robert Rotenberg and a few others.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,471 reviews1,007 followers
January 27, 2016
Missing, Presumed was a really excellent read - probably one of the most authentic feeling crime novels I have read recently, in that it was less mystery and more character study - of the various people caught up in the investigation of a missing woman. Police, parents, friends, boyfriends, all caught up in the vortex of not knowing, each one carefully drawn and intuitively emotional on completely different levels.

Possible signs of a struggle, an open front door and Edith is gone - vanished into seemingly thin air, her parents and lover frantic, a police investigation team who immediately realise this is going to be huge due to the important nature of the people involved. Taking that as a starting point, Susie Steiner then weaves a narrative web around all the individuals concerned, showing us who they are, hinting at possible outcomes and giving us a tightly plotted and intensely addictive slow burner of a story which is very realistic and highly engaging.

I liked this one for its realism - the police investigation starts with a bang then loses cohesion as leads are investigated and the trail turns cold. The author does an excellent job of showing the very real issues faced both in public expectation and budgetary issues, in how difficult it is to allocate resources correctly. Because of the nature of the plot building, focusing very much on the various personalities and how they change the dynamic, how outside influence and external pressures can change things significantly, there are a lot of thought provoking moments throughout the reading.

On a personal note - all the characters here are excellent, but I was particularly drawn to Manon and very amused by her forays into internet dating - lightening the mood but also showing her fault lines she is a very good example of why this is so good. Because the people in it are all utterly believable, shown both at their very best and their very worst.

The ultimate resolution may or may not surprise you but with "Missing Presumed" the journey is the thing not the arrival. Tense, fascinating and with true page turning appeal, this would come highly recommended from me.

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for Susan.
2,695 reviews594 followers
September 4, 2016
Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw is thirty nine when we first meet her. A capable officer, she works at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, for the Major Incident Team, and spends much of her spare time internet dating – often with hilarious, although disastrous, consequences. Edith Hind is a young, beautiful Post-grad student at Cambridge University; who lives with her handsome boyfriend, Will Carter. When Will returns from a visit to his mother, he finds the front door of their home open, lights left on, blood in the hallway and Edith missing….

This novel is a good example of literary crime. Not that many crime novels are not easily as well written as anything literary fiction can offer, but this was a totally engrossing read and full of wonderful characters and a lot of humour. Edith is the daughter of Sir Ian and Lady Hind, who live in genteel Hampstead. When investigating her life, the officers come across a social media post of the idealistic Edith, with bunting made from recycled copies of the, “Financial Times,” and the caption, “Happy Christmas, planet!” – causing one member of the force to remark, sourly, “It’s a wonder she wasn’t murdered sooner.” This novel is full of such one-liners, which made me smile throughout reading this.

I also adored the characters that flesh out the book. Although the team investigating Edith’s disappearance are, initially, worried when they discover that Edith is the clever, Cambridge educated daughter of Sir Ian Hind – surgeon to royalty and friend of the Home Secretary – Edith’s parents really come alive in this novel; especially her mother, Miriam. Likewise, Manon’s colleagues include the extremely likeable and optimistic Davy Walker and D I Harriet Harper. There are also a good number of suspects, as Edith’s life is put under the spotlight to try to discover what happened to her.

From lurid press speculation concerning Edith’s private life, to the way that sudden tragedy affects family members, this is a very well considered novel, which would make a good choice for book groups. I really enjoyed meeting Manon – so capable and yet so vulnerable – and found this a gripping read. I would certainly look forward to meeting Manon again and hope that this becomes a series.

Profile Image for Nikoleta.
693 reviews275 followers
October 26, 2017
Περιποιημένο βιβλίο, με πολύ καλή γλώσσα, και εξαιρετική μετάφραση, το οποίο πατάει στο ψυχογράφημα και την καθημερινότητα των ηρώων του. Δυστυχώς είμαι λάτρης της περιπέτειας και της δράσης στο crime, οπότε δεν το εκτίμησα όσο πρέπει. Το θέμα είναι οτι δεν είναι του στύλ μου, οπότε του ανεβάζω τον βαθμό στα 3 αστέρια.
Profile Image for Bill.
291 reviews93 followers
June 10, 2016


Wow! What a wonderful story that at its core is a missing person, murder/abduction mystery but slowly and deliciously incrementally blossoms into a seductive exploration of human relationships and our often times illusory and unrealistic expectations of life. The police investigation provides the skeleton of the story. The relationships between parents and children, husband and wife, boyfriends and girlfriends, professors and students and fellow police officers, is the muscle and fiber that gives this story its rich, enchanting and unique personality. I’ve read many murder mystery books but this one was refreshingly new and different.

During the first third of the book I was thinking, "ho hum, just another 20-something missing female/detective story.” During the next third, my senses perked up and my engagement with the characters began to develop and take hold. “Hum, this could be something!” I thought. In the back third of the story, my senses were alive with anticipation and I couldn’t wait to get back into it. Suddenly I felt personally invested in almost all of the characters, especially Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw. The character development and exploration was fabulous!

A member of the Major Incident Team, DS Manon Bradshaw is terribly lonely. Childless and on the verge of the her fortieth birthday, Manon has been searching the Internet for the perfect romantic companion for the past two years after five long years of searching the usual and customary ways – bars, parties, various events and gatherings. The police radio by her bedside is her constant companion. Then the call comes in … Edith Hind is missing!

The search for missing Cambridge graduate student Edith Hind, daughter of Sir Ian and Lady Hind, serves as the backdrop for the exquisite exploration of the feelings and emotions of Manon and her constant search for the perfect companion. As I learned more and more about her life, I quickly became a rabid fan of DS Bradshaw. The Hind connection with the Royal family sends the British tabloid media into a feeding frenzy, heightening the urgency of the search. The media scrutiny of the police investigation, the days and weeks that pass without finding Edith and vague investigatory connections with a well-known murderer, a recent murder near the Hind’s second home Deeping and Edith’s relationship with long-time friend Helena Reed are intricately woven into the story of Manon’s search for companionship and her relationship with her estranged sister Ellie.

Over the course of the police investigation, it was so satisfying to watch the evolution of Manon … I wanted to jump up and down the cheer her on, give her a huge hug and encourage her to live her life on her terms. From her desperate Internet encounters with men she always finds less than perfect but feels completed to sleep with anyway, to her rejection by the man she truly believes is the one, to her ultimate discovery of everything she really wanted in life in places she never expected to find them, I hated to read the last page and close this book because it meant it was time to say goodbye to Manon Bradshaw.

In addition to the adept exploration and revelations of the life of Manon Bradshaw, Steiner’s treatment of the many other characters in this story is wonderful. The relationship between Miriam and Ian Hind was intriguing and so thoughtfully culled and parsed out in delicious nuggets of discovery. Edith’s relationship with her mother was brilliant and extraordinarily intimate while the life of Detective Constable Davy Walker in many ways was the polar opposite of his supervisor DS Manon. While Davy seems overly happy and optimistic compared to the deep loneliness and sadness of Manon, the instant Manon’s mood is uplifted by the temporary discovery the man she’s come to love, Davy’s outlook turns dark from the failure and frustration of the investigation and the smothering effects of his relationship with Chloe. Their work relationship is very interesting indeed. The twists and turns at the end of the case of Edith Reed are interesting and very clever but by far the best part of this story for me is the emotional attachment to Manon Bradshaw.

The entire story felt shrouded in various degrees of gray and light for me like a charcoal drawing … is London really such a gloomy place? Heck the cover of the book is dark and gray! Despite the omnipresence of varying degrees and layers of loneliness, sadness, unhappiness and despair, I loved the story and felt invested in the lives of all the characters. My take away was life can never be perfect …our expectations of perfection are unattainable and illusive because perfection is nothing but a mirage. But many of the things we seek in life can be found in places we may never think to look and may come to us in ways not exactly how we imagined they would be. In the end Manon satisfies her longing for love in a time and place she never imagined. So satisfying!

Very, very well done Susie Steiner. I hope to hear more from DS Manon Bradshaw … I miss her already!

A special call out of thanks to Goodreads and Random House for providing me an Advanced Reader’s Edition of this extraordinary literary adventure!

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Profile Image for Sue.
1,347 reviews5 followers
June 17, 2016
MISSING, PRESUMED by Susie Steiner’s is her second book but first crime police procedural novel. This is the first novel I have read by this author and I was very impressed with the level of literary writing. The novel has also elements of psychological suspense, and is very much character-driven to flush out all the main characters, and allow them to come to life with all their dark humor and wit.

The protagonist, 39 year old Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw is a respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force. Her life is her work, but she wishes that someday soon she will meet the right person and find love and happiness. She suffers from insomnia and has no personal life and resorts to internet dating, which has not produced any satisfactory results. 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 racing to a crime scene.

Edith Hind, a 24 year old Cambridge University postgrad student and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family has been reported missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Edith’s keys and phone had been left behind .Her home offers few clues:

“Door was open, but not forced. There’s some blood, hallway and kitchen. Not much of it…there’s the coats on the floor.”

The investigation begins interviewing Edith's loved ones: her boyfriend Will Carter, her best friend Helena Reed, and her parents Mariam and Ian Hind. The POV is mostly told through 3 individuals; Manon( the detective), her team member Davy and Miriam(Edith’s mother).

But then secrets begin to emerge about Edith's complicated love life.

Manon must uncover the mystery behind Edith’s disappearance.

Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisted literary and crime fiction novel, with a thrilling plot. It combines the British police procedural and character drama. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters in the novel, and their interaction. A very enjoyable read.

I wish to thank Susie Steiner, Random House, and Net Galley, for an advanced review copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Meredith (Trying to catch up!).
815 reviews12.7k followers
June 15, 2016
I was so excited to have the opportunity to read Missing, Presumed--It did not disappoint! Please note that the story is more focused on the members of the Cambridgeshire police force than the case that they are working to resolve.

When 25 year old Edith Hind, daughter of a prominent physician is reported missing, DS Manon Bradshaw and her colleagues, Davy and Harriet, begin investigating. Has Edith been murdered, kidnapped, or has she just run away? The police don’t have much information to work off of and they do not make miraculous discoveries or find blatant clues to help them resolve the case. Rather, the mystery slowly unravels to reveal Edith’s fate.
The novel switches perspectives, but is primarly told from Manon’s POV. She is 39, unmarried, childless and trying to find a man. She goes on date after bad date while dodging the pressure from her friends to lower her standards. She isn’t always likeable and can say the wrong thing, which made her feel real. In some ways, she reminds me of Carl Morck (detective in Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q. Series).

I really liked Missing, Presumed—the characters are developed, the writing is strong, and the mystery is compelling.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sue.
2,729 reviews221 followers
November 21, 2018
I’ve picked up and started, then restarted this book many times in a year.
I was totally not going to be defeated. Determined to finish it.

I found it highly confusing at the beginning as the POV characters were more than 3. My brains slowing down and I got foggy from having to think too hard.
Brain ache. A bit like toothache.

Anyway on my last attempt I did it. I reached the end.

The beginning was difficult to take in.
The middle bit was my favourite.
The ending a bit of a classic. No surprises there then.

I do however think this author writes well and is trying to pen a good story so I’m not put off to try another book from her.
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday .
2,049 reviews2,105 followers
October 30, 2016
4 stars for Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.

This is quite a complex book. And while it is complex, it is never confusing. It is so much more than a police procedural. Susie Steiner has a way with words and a grand insight into the human psyche. She writes with grace and with humour.

While DS Manon Bradshaw is trying to sleep following yet another disastrous internet date a woman is reported missing. Her partner has come home to find the door open, blood in the kitchen, Edie's car, phone and coat still in-situ, but no Edie. The deeper they dig into Edie's life, the more startling information is uncovered. Who was Edie? Certainly not the person her parents and partner thought she was.

And as they search for clues to Edie's whereabouts, we learn about the lives of those looking for her.

Manon, who wants only to love and be loved, to have a 'normal' family; who has been estranged from her sister for over three years following her sister's defection by visiting their father's new wife. 'Oh, but she loves Ellie, loves her so deeply, and now they have come to this - the slights embedding themselves into wounds and no one to knock their heads together except their better selves, which always seem to be in abeyance, held hostage by meaner feelings. On top of her jealousy, in a nauseous wave, comes guilt. My sister, with a baby and no mother to help. My sister, who I love, my love killed by jealousy. My sister, who I hate for having everything I haven't got.

Davy, Manon's work partner; the good man who gives of his time generously to help others; burdened with the terrible and jealous Chloe; who would do almost anything for Manon.

Miriam is Edie's mother, a GP, overshadowed by her domineering husband; who loves both her children, but in different ways. Her husband sees her as weak and selfish. But deep within she has a strength that is formidable.

Helena, Edie's best friend who adores her and seems panicked by her friend's disappearance.

Sir Ian, Edie's father, and surgeon to the Royal Family is filled with his own self importance, has a secret, a damming secret, to hide.

Bryony, Manon's best friend, is doing her best to prevent Manon from self-destruction, trying to steer her in the right direction, and who is always there for her.

Susie Steiner has written a winner and I hope we do not have to wait too long for another novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for providing a digital ARC of Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Profile Image for Lee.
646 reviews98 followers
March 3, 2016
I thought this was a great crime novel and I had not heard of this author before, I will now look out for more of her books. The story is told by the individual characters themselves, this gives the reader a much broader perspective of each character and makes you feel like you know them quite well.
A beautiful young girl goes missing from her home, the front door is found wide open, possible evidence of a struggle, shattered wine glass, what can possibly have happened? Believe me a lot, and this is what makes this book so good. There are so many pieces to put together and twists and turns you do not expect which makes this book very exciting. There is also humour present and all this combined makes for a really good read. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Noeleen.
188 reviews142 followers
June 27, 2016
I had such high hopes for this book but unfortunately it failed to live up to my expectations. While it is very much a literary mystery, it wasn’t the page-turning or suspenseful read which is how it is described in the blurb and which I expected. In my mind ‘mystery crime thrillers’ should be suspenseful and page-turning.

The focus in this book is very much character development and these are normally the type of books I enjoy most. The problem occurs when character development takes over the entire book and takes away from the plot completely. It was development of the plot which let this book down in a big way. I enjoyed the main police characters, Manon, Davy and Harriet in their own right, however, the story is told from alternate character perspectives and this didn’t work on this occasion. Normally I love this structure but found that I easily forgot which character’s chapter was being relayed. In addition, secondary characters, Tony Wright for example, were thrown in from left field to make a weak plot work and this was lazy and didn’t make sense. Around half way through this book I just began to get bored. I didn't really care if Edith was ever found. I wish I could write a more complimentary review as I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing. A very slow burner with a weak plot. A frustrating read.

My thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing an ARC
Profile Image for Julie .
4,078 reviews59k followers
June 14, 2016
Missing, Presumed by Susan Steiner is a 2016 Random House publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

With a title like this one and the synopsis shoring up the notion this book is a missing persons case, and a police procedural, I was ready to dive into what promised to be a good novel of suspense.

However, this story does not read like the typical British style mystery. In fact, the missing persons case seems to take a back seat to the personal lives of those working the case.

When Edith, a young Cambridge student and daughter of a prominent surgeon, disappears with definite signs of a struggle, Manon Bradshaw is on the case, along with her young partner, Davy.

Manon is the main protagonist, a woman whose professional life thrives, while her personal life is bleak, leaving Manon with a bone deep loneliness, prompting her to try online dating services, with disastrous results.

Davy is in a relationship with the petulant, immature, and self-absorbed, Chloe, but is one of the most upbeat and optimistic people in the world, but does his personality affect the way he does his job?

The personal foibles of the police team investigating the missing person’s case is examined closely, while suspects are investigated and interviewed, which, as it usually does, nudges out personal secrets, which only cause cruel distractions, instead of leading to the truth.

Honestly, I am not sure what to make of this book. I found it rather depressing, especially Manon and her inability to keep a lover, her harsh judgment of others on the team, and with her insecurity and neediness, making it hard for me to hold her in high esteem professionally. I felt bad for her, but ultimately concluded she was depressed and needed to talk to someone, before she made any more desperate mistakes.

The missing persons case was certainly bizarre and the way the family deals with the aftermath was extremely puzzling to me, plus the collateral damage is very high, which didn’t leave me much room for empathy.

The way Manon’s life shifts after so many personal disappointments, also left me with mixed feelings. Was I happy for her? Do I think she is making a good decision? Perhaps. Will it leave her fulfilled? I certainly hope so, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this is simply a substitution for what she really craves, or if maybe she will eventually have everything she ever wanted.

Either way, this book is just a little disappointing, and not because I didn’t especially like many of the characters, but because I was hoping for a suspenseful mystery novel, but instead got a portrait of flawed detectives whose personal lives left me feeling slightly melancholy, despite the attempt to soften that impression in the end.

Although, this novel takes a unique approach, which usually prompts me to applaud the effort to stray from dull formula, this time it falls a little flat.

Overall, this one falls into that long journey to the middle- ‘take it or leave it’, ‘not great, not bad’.

3 stars
July 6, 2016
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have never read this author but understand that this is her first crime novel. First off I love that the blurb of this book stated that it is a “page-turning literary mystery that brings to life the complex and wholly relatable Manon Bradshaw, a strong-willed detective assigned to a high-risk missing persons case”.

I’m so glad to have a blurb actually reveal the true nature of a book and not classify it as a “psychological thriller” which it seems every mystery book I’ve read in the past year has done.

I liked so much about this book. I enjoyed getting to know Manon Bradshaw, a 39 year old detective with the Cambridgeshire police force and very well regarded. She loves her job but is struggling with her personal life and is estranged from her family. The novel is told from three points of view. Manon’s stream of consciousness is at times hilarious to read, as she talks to herself about why she should or shouldn’t do something. Though she appears to everyone to be very self confident she is in fact self deprecating and unhappy with the fact that she hasn’t found someone to share her life with, have a family, etc.

DI Harriet Harper, her boss and colleague, is a very strong female character and a great support to Manon in her career and personal life, a real friend. I actually really enjoyed reading some of her long running rants towards her staff when she wanted to put a point across.

DC Davy Walker, one of her team, describes his POV regarding Manon, Harriet and of course his feelings about the missing person’s case. A college student from a wealthy family, Edith Hind.has gone missing with not many clues to go on. Her father is the Royal surgeon and very worried about how the news coverage of this case is affecting his image. Her boyfriend seems to be clueless about Edith’s other relationships and interests.

The third POV is from that of Edith’s mother, Miriam Hind, who has lived her life for her husband, his career, and raising her daughters. She is obviously very upset by her daughter’s disappearance and now feels as though she really didn’t know her daughter at all.

I feel that there was really good set up for the plot in this book with fully developed and believable characters. The plot had me stumped from the beginning and I did not see the end coming. There are a few good twists especially once you get through the 2/3rds mark of the book. The writing was a bit slow burning at the beginning but picked up pace quickly.

I think Ms. Steiner did a bang up job on this crime mystery and obviously a lot of research as she describes the police procedural part of the book in some detail. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good literary mystery.
Profile Image for Sheila.
972 reviews86 followers
July 17, 2016
This is the best crime novel I've read in a long time.

I read a lot of 'em, and usually I give 'em 3 stars ("I liked the book"), move on to the next one, and forget all about 'em. This book, however, is a cut above the rest. The writing is beautiful; the present-tense narration is unusual. Manon, the main character, is someone I can relate to and someone I like. The plot was interesting, with enough turns to keep me guessing.

I'm pleased that there's another book about Manon coming in 2017! I will definitely seek out Susie Steiner in the future.

I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!
Profile Image for Fictionophile .
1,062 reviews339 followers
November 12, 2020
What a pleasant surprise this crime novel turned out to be. Fortunately I've read many good books this year so far - and this one reminded me how much I enjoy a well-rendered, character-driven police procedural.

As one would expect, the novel is centered around a missing persons case. When weeks go by without sign of the missing woman it is presumed she is the victim of a homicide. Told by various persons and points of view, the story gives a well-rounded account of the case.

And the police... I LOVED the police in this one! Central to the story is single, thirty-nine year old Manon Bradshaw. I loved the bones of her. So human, so flawed, yet all the more likable because of it. She is a Detective Sergeant on the Major Incident Team for the Cambridgeshire Police. Manon is oh - SO - very - lonely. Driven by work, she feels as though life is passing her by and her biological clock is ticking louder every day. She has tried Internet dating with some astounding failures. Generally dissatisfied with life, and acting increasingly desperate, she fears a 'relationship' is just not on the cards for her...

Manon lost her mother when she was just fourteen years old, so she and her sister were raised by her father. When he remarried, Manon has distanced herself from him and his new wife. When her sister accepts this new woman, Manon considers this as a betrayal and thus she is estranged from her sister as well. With no family directly a part of her life, her loneliness has driven her to leave her police radio on at night in order to fall asleep...

And then there is Police Constable Davy Walker, Manon's junior. Davy's cup is always half full and he is in a committed relationship. As such he is a perfect foil for the pessimistic and solitary Manon whom he thinks very highly of. Davy spends his free hours at a youth center with the foster children who abide there.

Also there is Manon and Davy's boss, Detective Inspector Harriet Harper. Harriet reminded me a little of the character of Gill in Scott & Bailey. In fact the whole book reminded me of Scott & Bailey (with Manon Bradshaw instead of Rachel Bailey).

The missing woman, Edith Hand, is a Cambridge University student and the daughter of two esteemed physicians. When she is reported missing the case is given 'high' priority due to her family's lofty connections. Her apartment in Huntington has yielded traces of blood and some things in disarray leading the police to fear the worst. As the case drags on into weeks, Edith's life is inspected with a fine tooth comb, and like many she has some salacious secrets she would rather not broadcast publicly. But in a case like this privacy is not something the police can afford to grant. With little to go on there are few persons of interest and those include Edith's ultra-handsome boyfriend and her best friend, Helena.

Various chapters are told from the point of view of Edith's mother, Miriam Hand. A physician herself, she still lives in the shadow of her more famous husband, Sir Ian Hand, physician to the royal family. The disappearance of her beloved daughter and its affect on her is at times, heartbreakingly rendered.

The action of the novel takes place in the weeks leading up to and following Christmas. A time of year that sometimes creates unbearable stresses for both the lonely and those surrounded by family. Also, it is a time of year when police staffing is skeletal due to many having saved their vacation leave for the festive season. Due to this skeletal staffing issue, Manon and her team are given another case in addition to Edith Hand's disappearance. The body of a young mixed-race teenager has been found floating in the nearby river. It is through this case that Manon meets this boy's younger brother who will come to have a huge impact on Manon's own life.

"Missing, Presumed" is a novel about the myriad permutations of 'family'. A book about parenthood, loneliness, desperation, and shame. Part crime/mystery novel, part psychological study, the book fairly screams for a sequel and the author has stated that another novel featuring Manon Bradshaw is in the works.

This crime novel, with its intriguing missing person's case, coupled with its very rich characterization is one of my personal favorites this year so far and is sure to be on my 2016 top ten list.

For this and many more fiction reviews, visit my blog: https://fictionophile.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for Carolyn (on vacation).
2,248 reviews642 followers
June 28, 2016
DS Manon Bradshaw of the Cambridgeshire Police is a 39 year old detective who enjoys her work but is single and lonely. Her biological clock is ticking but her internet dating is a disaster and Mr Right just doesn't seem to be around. In the meantime she's assigned to investigate a missing student, Edith Hind, who vanished from her home without her bag and coat and with traces of her blood found in the kitchen. The investigation stalls after a few days as Edith's boyfriend and friends all seem to be in the clear and there are no clues as to what might have happened to her. It doesn't help that her father, Sir Ian Hind is surgeon to the Royal family and knows some pretty influential people.

This is an engaging police procedural told through the eyes of Manon, Davy (Manon's police partner) and Edith's mother Miriam. The story unfolds slowly as clues gradually emerge and eventually reveal what has happened. Along the way, we are kept engaged by the ongoing saga on Manon's and Davy's love lives and their interest in looking after kids at risk. Edith is very much a missing character and an enigma for most of the book - the spoilt Daddy's girl who has never wanted for anything and it's her mother Miriam who watches the family unravel. The characters have a very authentic feel about them, the plot is not just about the mystery as in so many police procedurals but about the characters lives and their interactions with their colleagues. I hope this is the first in a series as I would enjoy meeting Manon again in the future.

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Random House for a digital copy to read and review
Profile Image for Malia.
Author 6 books569 followers
August 28, 2017
I hate to give a negative review, but I was really disappointed in this book. I was expecting and edge-of-your-seat type of mystery and what I got was a slow, plodding story buried under a pile of exposition. I did like Manon, but even her character was not enough to make this a satisfying read. In the end, I started skimming the final third of the book and that is something I would hardly ever do, because I just couldn't face the endless minutae. The resolution, too, felt a little flat and not original enough to warrant the slog of the book. Sorry to be so negative about this, but I had read so much about how great a book Missing, Presumed was, maybe my expectations were too high? In any case, I'm afraid I can't recommend this one:-(

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