A MISSING GIRL
Edith Hind is gone, leaving just her coat, a smear of blood and a half-open door.
A DESPERATE FAMILY
Each of her friends and relatives has a version of the truth. But none quite adds up.
A DETECTIVE AT BREAKING POINT
The press grows hungrier by the day. Can DS Manon Bradshaw fend them off, before a missing persons case becomes a murder investigation?
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: 1st September 2016
It certainly seems like I am on a run of crime based books at the moment, and this book certainly doesn’t break that duck! Missing, Presumed follows the investigation of a girl who has disappeared with no warning or reason. All that’s left are some blood stains, scattered coats and her front door ajar. In the format of a police procedural, Steiner charts the course of the entire investigation from the initial missing persons report through to the eventual conclusion.
I really enjoyed the format of this book; it’s different to a lot of books. Set in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, England, a missing person isn’t the only factor here. A seemingly-unlinked murder, a tangled love life, sleazy university lecturers and lies make for a tense, fun “whodunit”. And rather than the typical approach of following the lead investigator like so many books of this type, Missing, Presumed tells the story from the view of all of the core investigating officers, suspects and family of the missing girl. This made for a really interesting story, without ever actually giving anything with regard to the endgame away.
The to and fro approach following one character to the next worked well, allowing the reader to get a feel for the individual’s thought processes as the situation develops and evolves. This approach also allows us the opportunity to see what goes on outside the investigation. The trials and tribulations suffered by the families dealing with the loss of a member with no idea as to their fate. The stresses of the investigation on the officers involved, and the lives they lead outside of the investigation. And in the case of Missing, Presumed, the effects of decisions made, whether on or off the job are clear to see, and in some cases, devastating.
Susie Steiner has crafted a fantastic story in Missing, Presumed. The back and forth style of storytelling makes for a tense book. It also adds to the sense of following proceedings in real time. I really like this style, as opposed to spending large tracts of time with one character, than go back in time when the action moves to someone else. Another thing Steiner has done well is to make her characters real, believable. None of the investigating officers are perfect, or infallible, raised on a pretentious pedestal. Many of them are flawed in one way or another. The same goes with the victim and family and friends – none are perfect or innocent. Everyone is human, and they all have their secrets or failings. All round, Missing, Presumed is a fantastic story, with characters that are relatable, and a great little twist or two at the end to mix things up a bit.