26 Books in 2017: Book 4

missing-presumed

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner – a subtle and different take on the police procedural.

The fourth post in the 26-books-in-52-weeks challenge has to be about a book published within the last year. Of course, I’ve already reviewed several excellent books from this category as part of my usual book posts here. But rather than ‘cheating’ with a repost of one of them, I’ve gone with the next one in my to-be-reviewed queue.

So book number four is Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.

This is a crime fiction novel and it’s a subtle and different take on the police procedural.

The refreshing thing about this book was it surprised me and the surprise was a pleasant one.

Regular readers of the blog will know I enjoy crime fiction, but not where the format is lazy, formulaic or dependent on stereotypes. Missing, Presumed avoided all that.

Yes, it had a police search for a missing young female at its centre. Yes, it had a troubled, unconventional, boundary-pushing cop who was under pressure to find her fast. Yes, there was a shoal of red herrings and all served with the required twist.

But Steiner uses the conventional framework well. Her story building is excellent. Characters are not stereotypical – not the police, not the villains and not the victim. The subplots are clever, original and although there are surprises, it all remains credible.

I loved DS Manon Bradshaw. She’s a great addition to the hall of fictional detective fame. She’s richly drawn – flawed, warm, and dedicated

This is the best sort of page tuner – there’s real breadth, depth and substance to the story.

Susie Steiner is up there with Ian Rankin and Ann Cleeves and I can’t wait for her next book.

Type of read: It will draw you in and keep a tight hold. There’s plenty to gasp at and keep you hooked. And a pot of coffee to hand would be a good idea as you’ll be up way past bedtime reading this.

Back Cover Blurb:

72 HOURS TO FIND HER…

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?

Missing, Presumed is published by The Borough Press and is available as a paperback, and ebook and an audio book.