Working part time in the cold cases department of the Cambridgeshire police force, DI Manon Bradshaw wasn’t expecting to find herself caught up in another murder case. While out for a walk with her two-year-old son, she finds the body of a Lithuanian immigrant, Lukas Balsys, hanging from a tree. Faced with a conspiracy of silence among the rest of the Lithuanian community, Manon finds herself involved in one of the most complex cases of her career.
Remain Silent is a hard-hitting story of the poor treatment and exploitation of immigrant workers and how they are viewed by certain sectors of society. It was hard not to feel anything other than anger at how these people, leaving their country hoping for a better life, were immediately herded into unsanitary housing, working at the beck and call of cruel gangmasters. While it was understandable that the local residents did not want these people living amongst them due to the filthy conditions of their house, Susie Steiner’s backstories of these immigrants paints most of them in a favourable light, leaving you with nothing but sympathy for their plight.
As in previous books, Manon is an excellent character and is written so well that she could be real. Great at her job but struggling to manage it alongside her family life, her world threatens to collapse when she is given some bad news about a loved one. Again, I loved the realism of this part of the plot as we see the two sides of Manon, struggling internally with the news yet trying to remain pragmatic at the same time. In some books of this genre, the family life of the detective can detract from the plot, but not here. Her adopted son, Fly, who we first met in Missing, Presumed, is a delight of a character and I enjoyed seeing how he is growing up to be a fine young man.
Remain Silent has a gritty plot which, at times, is not for the faint of heart. If you haven’t read any of Susie Steiner’s work before, then I can highly recommend starting with Missing Presumed as once you’ve read that one, you will definitely want to read the rest of the series.
As a footnote, I would just like to say that it’s not often that the acknowledgments of a book move me as much as the ones did in Remain Silent. I would like to wish Susie Steiner all the best for her fight and hope that we see more Manon books for many years to come.
With thanks to Harper Fiction and Net Galley for my ARC. You can pre-order Remain Silent here.