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Missing Presumed

Remain Silent by Susie Steiner

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.

 

 

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

MissingDS Manon Bradshaw knows that the first 72 hours in a missing persons case are the most important; the only problem is that a large chunk of this time frame has evaporated before anyone realises that Edith Hind is missing. With just a small amount of blood in the kitchen and with her keys and phone being left behind, the police have little to go on. Knowing that this has the potential to be a well-publicised case due to the victim being the daughter of a celebrated surgeon (and close friend of the Home Secretary no less), Manon must work quickly to find the missing woman’s whereabouts. As more and more secrets are revealed about Edith’s tangled personal life, the consequences will be distressing for all involved…

I have wanted to read this book for a while so was pleased to get the opportunity prior to its paperback publication. Unlike most of the crime novels I have read recently, it could not be described as ‘fast-paced’ but instead is a slow-burner of a story that really gathers pace towards the end. This is, by no means, a bad thing as it gives the author a chance to develop the characters and tie together the various storylines.

The characters are extremely well-written and there is a very real element to most of them. I particularly enjoyed reading Manon’s journey throughout the book and was happy with the heartwarming ending which sets up the follow-up novel. It was also good not to know exactly where the plot was leading and whether Edith would be found. The conclusion was not one I predicted and yet was totally plausible and satisfying.

I look forward to reading the next DS Manon book.

With thanks to HarperCollins UK and Net Galley for the advance copy.

The paperback version of Missing, Presumed is available on Amazon from 1st September 2016.

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