Harper Collins Australia
The Borough Press
Edith Hind, the beautiful, earnest Cambridge post-grad living on the outskirts of the city has left nothing behind but a streak of blood and her coat hanging up for her boyfriend, Will, to find. The news spreads fast: to her parents, prestigious doctor Sir Ian and Lady Hind, and straight on to the police. And then the hours start to dissolve and reality sets in.
Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw soothes her insomnia with the din of the police radio she keeps by her bed. After another bad date, it takes the crackling voices to lull her to sleep. But one night she hears something. Something deserving of her attention. A girl is missing. For Manon the hunt for Edith Hind might be the career-defining case she has been waiting for. For the family this is the beginning of their nightmare.
As Manon sinks her teeth into the investigation and lines up those closest to Edith she starts to feel out the kinks in their stories and catch the eyes that won’t meet hers. But when disturbing facts come to light, the stakes jolt up and Manon has to manage the wave of terror that erupts from the family.
A stunning literary thriller that shows the emotional fallout from the anxious search for a young woman and lets you inside the mind of the detective hell-bent on finding her.
I read quite a few crime fiction/thrillers- on average about two hundred books a year. I think that lately I have developed a fairly good sense of what books I may or may not enjoy and mostly have enjoyable experiences, sometimes exceptional reads and only occasionally do I come across one that doesn’t quite work for me.
Last week I read a book – a book of crime fiction that had been getting plenty of positive feedback – I took a risk (as I wasn’t familiar with the author) and was very disappointed in the writing I thought it had potential if in the hands of a good editor) anyway, I was a little disappointed (the book will remain nameless). I then picked up Missing Presumed and read the first few paragraphs and said to myself – WOW! This writing is amazing! Sometimes the purpose of a poorly written book is to highlight how good the new book in front of you is!
So well written – this book is a prefect read for me. The author’s style of writing – clear with occasional bursts of humour, is engaging, the dialogue is realistic and characters that have a real depth and ordinariness that makes them so credible (not boring at all, the protagonist could be the woman next door…) no super heroes or drunk and misogynistic antiheroes here, the main characters – police officers and their associates/friends, are mostly ordinary everyday people doing everyday jobs – refreshing and authentic.
I really enjoyed learning so much about the protagonist Manon Bradshaw, a career police officer, a lonely and interesting character who longs to share her life with somebody; this process she finds difficult but is relentless in her pursuit of a partner (via online dating) – which gives the reader an opportunity to see her lighter side, hear her self-doubts, sarcasm and occasional self-depreciating inner voice. She is real, she is ordinary, and she is believable.
This is a police procedural with depth. This narrative is so visual you can see this tv series playing out in your head (and the acting and story line is so much better than what is to offer on most free to air tv) 🙂 There are twists and surprises – a few really big ones…there is plenty to engage you and to satisfy. If you are looking for gruesome – give this a miss. If you are looking for an intelligent, well written police procedural with plenty of twists in the tail – then this is for you. I rated this 5 stars and would not hesitate to recommend this to you. I aim to chase up the authors first book – Homecoming, to read too.
I do hope this gets made into a film or tv series… Manon Bradshaw has a lot to offer the viewing/reading public, Susie Steiner knows how to write character driven narratives.