Book Review: Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
I was sent a copy of Missing, Presumed for review by Mumsnet. When it arrived, it came with a miniature bottle of Southern Comfort, which was nice!
My first thought when I saw this book was oh crikey, it’s a massive book and I have to read it all within a week! I needn’t have worried; the story was so compelling, I finished it within a few days!
Missing, Presumed is based around the disappearance of Edith Hind and told from several different perspectives. The main perspective is that of DS Manon Bradshaw, and as well as the investigation the story takes in her personal life.
To be honest, I found the storylines outside of the actual disappearance and investigation much more interesting and engaging. There is a part where Manon gets a boyfriend, and it includes the best description I’ve ever read of the way you can start out not liking someone when they show an interest in you, and within days end up completely obsessed and needy. That whole part of the book felt so real to me – probably more real than the actual disappearance the book is about.
The actual disappearance story is one of those ones where the person disappears without a trace and there are no ideas as to what might have happened – and then loads of half truths come out of the woodwork and it goes from “no clue what could have happened” to “it could have been one of these several people.” It kept me guessing all the way through as to what might have happened… though I must admit I was slightly disappointed by the ending.
The end of the book felt a bit like the author had reached her word limit, or realised the book would be quite long, and just finished it as quickly as she could. I’m not sure if that’s just my disappointment at having finished the book though; it was so great to read I would have kept on reading indefinitely I think.
It felt like we spent pages and pages reading about the intricacies of Manon’s lack of a lovelife, dinner with her friends, drunken nights out – but the part where the truth comes out about Edith’s disappearance seemed to be over so quickly and the explanation seemed flimsy at best.
Aside from this, as I said I really enjoyed the book. I found it hard to put down and was pleased to find the book listed on Amazon as “DS Manon 1” – I’m hopeful that means this is the first in a series of books. The story was gripping with a great deal of attention to detail that made it come across as authentic and believable.
If you asked me what kind of books I like to read, I probably wouldn’t say I love crime fiction – but actually I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this author.
NB I was provided with a copy of this book for the purposes of review but all words and opinions are my own.
Thanks for reading.