The investigation starts with Edith’s loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, and her patrician parents. As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith’s tangled love life and her erratic behavior leading up to her disappearance. With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith’s family, but for Manon herself.
Suspenseful and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are.
This book first came on my radar when I was scouring the Barnes and Noble website a couple weeks ago as I’m wont to do. I’m seriously trying to curb my book buying because I have a shelf full of unread books so when I first saw this one I said I’d remember it for another date. Well turns out that date was only like two weeks later. I saw it in store a couple days ago and I decided I really wanted to read it.
I’ve come to really like crime novels that are written by woman and so this sort of ticked all the boxes that I enjoy. I had high hopes from the start and I wasn’t disappointed. The novel starts off with a bang when Edith Hind goes missing and it never really lets up. There are the standard twists and turns but even when the case feels a bit cold and nothing is really happening there are other things going on to keep your interest.
The one thing that sets this apart from other novels of this nature that I’ve read is that it focuses much more on the characterization of the characters. It has all your typical bits of a mystery novel with the missing girl, red hearings, dead leads, crazy media, lots of people you aren’t sure you can trust. Then on top of all of that you really do get a more in depth feel for most of the characters. It’s told from a few different POVs which for me is really hit or miss. Sometimes it’s just too much and there’s always one or two that could be left out but this was a perfect amount.
The lead character Manon Bradshaw is good at her job but a bit of a mess in her personal life and so instead of just getting to see her as a detective you see another side of her completely that you normally wouldn’t see in this type of novel. Normally the focus stays on the missing character. At first I was a bit unsure about it but while you’re getting a mystery you’re also getting a study in human behavior. The things that make people tick and the consequences that come from those things. In fact this book doesn’t feel as full on as some other crime books. You feel like you get a little bit more real life than just the in your face missing person aspect of it.
Quite like most other books of this nature the devil is in the details and there isn’t anything in this book that doesn’t come back to tie around to the story at hand. So while there was a few bits that I thought were just in there as a bit of filler they turned into something more. Everything and everybody had its place in this story.
This was Susie Steiner’s first novel and I’ve seen her compared to the likes of Tana French and Kate Atkinson. If I’m honest and I had seen the Tana French comparison before reading it I may have cringed a bit because my first French experience wasn’t a great one. I think Steiner is a standout all on her own though and I can only imagine that with this being her first effort that she’s only going to get better as time goes on.