SHORT & SWEET REVIEW: MISSING, PRESUMED BY SUSIE STEINER

Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet).

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Some books you don’t want to end … except you do, because you’re dying to know what happened. Missing, Presumed is one of those books. Here’s the blurb:

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.

When someone goes missing, the emotional fallout is huge, spreading out from immediate family and loved ones to friends, acquaintances and presumed strangers. Susie Steiner’s literary thriller takes readers into this fallout, with all the tears, tension, anxiety, suspicion, blame, surprise and fear expected in the anxious search for a young woman. Those who loved and knew Edith have to come to terms with startling information about her behaviour and character that’s revealed as DS Manon Bradshaw and her team unravel the clues.

Steiner does this so well; she had me gripped from start to finish with her acute observations about her characters’ reactions, as well as by the twists the story took. Her newspaper background has given her the skills to watch people and she reflects this admirably in her otherwise concise writing. Readers are also taken inside the mind of Bradshaw, as she juggles work and her personal search for someone who might put to rest her fears of ending up childless. That aspect of the story is beautifully depicted – its authenticity and honesty is sad, but ultimately has an unexpected result.

Available from good bookstores (RRP $29.99 AUD). My copy was courtesy of HarperCollins Australia.