Missing, Presumed

Susie Steiner |  Fiction


Edith Hind is a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University.  When this tale begins, she has been missing for 24 hours – her door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor.  Manon Bradshaw is a well-respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, who lands the Edith Hind case.

Thus begins a standard crime novel, yes?  But Steiner does not follow the path of many crime fiction writers.  Manon is a not the perfect detective. While she yearns for love in her life, and attempts to find it through the Internet, we soon learn she is quite a flawed character … not the perfect detective that sometimes appears in crime fiction.

The characters in this novel are all rich and complex ... Edith’s parents, Edith’s boyfriend Will, her girlfriend Helena, Manon’s partner Davy, and even the crime boss who is befriended by the missing woman.  We watch the characters change throughout the search for Edith ... some of them grow, some of them disassemble.

At first, I was a little frustrated by the British idioms, such as “knees-up” and “the lounge.”  And I never fully understood all the acronyms used by the police: DS, DI, DC, CCTV and MIT.  But after a bit, I just smiled and enjoyed the twists and turns on the English language that I know as an American.  I look forward to Ms. Steiner's next nove; I wonder if Manon will be a major character?  This was a fine book to read while snow fell outside and, warm and cozy, I fed the fire.