Skip to content

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

September 15, 2016

Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.

Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?


In the list of where to categorise crime books, this one falls into general crime, and partly into police procedural. Missing, Presumed, tells the story of D.I.Manon Bradshaw, a competent and driven detective who, at the age of 39, is seriously questioning her lack of relationships and knows for certaint that her biological clock is ticking. Despite numerous dreadful internet dates, some of whom she shags just because they are there, she is horribly lonely and just wants someone to love and to be loved by.

Then a young woman Edith Hind, goes missing. Edith is a woman born into a well to do family: her father is a prominent physician and her parents, it transpires, know and socialise with the Home Secretary and his wife. So scrutiny on this case is going to be heavy.

When the police start to delve into this case, it seems that a violent crime may have been committed, Edith’s blood is found at their country home where the door has been left open. As the police question Emily’s partner and her friends, they build up a picture of a bright young woman with no real worries whose passion is to save the planet by knitting mung beans one at a time. (OK the book doesn’t say that, but she is clearly a spoiled little rich girl). Edith appears to have glided through her life so far, impervious to the impact that she has on those who love her; thinking only of herself.

In contrast to Edith,whose disappearance sparks a fury of interest from the nationals because of her father’s connection to the Royal family, another body, that of a young black man is found. This body provokes no press interest to speak of and the recurring theme of wealth v poverty is one which elevates this book to a three star read. This theme stirred my anger,whether it was the lack of press interest in the young lad’s body or the numerous stop and searches endured by the young son of a drug abusing, cancer ridden,mother.

The character of D.I. Bradshaw is very well drawn, as are her colleagues, Davy and Harriet and Edith and her mother, Miriam. It is intelligently written and not without some acerbic humour from Manon and her colleague Davy.

Nevertheless, I think that as a crime novel it doesn’t quite work, in that the parallel stories come together in a slightly contrived way – although it has to be admitted that its central perpetrator and the reasons for the crime could hardly be more topical.

Overall, good characterisation and some strong moments with a satisfyingly warm ending.

Missing, Presumed was published by Borough Press in paperback on 1st September 2016

I received a copy from the publisher, but this has not influenced my review.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Reading and journaling my way through parenthood

Dressed To Read

Book Blogger

A Listener's Slant

A journey through the world of audiobooks...

Novel Deelights

Escaping reality one book at a time

Kristen Twardowski

A Writer's Workshop

the owl on the bookshelf

Book reviews, guest posts, subscription box unboxings and all things bookish.


Book Review

Linda's Book Bag

Loving books and reading


#crimefiction blog featuring reviews, author guest posts and other fabulous booky things (with the odd psychological thriller and horror novel making an appearance!)


My reviews and thoughts about the books i have read

The Belgian Reviewer

The place to discover fine new books to read

Nordic Noir

Exploring Nordic Noir TV Fiction



Aspen Tree Book Reviews

book reviews galore

Novel Delights

To encourage everyone to share in the delights of books

Always Trust In Books

Everything to do with books. All the time!

%d bloggers like this: