For listeners of Kate Atkinson and Tana French comes a pause-resisting literary mystery that brings to life the complex and wholly relatable Manon Bradshaw, a strong-willed detective assigned to a high-risk missing person case.
At 39, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep - and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.
Edith Hind - a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family - has been missing for nearly 24 hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry. Manon instantly knows that this case will be big - and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.
The investigation starts with Edith's loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, 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.
©2016 Susie Steiner (P)2016 Random House Audio
"An extraordinarily assured police procedural in the tradition of Ruth Rendell and Elizabeth George." (Joseph Finder, author of The Fixer)
"A vein of dark humor pulses beneath this compelling whodunit with an appealing, complicated heroine at its center." (Publishers Weekly)
"A highly charismatic and engaging story.... This novel stands out from the pack." (Kirkus Reviews)
Nuanced, vulnerable, believable.
Everything. She made characters distinct and injected humor and pathos into the story.
I loved this book and would have given it 4.5 stars if I could have. It has an emotional mystery at its center and enough twists (most of them plausible) to keep a mystery-lover engaged. But more important than the mystery is the keen eye the author brings to the characters and how the mystery impacts their lives. This is largely character study and the characters feel real and human and flawed and interesting. Many mysteries concentrate on law enforcement, but often do not peak into their private lives - this one not only allows you to voyeuristically see how an investigation might impact the police detectives (and see them as humans off the job), but also offers a vantage point into the family and friends of one person gone missing and another murdered. I sincerely hope that Steiner writes more in this vein, especially with DSI Manon Bradshaw.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
This is a very long novel. For a while, I found myself thinking that this was a police procedural--a very good one--and hoping it would become a series. Then about halfway through, it hit me that this is a novel, and doesn't need to follow any of the standard formulas for that kind of book, and indeed, after a point, it does not. It begins and ends within the pages of this book. All to the good of the story.
Read with excellent narration, this book explores the extremely complicated feelings and relationships in both (victim) Edith Hind's world, and that of the other characters, especially Manon Bradshaw, a police detective, as well. In especially the second half of the book, the author gives us touching insight into the tortured minds and feelings of friends and family waiting for news, as well as the police who are frantically working on solving the mystery. Since it is pointedly a novel and not a police procedural per se, it doesn't need to go down the expected paths one might expect it to take, but slowly brings the listener to the conclusion which hold some surprises.
This is purely a matter of personal taste, but if I could have made one thing different, it would have been the style in which it is written. Though it moves from character to character, and one time frame to another, it is always written in the present tense style, so often used when giving a synopsis (as I am doing here) or the telling of a dream. I found it a little wearying to have that all the time. But as I said, that is just my taste, and I'm still giving 5 stars for a really good book and performance.
This is one of those books I couldn't put down, but didn't want it to end. I did read on Amazon that this author's next book is about this same character, which makes me feel a lot better - I don't want to say goodbye to her!
I can't say enough good things about this book. The characters are real, and at times very funny. I laughed out loud a lot! They're also full of issues, longing, vulnerability, and they tend to kick themselves around a bit, especially the main character.
The narration was superb. There are men's voices, women's voices, and children's voices, and everyone has a lovely British accent. With this book, the narration enhanced the story - which is often not the case with audiobooks. I haven't enjoyed narration so much since I finished "The Help" and "Angela's Ashes."
This book is on a par with those written by Tana French and Robert Galbraith. I wait eagerly for their next books, and this author has been added to that list.
On the bright side-- it's an interesting story with a decent mystery development, characters one comes to care about, and an excellent verbal performance.
The downside is that 9/10 of this book is about as thoroughly depressing as a book can be: loneliness, depression, isolation, abandonment, brokenness all described in intimate detail in between micro-steps in the plot. If you are the least bit depressed before starting the book, you may well be suicidal halfway through! That said, it all comes together in the end, isn't unexpected or jarring, and leaves you with a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds. Just be forewarned it's a LOT of clouds!
I loved this audiobook. The main characters make a great team. Each has his or her own story to tell. The mystery itself was multilayered and kept me interested to the end.
The characters are vivid, fallible, human. I loved that these finely-drawn figures were so true-to-life.
My favorite character is Manon Bradshaw, the spunky detective who leads the charge on the case of the missing Edith Hind. She is smart when it comes to police work, but touchingly less savvy in her love life, where she longs to find Mr. Right and leaps into the world of online dating to locate that one person who she can be herself with. Ultimately, does being herself lead to disaster or are the suitors lacking the special main ingredient?
The book made me laugh out loud many times, especially at the escapades of Manon and her team.
The mystery of the missing girl, with ties to royalty and a seemingly loyal family, loving boyfriend and doting best friend, is brought together by the author's fleshing out the mystery using multiple points of view and different character's stories. The dark humor running through the story is a delight. I liked this book so much that I bought it for my best friend, because she reminds me so much of Manon. Great, seamless and enjoyable narration. I highly recommend "Missing, Presumed."
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
Smart, character-driven novel that is as much about the personal struggles of the investigators as it is about the investigation. The story is told from several viewpoints, and so allows us to see the characters as others see them, as well as hearing the inner views of each. Mannon, the central character, is faced with a career nightmare case involving the disappearance of the daughter of an aristocrat, while struggling through an almost Brigid Jones-like love life of loneliness and disappointment. The joy of this book is in the untangling of both puzzles, personal and professional. Neither is resolved as expected, but as in life, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Written with wit and compassion, and beautifully read with great skill and gusto, this is a great read.
No, but not because I didn't love it. I don't re-listen to anything.
Well, prior to reading this book I saw Steiner was compared to Kate Atkinson and Tana French, who are two of my favorites. While Steiner isn't really like either of them (she's got her own style), her writing is smart, insightful and often funny. She's apparently gradually losing her eyesight and claims that has caused her to focus on non-visual details. I found her descriptions of the sound and smell of things to come across as both new and familiar, which is something most writers probably strive for but few accomplish.
Too many well-done scenes to chose one, but the end was particularly vivid in a gratifying way.
No, I wanted to spread it out to make it last a few days. I was enjoying being in Manon's and Miriam's world too much to gobble it all up in one go.
It's not a murder mystery, it's more of a character study situated within a crime investigation. Steiner's characters -- all the ones she focused on -- seem utterly real, as if I could pop along to Cambridgeshire or Hampstead, knock on their doors and find them there, exactly as she described them.
I liked this story. It took me sometime to figure it all out which I liked. The performance was good, just a little weak with male characters.
I'm an inventor and author, living in Seattle; an old man, living a full life with Kathy, my first and only wife.
There's a very little bit of mystery tucked in here and there, but for the most part this book is more of a character study. I found it interesting, but overlong and the reader didn't do the book any favors.
A bit of a slow start until the characters are established and the plot kicks in. Very much a character-driven narrative, and it did get bogged down at times with the character drama. Juanita McMahon is an excellent narrator.
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