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Publisher's Summary

In this brilliant crime novel from the author of Missing, Presumed, a detective investigates her most personal case yet: a high-profile murder in which her own family falls under suspicion.

"[Susie] Steiner populates this hot-button narrative with achingly human characters, but no one compares to the hormonal, mordantly funny mom-cop who will stop at nothing to save her son." [People (Book of the Week)]

As dusk falls, a young man staggers through a park, far from home, bleeding from a stab wound. He dies where he falls, cradled by a stranger, a woman's name on his lips in his last seconds of life.   

Detective Manon Bradshaw handles only cold cases. Five months pregnant, in pursuit of a work-life balance rather than romantic love, she's focused on being a good mother to her two children: her adopted 12-year-old son, Fly Dent, and the new baby. But the man died just yards from the police station where she works, so Manon can't help taking an interest. And as she sidles in on the briefing she learns that the victim, a banker from London worth millions, is more closely linked to her than she could have imagined. 

When the case begins to circle in on Manon's home and her family, she finds herself pitted against the colleagues she once held dear: Davy Walker and Harriet Harper. Can Manon separate what she knows about the people she loves from the suspicion hanging over them? Can she investigate the evidence just as she would with any other case? 

Persons Unknown shows acclaimed author Susie Steiner writing her most intricate, suspenseful novel yet.

"A police procedural as concerned with the mysteries of human hearts as with who stabbed a banker to death at a park in Cambridgeshire. [Full of] winning prose, sympathetic characters and an appreciation of life's joys as keen as a knowledge of its dangers." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Susie Steiner blends the police procedural and the human drama perfectly." (The Charlotte Observer)

"[An] engrossing stunner, incorporating social justice issues into the narrative, along with superb plotting, dark humor, and excellent characterizations." (Library Journal)

©2017 Susie Steiner (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Steiner] has created a masterful mystery within an engaging narrative perfect for Kate Atkinson fans. Readers will be astonished by the unexpected turns at the conclusion, which will leave fans eagerly awaiting the next book. This series needs to be snapped up by the BBC or PBS." (Booklist)

"Steiner grapples with serious social justice issues in a darkly humorous crime novel not to be missed." (Publishers Weekly)

"Strikes all the right notes - layered mystery, incisive cultural context, and a delightful protagonist who deserves a place alongside other beloved literary detectives." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ashley
  • Mckinney, TX, United States
  • 07-08-17

Beautiful!!!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Persons Unknown to be better than the print version?

I dont read printed books anymore due to headaches.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Manon. Down to earth, relatable , a very realistic character.

What about Juanita McMahon’s performance did you like?

She is one hell of an actress. She is spot on with amazing voices and makes this book absolutely lyrical. These are two rare books where author and reader come together perfectly.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, i had a range of emotions. It made me laugh and cry.

Any additional comments?

Get this book. If there are negative reviews im not sure what they could possibly be. I think nowadays people cannot sit still without nonstop action. This is not that kind of book. This is a book to be apppreciated like a good meal. Susan Steiner can write. She is not just a good storyteller, she knows how to write. After each of these books they left me unable to get into another book until i could forget them. Thats hard to do....they really stayed with me. These books are most certainly mysteries, but they are also slice of life books. The characters and their stories will stay with you.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Deeply Satsfying

What did you like best about this story?

Another gem... about real people, real feelings, mess and confusion in an imperfect world - and a mystery too boot!

Any additional comments?

Read this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The second book is as good as the first

I love the way Ms Steiner unfolds the story through the characters. Fascinating. You can identify with all of them, even the bad ones ... a pleasure to spend my time in this book :-)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Characters!

I loved so many of these deeply flawed but evolving characters. So clear what drives them ...I look forward to more time with them. Great and funny descriptions of pregnancy, nursing, mixed feelings on motherhood. I loved the section on David sorting out the difference between him and his "friends" ... the issue of wanting real exchanges. I also love the struggle and resolves Manot reaches around Fly. The rude awakening all parents are pressed to about their control over their children's fates. And Birdie!!! What a type... I could nearly smell her! Loved her uneducated intelligence... her exploration of new possibilities... the strained sweetness between her and Angel... how it altered her.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredible narrator

A terrific,compelling story with many characters all brought to life by an extremely talented narrator, Juanita McMahon

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Truly great storytelling

The analogies and metaphors were profound.
Several times I was brought to tears, several other times I was brought to laughter out loud. Absolutely loved Missing, Presumed but Persons Unknown was a wonderful sequel and demonstrated the author's growth in the crafting of the plot and the use of creative devices in the writing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 02-26-18

Such a Keeper! Great Story and GREAT Narration!

Thirty minutes into this book I knew I was so hooked that I would not want to stop listening when the time came. It was so good that I decided to forgo watching the Olympics just to keep listening to this charming, at-times-funny, detective story. And I am so glad I did. It offers so many profound perspectives on life -- for those who are single and those who are long married. Those with kids and those without. Those who LOVE police procedurals and those for whom those stories are just "meh." The publishers description tells you all you need to know before you start. Just go ahead and start.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ann
  • United States
  • 11-18-17

Not Too Much To It

Good narration by Juanita McMahon. Unfortunately, for a mystery, the story has way too much family dialogue and introspection and very little action or energy. Not worth a credit or time spent listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dgar
  • Boston MA United States
  • 10-03-17

Brilliant narration.

Want to listen to all Susie Steiner books if Juanita McMahon is the narrator, and Manon is the detective. McMahon makes each character vivid and unique. This story has a wonderful character in Birdie, I feel like I would instantly recognize her on the street. Some very funny wry writing. End drags on a bit once the mysteries are solved.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I love Manon!

And I'm already looking forward to the next in the series, not so much for the plotting, but for the characters. The narration was outstanding!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful