Manon Bradshaw is a respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force but her personal life is a mess. After yet another horrific internet date, she turns on her police radio and is alerted to a crime scene near by where Cambridge University student Edith Hind is thought to be missing. The door to her house has been left open, her phone, keys and purse are still inside and there’s a trail of blood in the kitchen. Manon instantly knows that this isn’t her usual case.
I am so torn about Missing, Presumed. It’s just there were a lot of things that I liked about it. The story is told from alternative perspectives, offering the reader an insight into the police enquiry and the experiences of those closest to Edith. Steiner’s characterisation of the police, particularly Manon and Davy, suggests that while they have a duty of care to serve and protect, they are still human. They are not the extraordinary, trained in all areas CSI/Criminal Minds/Sherlock Holmes detectives that we have become accustomed to. They are real people, with real lives and are deeply affected by their work. They are stressed, they are emotional, and they are prone to error. And I was surprised by certain outcomes by the novel’s end.
But! And it’s a big but.
It was so slow! There were long gaps between leads, and I found myself hoping they’d finally find Edith’s body and then like 10 others to force the pace forward. I understand that Steiner was probably trying to convey a more realistic approach to the investigative process, but it just left me a little underwhelmed.
And I had such high hopes! Hmmph.
Overall, I have serious mixed feelings about this one but I’d still recommend you check it out because it was a different take on the detective genre, less sensationalised, more reserved. If you read a lot of these books, I think you’ll find it refreshing.