Missing Presumed


Review written by Sue Lord

Missing Presumed
The Borough Press
RRP: £12.99
Released: Feb 23 2016

Who says a crime fiction novel can’t be a literary masterpiece? Missing Presumed crosses the divide in a consummate manner. Susie Steiner has a wonderful ‘turn of phrase’ the writing is superb.

Post-graduate student Edith Hinds disappears after a night out with her friends. Her boyfriend Will Carter returns home to find the front door open, coats strewn over the hall floor, a broken wine glass and blood on the kitchen floor. Edith has not taken her coat, bag, phone etc.

Edith’s friend Helena was the last person to see her and comes under suspicion as does Edith’s handsome boyfriend, Will.  A particular known offender is interviewed, but he has a cast-iron alibi. After the first 72 hours Edith is still missing and the investigation is cooling as the search for a living Edith turns to a search for a corpse. A dog walker finds the body of a young man in the Ouse. Is this anything to do with the disappearance of Edith Hind?

Susie Steiner handles the multiple viewpoints with a masterful hand introducing us to an interesting cast of characters.

Investigating is DS Manon Bradshaw she is part of the Major Incident Team. A lonely, cynical, single woman, Manon is nearly forty and using online dating sites, none of which develop past the initial meeting.

Edith’s father is Sir Ian Hind, a successful doctor [the Royal Family are amongst his patients]; he is also a friend of the Home Secretary. Miriam Hind is in awe of her husband and somewhat dominated by him, DC Davy Walker, and Edith’s friend, Helena are just a few of the well drawn characters that we get to know and understand.

The very clever multi-layered plot is peeled, layer by layer like an onion by Ms. Steiner, sympathies change, surprises and twists kept me avidly reading. My only, small, problem with the book is the final section, ‘One Year later.’ – This thriller didn’t need it; and I didn’t like it.

I thoroughly recommend this excellent book and look forward to more from Susie Steiner.

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