If you have been reading this blog for a while you’ll know I love a police procedural. DCI Banks and Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad are my absolute favorite series. This book by Susie Steiner grabbed me early on with stylings from Peter Robinson and Tana French.
Manon Bradshaw is the main focus with strong supporting cast of fellow officers and detectives. Sir Ian and Lady Miriam Hind, a high profile family, reports their daughter Edith missing. There is enough evidence littering Edith’s town home to suggest she has been the victim of foul play. A broken wine glass and blood on the floor, the front door unlocked and ajar, coats spilled into the hallway as if a struggle took place.
What happened to the brilliant Cambridge student Edith Hind? The first 72 hours are crucial in finding a missing person alive so the clock is running from the start of this novel.
The things I liked about Manon Bradshaw was the character was written so well, she was so real. The job is her life and thus, she is a 40-year old single woman trying her hand at internet dating, but always putting her job ahead of her social life. I liked her resolve and total focus to her work and solving this “misper” (missing person). I liked her partner Davy and his optimistic approach to everything in his life. I liked her boss Harriet and how the interactions were so believable. But, I am a police procedural junkie so this book really captured me!
Sir Ian Hind, the missing girl’s father, is a royal surgeon who’s employed by the Queen. He is very high society and expects special treatment, obvious from his conversations in the book. You could almost feel sorry for him. As the story moves along you wonder if Edith is alive or did she just skip out on everyone? All is revealed about 40 pages from the end. Everything fits together and there is a big fat twist to the case that will surprise you.
This isn’t a slam dunk, a mystery you figure out early on. That’s a wonderful thing to be surprised when you are reading a mystery.
Food and Drink: there wasn’t much mentioned but I wanted to share the little bit I ran across.
Vodka tonics and pints of bitter and beer, also a Monkfish Stew. Bacon roll, sausages, egg yolk bursting over buttered toast.
Christmas meal at the police station while Manan is on call: “Her canteen lunch of Shepherd’s Pie and Boiled Carrots has collapsed into the four corners of it’s yellow polystyrene box. Brown gravy, Bistro infused, the mince pebble-dashing her throat as it goes down. Piped mash – has it ever been a potato”
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT – so read no further if you have an interest in this book.
My opinion here…..ok I did not like how Manon was suddenly completely besotted with Alan Prenderghast. At the same time, I was hoping the story wouldn’t wrap everything up in a neat tidy ending where everyone gets what they want. Sometimes there shouldn’t be a happy ending so I was grateful Manon and Alan didn’t hook up permanently.
The mystery behind Edith’s disappearance was indeed solved but I came to dislike her by the end of the book. She’s selfish, she didn’t think once of calling to end the massive and expensive manhunt and more importantly, let her mother know what became of her. What an awful thing to allow…..in this, the author carried off the story brilliantly as I felt enough emotion to dislike a character. Well written.
Would I read more by this author? Absolutely! Let me read more about Manon Bradshaw and follow her police career.
Here is the author’s website: Susie Steiner
I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from LibraryThing. All opinions are my own.