Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.
Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.
Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?
Firstly I didn't love this book - it was a slow burner that only got mildly more interesting as it went along but it just failed to have the killer punch for me. It teased that (according to Erin Kelly listed on the back cover) it had 'A twist that knocked me sideways' - sorry Erin but we must have been reading two different books as I could not get what the 'twist' was; there was no unexpected reveal and I had guessed what had happened to Edith Hind before I reached the end of the book. It wasn't convincing enough for me why Edith had disappeared in the first place or her connection to other characters who helped her and that wasn't explained satisfactorily at the end. It was a bit anticlimactic really and left me feeling empty at the end for having invested so much time reading 404 pages I really should have at least felt satisfied I had enjoyed the experience.
Ok so the plot if you like wasn't great so it's up to the characters to carry this along and sadly I have to say they weren't great either. Manon the detective assigned to the case is a bit of an emotional mess; 39 and single with her biological clock ticking she engages on some very stupid one night stands and spends most of her time either crying or trying to be the tough guy. She also makes silly decisions that eventually end up with her being hit over the head (oh that they managed to knock some sense into her!) really not entirely believable actions of a detective. I didn't connect with this character at all and found myself really not caring whether she had her happy ending or not - it all became rather boring.
Edith Hind (daughter of Sir Ian Hind physician) comes across as a spoilt little rich girl who, unable to deal with her problems, engineers her own disappearance and although there is a huge police operation which she can't have failed to hear about she remains hidden causing her poor family to have to go through hell believing she is dead. I really had no sympathy for this selfish girl and even less when her thoughtless actions expose her fathers' indiscretions and cause the death of her best friend. On the surface this looks like a good storyline but it just wasn't cohesive enough to carry it along.
Given the lack of pace and believable storyline this book was for me disappointing and far too long, stringing it out only had me hoping that there would be a great twist or curve ball to come but sadly there wasn't. I can only give this a 3 star rating; not enough convincing plotline, not enough well developed good characters or action to keep it going for me and certainly wasn't the page turner it promised to be.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.