Missing, Presumed is a deliciously written book, which hooks you from the first page. Broken down into days and different perspectives, it is fluid and very well structured throughout. Edith Hinds is a clever young girl, from a successful family, who simply vanishes without a trace. With no immediate motive, and no reason to believe she was involved in anything sinister, all trails seem to run cold as Manon and her colleagues head up the investigation. However, as the first crucial 72 hours tick away, it soon becomes apparent that the team may have been looking at the wrong people and wrong reasons for her disappearance and, when they begin to dig that little bit deeper close to home, it soon emerges that the Hind’s family is not as picture perfect as they like to paint themselves, regardless of their amassed wealth and friends-in-high-places!
The story line of Missing, Presumed is clever, well-paced and interesting, but what I loved most about the book was the immediately likeable, and indeed fallible characters, in particular Manon. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw is partial to sleeping with men she has just met over the internet, is veering towards forty and at times is a train wreck, but she is extremely competent at her job and devotes her life to it (despite it being at the expense of her private life). For me, Manon is the clear winner of Missing, Presumed and as the investigation leads ran cold, I found myself wanting to read more of her mishaps and endeavours!
The process of an enquiry involved with this sort of disappearance was skillfully covered in some depth, and Steiner didn’t just skim the surface but took the time to go behind the scenes and, as a result, I felt we were given more insight into the stages involved. However, what Steiner deserves the most praise for is how she manages to present the point of view from the police forces perspective, which offers a more human side to the force, and rightfully so. Very rarely do we hear positive things about the police during such investigations, rather public opinion tends to hinge on the outcome of the investigation, usually negative, but you can really feel the tension and evident frustration of what little the police have to work with; ridiculous budgets and intrusive press included. You also get a sense of how the general public at times love to criticise but were they to see the inner workings and what goes on behind the scenes, would they be so quick to complain:
‘You hear what you want to hear. See what you want to see.’
Missing, Presumed was a joy to read…
I received this book for review from the wonderful people at NetGalley.