Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
|Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner|
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond|
|Summary: Dark, complicated, an interesting look at how a missing person case effects family, friends and investigators|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 432||Date: September 2016|
|Publisher: The Borough Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Edith Hind has gone missing. Sir Ian and Lady Hind are demanding answers, Edith's friends aren't telling the whole story, her boyfriend seems too innocent and police investigator, Manon Bradshaw can't catch a break in the case. The longer Edith is missing, the more she is presumed ...
This is a good book, a detailed plot, a story always moving forwards but I didn't think it was a page-turner. It took me a long time to get in to and while I did want to know what happened, it felt like it took a long time to get there.
I liked two characters in the whole book, Lady Hind and Manon's sidekick Davy. Manon was self-pitying and prickly, Sir Ian was up himself and the more you learn about missing Edith, the less sorry you feel for her. There are a lot of different characters, the story is told in multiple perspectives, which was a great idea because you get the full story from all angles. However, I don’t think Steiner completely pulls it off, the more central characters you have, the more you have to flesh them out, leading to irrelevant plot strands and a general slowing down of the main point, which is what happened to Edith.
When I read a mystery, I want to know what has happened and that’s all I care about. But in some cases, like this and TV drama, ‘’Broadchurch’’, the point isn’t what happened, it’s how it affects those around it. How personally the investigators take every aspect of the case, how the not knowing eats at those closest to the victim and the blame they shift on to each other. This was very, very well demonstrated. Steiner uses a particular line at one point in the book which I loved, where Edith’s mother, Lady Hind thinks: ‘’it was everyone’s fault because it was no one’s’’. Steiner describes anguish beautifully.
However, I found Steiner's writing style a bit pretentious. She overwrites when she could just get to the point and there were a few words I had to look up. Now, I have a pretty good vocabulary and I’m all up for learning new words and in some places, with the upper-class Hinds, for instance, this use was fitting, but in other places it was unnecessary. She also highlights class differences with what felt like clumsy stereotypes. The police investigation also felt really clumsily narrated, they pulled leads and suspects out of thin air because they happened to be in the area, rather than tying it together with the plot.
However, negatives aside, this is a solid book. It’s absorbing, has some interesting characters and a good plot. It’s an all-round good read. It reminded me a lot of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which I loved.
If you like the sound of Steiner, try another book of hers - Homecoming
You can read more book reviews or buy Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner at Amazon.com.
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