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Missing, presumed [text (large print)] / Susie Steiner.

By: Steiner, Susie, 1971- [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Steiner, Susie, DS Manon: 1Publisher: Leicester : Thorpe, 2016Edition: Large print edition.Description: 457 pages (large print) ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781444830378; 1444830376.Subject(s): Women detectives -- England -- Fiction | Missing persons -- Investigation -- Fiction | Women college students -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction. | Large type books. | Large type books.Summary: "In mid-December, 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 seventy-two 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?" --Publisher's description.
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Large Print STE 1 Checked out 26/08/2020

Complete & unabridged.

"72 hours to find her..." --Cover.

"In mid-December, 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 seventy-two 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?" --Publisher's description.


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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Chaprer 1 December 17, 2010 Saturday Manon She can feel hope ebbing, like the Christmas lights on fade in Pound Saver. Manon tells herself to focus on the man sitting opposite, whose name might be Brian but could equally be Keith, who is crossing his legs and his foot bangs her shin just where the bone is nearest the surface. She reaches down to rub it but he's oblivious. "Sensitive," his profile had said, along with an interest in military aircraft. She wonders now what on earth she was thinking when she arranged it, but then compatibility seemed no marker for anything. The last date with a town planner scored 78 percent--­she'd harbored such hopes; he even liked Thomas Hardy--­yet Manon spent the evening flinching each time his spittle landed on her face, which was remarkably often. Two years of Internet dating. It's fair to say they haven't flown by. He's turned his face so the light hits the thumbprints on his glasses: petroleum-­purple eggs, the kind of oval spiral they dream of finding at a crime scene. He's talking about his job with the Rivers Authority while she looks up gratefully to the waiter who is filling their wineglasses--­well, her glass, because her companion isn't drinking. She's endured far worse than this, of course, like the one she traveled all the way to London for. "Keep an open mind," Bri had urged. "You don't know where the man of your dreams might pop up." He was tall and very thin and he stooped like an undertaker going up the escalator at Tate Modern--­giving it his best Uriah Heep. Manon thought that escalator ride was never going to end, and when she finally got to the top, she turned without a word and came straight back down, leaving him standing at the summit, staring at her. She got on the first train out of King's Cross, back to Huntingdon, as if fleeing the scent of decomposing flesh. Every officer on the Major Incident Team knew that smell, the way it stuck to your clothes. This one--­she's looking at him now, whatever his name is, Darren or Barry--­isn't so much morbid as effacing. He is talking about newts; she's vaguely aware of this. Now he's raising his eyebrows--­"Shopping trolleys!"--­and she supposes he's making a wry comment about how often they're dumped in streams. She really must engage. "So, one week till Christmas," she says. "How are you spending it?" He looks annoyed that she's diverted him from the flow of his rivers. "I've a brother in Norwich," he says. "I go to him. He's got kids." He seems momentarily disappointed and she likes him the more for it. "Not an easy time, Christmas. When you're on your own, I mean." "We have a pretty good time, me and Col, once we crack open the beers. We're a right double act." Perhaps his name's Terry, she thinks sadly. Too late to ask now. "Shall we get the bill?" He hasn't even asked about her name--­and most men do ("Manon, that's a funny name. Is it Welsh?")--­but in a sense it's a relief, the way he just plows on. The waiter brings the bill and it lies lightly curled on a white saucer with two mint imperials. "Shall we split it?" says Manon, throwing a card onto the saucer. He is sucking on a mint, looking at the bill. "To be fair," he says, "I didn't have any wine. Here." He shows her the items on the bill that were hers--­carafe of red and a side salad. "Yes, right, OK," she says, while he gets out his phone and begins totting up. The windows are fogged and Manon peers at the misty halos of Huntingdon's festive lights. It'll be a cold walk home past the shuttered-­up shops on the high street, the sad, beery air emanating from Cromwell's, and out toward the river, its refreshing green scent and its movement a slithering in the darkness, to her flat, where she has left all the lights burning. "Yours comes to twenty-­three eighty-­five. Mine's only eleven pounds," he says. "D'you want to check?" Midnight, and Manon sits with her knees up on the window seat, looking down at the snowy street lit by orange streetlamps. Flakes float down on their leisurely journey, buffeting, tissue-­light. The freezing draft coming in through the sash frame makes her hug her knees to her chest as she watches him--­Frank? Bernard?--­round the corner of her street and disappear. When she's sure he's gone, she walks a circuit of the lounge, turning off the lamps. To give him credit, he was stopped short by her flat--­"Whoa, this is where you live?"--­but his interest was short-­lived and he soon recommenced his monologue. Perhaps, now she comes to think of it, she slept with him to shut him up. The walls of the lounge are Prussian blue. The shelving on which the television stands is fifties G Plan in walnut. Her sofa is a circular design in brown corduroy. Two olive-­green velvet wing chairs sit to each side of it and beside one is a yellow-­domed seventies floor lamp, which she has just switched off at the plug because the switch is busted. The décor is a homage to mid-­century modern, like a film set, with every detail of a piece. The scene for a post-­ironic East German comedy perhaps, or Abigail's Party; a place absolutely bursting with taste of a charismatic kind, all of it chosen by the flat's previous owners. Manon bought the lot--­furniture, lamps, and all--­together with the property itself, from a couple who were going abroad to "start afresh." At least, that's what the man had said. "We just want to shed, you know?" To which Manon replied, "Shed away. I'll take the lot." And his girlfriend looked around her, swallowing down her tears. She told Manon how she'd collected all of it, lovingly, on eBay. "Still, fresh start," she said. Manon makes her way to the bedroom, which at the point of sale was even more starkly dramatic: dark navy walls with white-­painted floorboards and shutters; a whole bank of white wardrobes, handle-­less and disappearing into themselves. You had to do a Marcel Marceau impression to discover the pressure points at which to open them. The previous owners had a minimalist mattress on the floor and a disheveled white duvet. Under Manon's tenure, however, this room has lost much of its allure: books stacked by the bed, covered with a film of dust; a cloudy glass of water; wires trailing the floor from her police radio to the plug, and among them gray fluff and human hair, coiling like DNA. Her motley collection of shoes makes opening the cupboards additionally tricky. She kicks at a discarded pair of pants on the floor, rolled about themselves like a croissant, throws off her dressing gown (100 percent polyester, keep away from fire and flame), and retrieves, from under the bedclothes in which he has incongruously lain, her flannelette nightie. Up close he smelled musty. And vaguely sweet. But above all, foreign. Was this her experiment--­bringing him close, out of the world of strangers? Was she trying him out? Or smelling him out, as if intimacy might transform him into something less ordinary? People who know her--­well, Bryony mainly--­disapprove of her emotional "immaturity," but the fact is human beings are different up close. You find out more through smell and touch than any chat about newts or shopping trolleys. She becomes her mammalian self, using her senses to choose a mate. She's read somewhere that smell is the most efficient way of selecting from the gene pool to ensure the best immune system in offspring. So she puts out on the first date! She's a scientist at the mating frontline. In her darker moments--­and she can feel their approach even now--­she wonders if she is simply filling an awkward gap in the conversation. Instead of a ghastly shuffling of feet and "Well, that was nice, but we should probably leave it there," she forces the moment to its crisis. It's like running yourself over to avoid shaking hands. In the bathroom, she picks up her toothbrush and lays along it a slug of toothpaste, watching herself in the mirror as she brushes. Here is the flaw in her argument: the sex was pretty much a reflection of the night's conversation--­all newts and shopping trolleys and a definite lack of tumultuous waterfalls or even babbling brooks, if you wanted to pursue the waterways analogy. She looks at the springy coils of her hair, bobbing ringlets, brown mostly but with the odd blond one poking out like a rogue pasta twirl--­spit--­unruly and energetic, as if she is some child in a playground, and discordant now--­spit--­that she is on the cusp of her forties. She can feel herself gliding into that invisible--­gargle--­phase of womanhood, alongside those pushing prams or pulling shopping wheelies. She is drawn to the wider fittings in Clarks, has begun to have knee trouble, and is disturbed to find that clipping her toenails leaves her vaguely out of puff. She wonders what other indignities aging will throw at her and how soon. A few centuries ago she'd be dead, having had eight children by the age of twenty-­five. Nature doesn't know what to do with a childless woman of thirty-­nine, except throw her that fertility curveball--­aches and pains combined with extra time, like some terrifying end to a high-­stakes football match. She wipes a blob of foam off her chin with a towel. Eventually, he asked about her name (her moment in the sun!) and she told him it meant "bitter" in Hebrew, and she lay back on the pillow, remembering how her mother had squeezed her secondary-­school shoulders and told her how much she'd loved it, how "Manon" was her folly, much as her father objected. A Marmite name, you either loved it or loathed it, and her mother loved it, she said, because it was "all held down," those "n"s like tent pegs in the ground. There was silence, in which she supposed he wanted her to ask about his name, which she couldn't really, because she wasn't sure what it was. She could have said, "What about yours?" as a means of finding out, but by that point it seemed unnecessary. She had smelled him out and found him wanting. Her mind was set on how to get him out of her flat, which she did by saying, "Right, then, early start tomorrow," and holding open her bedroom door. She smooths out the pillow and duvet where he's been and pushes her feet down under the covers, reaching out an arm from the bed to switch on the radio, with its sticker reminding her it remains "Property of Cambridgeshire Police." A cumbersome bit of kit, and no one at detective sergeant rank is supposed to have one at home, but it is not a plaything. It is the method by which she overcomes insomnia. Some rely on the shipping forecast; Manon prefers low murmurings about road traffic accidents or drunken altercations outside Level 2 Nightclub on All Saints Passage, all of which she can safely ignore because they are far too lowly for the Major Incident Team. "VB, VB, mobile unit to Northern Bypass, please; that's the A141, junction with Main Street. UDAA." Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile. Someone's nicked some wheels. Off you pop, Plod. The voice begins to sound very far away as Manon's eyelids grow heavy, the burbling of the radio merging into a pebbly blur behind her eyes. The clicks, switches, whirring, receivers picked up and put down, colleagues conferred with, buttons pressed to receive. To Manon, it is the sound of vigilance, this rapid response to hurt and misdeed. It is human kindness in action, protecting the good against the bad. She sleeps. Sunday Miriam Miriam is washing up, looking out over the bleak winter garden--­the lawn smooth as Christmas icing. She'd have liked a bigger garden, but this is about as good as it gets in Hampstead. She's thinking about Edith, her hands inside rubber gloves in the sink, washing up the Le Creuset after lunch's monkfish stew. The pancetta has stuck around the edges and she is going at it with a scourer. She's so lucky, she thinks, to have a girl, because girls look after you when you get old. Boys just leave home, eventually going to live cheek by jowl with their mothers-­in-­law. And then she curses herself, because it goes against all her feminist principles--­requiring her daughter, her clever Cambridge-­educated daughter, to wipe her wrinkly old bottom and bring her meals and audiobooks, probably while juggling toddlers and some pathetic attempt at a career. Her own career hadn't recovered from having the children, those three days a week at the GP surgery feeling like time-­filling in between bouts of household management. Feminism, she thinks, has a long way to go before men take on the detritus of family life--­not the spectacular bread and butter pudding, brought out to "oohs" and "aahs" (which always has the whiff of Man makes pudding! Round of applause!), but ordering bin liners and making sure there are enough lightbulbs. When the children were little, Miriam felt as if she were being buried under sand drifts from the Sahara: music lessons, homework folders, kids' parties, thank-­you notes, fresh fruit, and meter readings. It silted up the corners of her mind until there was no space for anything else. Ian sidestepped it with strategic incompetence so that his mind remained free to focus on Important Things (such as work, or reading an interesting book). It was one of the biggest shocks of adult life--­the injustice--­and no one had warned her about it, certainly not her mother, who felt it was only right and proper that Miriam take on the more organizational tasks in life because she was "so good at them." She'd better not think about it now, or she'll get too angry. She lifts the Le Creuset onto the white ceramic draining board, wondering why people rave about the things when they are almost un-­lift-­able and scratch everything they touch. Ian hasn't made it home for lunch so she's eaten the stew by herself, struggling to lift the damn heavy pot in order to pour the remains into a Tupperware box and struggling also not to feel hard done by. She's alone so much these days, in part because when the sand drifts receded, along with the departure of the children, they left an excess of time, while Ian's existence maintained its steady course, which was essentially Rushing About, Being Important. She has to fight, very often, not to take umbrage at the separations and also their converse, to retain some sense of herself in their togetherness. Wasn't every marriage a negotiation about proximity? Excerpted from Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Manon Bradshaw, the complicated, complex, and wholly human British detective at the heart of Steiner's (Homecoming) new mystery, raises this story from a classic police procedural to something far more engaging. After yet another failed Internet date, Manon tries to fall asleep to the lull of her police scanner when a missing person alert comes through. Edith Hind, a grad student with a seemingly charmed life, has disappeared. As her team investigates and secrets emerge about Edith and her influential family, Manon learns that nothing is as it seems. In dealing with the Hinds, she finds that her own personal struggle to define love and family, and determine her own conflicting desires for them, takes on a whole other significance. Verdict The interlocking stories from various perspectives flow nicely, and while the denouement may polarize some, Manon makes the journey worthwhile. A good choice for aficionados of Kate Atkinson and Kate Morton. [A June 2016 LibraryReads pick.]-Liza Oldham, Beverly, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In this richly plotted police procedural from British author Steiner (Homecoming), Edith Hind, a 24-year-old Cambridge graduate student, goes missing, leaving behind only a smear of blood and signs of a struggle at the flat she shares with her boyfriend. The pressure is on Det. Sgt. Manon Bradshaw, who excels at her job but has suffered a string of dreary Internet dates, and the rest of the Cambridgeshire Major Incident Team, since Edith's father is Sir Ian Hind, physician to the royal family. Steiner slips smoothly among narrators, shifting from Manon's ever-widening investigation to characters who are directly affected by Edith's disappearance. As leads dry up and days missing increase, every scrap of case information is fodder for the press, who pounce on the more salacious aspects of Edith's personal life, even as Manon and the team discover that the answers might be linked to something much more serious. A vein of dark humor pulses beneath this compelling whodunit with an appealing, complicated heroine at its center. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Manon Bradshaw is a skilled and well-respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, but she still would like to find the right man. This takes her from one unfortunate Internet date to another. Her mother chose the name Manon for her because it is all held down, those n's' like tent pegs in the ground. Those pegs anchor her through constant personal disappointments and, professionally, in dealing with a missing-person case involving Edith Hind, a graduate student at Cambridge University. Despite the initial description of a straight-arrow Edith, secrets begin to emerge about her tangled love life and odd associations. The collateral damage is enormous, and no one, not even Manon, escapes the consequences. This combination of police procedural and an unfolding family drama that continuously twists and turns will work well for fans of Kate Atkinson and Tana French. The author promises more about Manon at full chaotic tilt, so we can hope to find out whether the path she ultimately chooses for herself is the right one.--Murphy, Jane Copyright 2016 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A new and complex police heroine tries to solve a high-profile missing persons case while seeking domestic fulfillment in Cambridge. Thirty-nine and single, DS Manon Bradshaw is feeling the burn of loneliness. As she pursues dead-end date after dead-end date, her personal life seems a complete disaster, but her professional interest and energy are piqued when the beautiful graduate-student daughter of a famous physician goes missing, apparently the victim of foul play. As the investigation into free-spirited Edith Hind's disappearance uncovers no strong leads, Manon finds herself drawn to two unconventional males: one, a possible romantic partner, plays a tangential role in the investigation when he finds a body; the other, a young boy with a tragic home life, mourns the death of his brother, who also might have ties to Edith or her family. As Manon draws nearer to the truth about Edith, aided by her idealistic partner, Davy, and their team of homicide detectives, she also has to face the fact that she might not be destined to follow the traditional domestic model. Though it follows all the typical twists and turns of a modern police procedural, this novel stands out from the pack in two significant ways: first of all, in the solution, which reflects a sophisticated commentary on today's news stories about how prejudices about race and privilege play out in our justice system; and second, in the wounded, compassionate, human character of Manon. Her struggles to define love and family at a time when both are open to interpretation make for a highly charismatic and engaging story. Hopefully, this is just the first adventure of many Steiner (Homecoming, 2013) will write for DS Bradshaw and her team. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.