Persons Unknown

by Susie Steiner

The thing that sets Susie Steiner’s Manon Bradshaw series apart from the usual police procedural is how deeply she delves into the personal lives, fears and frustrations of the individual detectives investigating the crime at the center of each of her books.

In this, the second book of the series, Manon Bradshaw has taken on cold case investigations to have a better work-life balance. Her adopted black son Fly Dent, is just entering his teens. He’s angry that she has moved them from the neighborhood he grew up in with his drug addicted mother and beloved, murdered brother. She’s also having a baby on her own. Helping — or adding to the chaos of her household — is her sister Elle, who with her two-year-old son Solly lives with Manon and Fly.

But when a man dies of a stab wound on a sidewalk near where Manon and her family live, it’s not just that the crime is close to home. The victim, Jon-Oliver Ross, is Elle’s ex and Solly’s father and had recently become more interested in being involved in Solly’s life. Elle wasn’t at home when the event happened. But Fly was caught on CCTV walking nearby and close to the time of the victim’s death.

Chief Superintendent Gary Stanton is involving himself in this case, causing headaches for the investigating detectives, Detective Sergeant Davy Walker and Detective Chief Inspector Harriet Harper. He dismisses checking into Elle’s whereabouts as unnecessary and targets Fly as the key suspect.

When 12-year-old Fly is taken into custody, Manon is beside herself. Officially unable to participate in the investigation of Ross’s murder, she will leave no stone unturned to help her son.

This is one murder case that is close and personal for Manon and her colleagues. When Manon starts shaking things up, she finds a murder tangled deeply in money, sex, drugs, and business rivalries of the darkest sort.

While it’s the characters that keep you hooked in this mystery series, author Susie Steiner never loosens her tight hand on the investigation of the murder that ignites this story. This is an absorbing, suspenseful read that is even better than its predecessor, MISSING, PRESUMED. The third book in this trilogy is REMAIN SILENT, in which Manon’s partner, attorney Mark Talbot, deals with pancreatic cancer.

About the Author: Susie Steiner (1971 – 2022)

Susie Steiner worked as a newspaper journalist for 20 years, 11 of them on the staff of The Guardian.

Her first novel was HOMECOMING (2013). Her second, MISSING PRESUMED, was named a standout book of 2016 by The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal and NPR.

Steiner lost her eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa and is registered as fully blind. In May 2019, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Grade 4 glioblastoma, and spent most of the year having surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. She died on July 2, 2022.


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