SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
Brand new literary thriller from bestselling author of MISSING, PRESUMED Susie Steiner.
Manon Bradshaw is back.
As dusk falls a young man staggers through a park, far from home, bleeding from a stab wound. He dies where he falls; cradled by a stranger, a woman’s name on his lips in his last seconds of life.
DI Manon Bradshaw can’t help taking an interest – these days she only handles cold cases, but the man died just yards from the police station where she works.
She’s horrified to discover that both victim and prime suspect are more closely linked to her than she could have imagined. And as the Cambridgeshire police force closes ranks against her, she is forced to contemplate the unthinkable.
How well does she know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder?
When I read Missing, Presumed last year I became hooked on Manon Bradshaw. She is such a great character, and Susie Steiner’s writing is outstanding, she reels you into the story straight away. In Persons Unknown, she pulls Manon through the ranks and Manon soon finds herself in a difficult situation where she must prove her loyalty to her colleagues or her family.
Manon has recently returned to Cambridgeshire after a short time in London, where she was hoping for a fresh start with her adopted son, Fly. She believes that life for Fly will be better in Cambridge than it currently is in the city, and she moves in temporarily, with her sister, Ellie. Five months pregnant, Manon soon faces one of the most challenging cases in her career, proving her son’s innocence. A successful businessman is found murdered in a park, only yards from her home and Fly becomes the chief suspect. Manon is determined to prove her son’s innocence, but she faces obstacles at all angles. But as she fights to free her son, she discovers that there is something much darker behind this man’s death and proving Fly’s innocence might be harder than she originally thought, especially when their own relationship is put to the test.
Since I read the first Manon Bradshaw thriller, I have been itching to get my hands on the second book. Persons Unknown takes place a year later, and we see Manon perhaps in her happiest state as she is preparing for the birth of her child and looking after Fly. There are issues in this book which are quite topical in the news at the moment, particularly the issue of stop and searches in London, based on the colour of a person’s skin. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have this repeatedly happen to you when you have done nothing wrong. Manon believes that by moving back to Cambridgeshire that this will take Fly away from that. But perhaps, the move back could have been her biggest mistake.
In this book, we see Manon’s emotions really play out as she fights hard to get her son released. One of Susie Steiner’s strengths is creating utterly engaging and believable characters; it makes me wonder if Manon is based on anyone that she knows as she really comes alive on the page. The characters are what really drive this story, which is what makes Susie Steiner’s books stand out in the crime fiction genre. There are also good doses of humour in the book which really lights it up, and this also gives the characters flavour.
Another excellent novel from Susie Steiner, she has become one of my ‘must-read’ authors, and I’m looking forward to seeing where she will take Manon and the rest of the team next.
Publisher: The Borough Press
Publication date: 29th June 2017
Print length: 368 pages