Top positive review
14 January 2018
In this, young Edith Hind goes missing. Her phone, keys and wallet are in the kitchen, and there’s some blood on the floor. She’s a PhD student at Cambridge, lives an ethical life with a handsome boyfriend, and has posh parents. As the days unfold a few leads develop but it’s a frustrating case. As it pans out, we’re led into very different lives: a Scottish crim, a black London boy doing shady business to care for his little brother, an Afghani people smuggler, the Home Secretary. All the characters are well-written, including the cops. DC Manon Bradshaw is the main focus - 39 and suffering the torments of internet dating, but DI Harriet Harper and DC Davy are very likeable too. The novel is rich in interesting, believable characters. Edith’s mother Miriam, for example, comes across as a woman you’d like to know. The plotting is crisp and tight - we’re always going somewhere interesting, and Steiner’s research is excellent, so we’re seeing police work as it really is. Mostly technical these days, apart from sheer old-fashioned slog. Who’d want to watch hundreds of hours of CCTV footage? Also, the sense of a police force bound by budget constraints, assessment risks, review teams etc etc is clearly conveyed. Highly recommended.