Family, Mystery/Thriller

Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner

I received this novel as an advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn’t aware that this novel was part of a series but decided to read it as a standalone. Luckily, this novel doesn’t necessarily require one to read the previous book to understand what’s going on, so I was able to focus on the story and writing. Here is my review:

Even though Detective Manon Bradshaw is five months pregnant, she is still determined to focus on her career, where she is stuck in a cold case corridor – the price she paid for a transfer back to Cambridgeshire. Manon tries to look at this positively; after all, this gives her time to raise her adopted son Fly Dent and prepare herself for the new baby.  But when a wealthy businessman is found stabbed, Manon can’t help but get involved. The victim is a banker from London – who was once in a relationship with Manon’s sister, Ellie, and is the father of Ellie’s son. As the case begins to circle in on Manon’s family, she finds herself pitted against her colleagues and friends. Can Manon separate what she knows about the people she loves from the suspicion hanging over them?

For me, this novel was just okay. I was hoping for something sarcastic with some high stakes drama. However, that wasn’t really what was delivered. To those who, like me, haven’t read the previous book in this series, it would probably be good to have read it before reading this one; it would give the reader a better connection with the characters in the story. For me, it was hard to connect with the main characters and they ended up not mattering to me, which really sucked. The story was told from various different perspectives, which I really enjoyed because it made me keep guessing on how everything would tie in together. This novel had a really slow start that made it a bit of a chore to stick through, and for the most part, it felt like Manon’s personal life took precedence over the murder itself. However, when the story finally took off, it was pretty intriguing. I’m not sure I really liked the way everything ended… it just didn’t feel that satisfying to me. Overall, this was an interesting mystery but it felt lackluster to me. There was too much of a focus on the main character’s personal life and the solving of the mystery itself didn’t have the energy that I would have liked. This may be more enjoyable for fans of Missing, Presumed, the first book in this series.


Leave a Reply