Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner (audio)

Title: Persons Unknown
Author: Susie Steiner
Series: DS Manon, #2
Narrator: Juanita McMahon
Published: July 2017, Random House Audio / Random House
Length: 11 hours 46 minutes / 368 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audio / Print - ARC Paperback via Publisher

In this brilliant crime novel from the author of Missing, Presumed, a detective investigates her most personal case yet: a high-profile murder in which her own family falls under suspicion.
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.

Detective Manon Bradshaw handles only cold cases. Five months pregnant, in pursuit of a work-life balance rather than romantic love, she's focused on being a good mother to her two children: her adopted 12-year-old son, Fly Dent, and the new baby. 

But the man died just yards from the police station where she works, so Manon can't help taking an interest. And as she sidles in on the briefing she learns that the victim, a banker from London worth millions, is more closely linked to her than she could have imagined. When the case begins to circle in on Manon's home and her family, she finds herself pitted against the colleagues she once held dear: Davy Walker and Harriet Harper. 

Can Manon separate what she knows about the people she loves from the suspicion hanging over them? Can she investigate the evidence just as she would with any other case? Persons Unknown shows acclaimed author Susie Steiner writing her most intricate, suspenseful novel yet.

My thoughts: This is the second book in Susie Steiner's DS Manon series and I just love this series. I had stumbled onto the first book in the series and was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it, so I was quite eager for the next one to come out. While I had picked up the galley of this book at BookExpo, I had enjoyed the narration of the first book so much, I decided to listen to this one as well and am so glad I did.

I just love DS Manon Bradshaw...she's quite the contradiction at times. She's tough and inconsiderate and pushy, but then she's also loving and feels all the guilt about being a single, working mother. She's a deeply flawed character and this makes her all the more relatable. Now that she finds herself pregnant, her guilt seems that much more magnified and though she's supposed to be working cold cases to keep her work life a bit more quiet, when the murder of her sister's ex happens, that all goes out the window. Life has just got really complicated...and about to get even more so as the main suspect is none other than her adopted son.

I love that there are multiple narrators in this book. We have Manon; DS Davy, who is working on the murder and was part of Manon's team from the first book; a shop clerk named Birdie and a young woman named Angel who Birdie ends up helping. At first, I was a bit thrown off by the parts told by Birdie and Angel, but I have to say, I became just as consumed by their story lines as I was with the rest of the book. In a way, I found it to add a bit of suspense, as I found myself constantly wondering how this all tied together.

This is such a complex novel, yet it brings about such a level of sympathy among characters - it's so unique in that way. I would almost venture to say that this crime fiction novel leans more to a character-driven plot than an action one. It's tightly woven and highly engaging, and one of my favorite series and I cannot wait for the next book!

Audio thoughts: I was thrilled to see that Juanita McMahon was narrating this book. I thought she had done a great job with the first book and so I jumped at the opportunity to listen to the second book. I felt that she was pretty consistent with the voices in this book and gave each character their own unique voice and personality. Her pacing and tone were spot on and I really hope she continues to narrate this series for as long as it goes on.

Books in this series:
  1. Missing, Presumed
  2. Persons Unknown 


1 comment

  1. Terrific review! This audio book sounds very engaging. I'm glad that you enjoyed listening to this complex and absorbing novel.


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