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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Thursday, 23 November 2017

"Missing, Presumed" by Susie Steiner

Posh girl Edith, doing a PhD at Cambridge, goes missing from her Huntingdon home after a drunken night out. Boyfriend? Best girl friend (last person to see her)? Father? Local sex pest? The Huntingdon cops have a high profile misper, possibly murder, on their hands.

And then a body turns up in the Ouse.

Told as a police procedural from multiple points of view: female DS (getting older, no baby, lonely and desperate, internet dating with most becoming one night stands); mother; male DC (cheerful chappy but breaking up with his controlling girlfriend); flaky misper's girlfriend.

I didn't get the twist although I think my solution was better.

Most interesting from my point of view because I know most of the places mentioned. She is very accurate about places although I couldn't work out how she took the train to Bedford from Huntingdon.

And there is a delightful relationship between the desperate female DS and the ten year old brother of a murder victim.

Some nice lines:
  • She picks up her toothbrush and lays along it a slug of toothpaste.” (p 5)
  • Man makes pudding! round of applause!” (p 9)
  • He rubs his hands together and blows into them.” (p 27)
  • The passage of time ... is like a growing tumour for a missing person, as if time itself drains the life from their bodies.” (p 83)
  • The sky has turned pink, striated yellow; a radioactive lozenge at its centre, reflected in the river.” (p 152)
  • before you know it, it can be too late” (p 157)
  • a plastic bag, bowling along in mid air, it handles like beseeching arms.” (p 194) 
  • ‘I should have fuckwit tattooed on my forehead’
    • ‘Wouldn’t fit’. ...
    • ‘Just twat then’” (p 345)
  • Quite a few of [her] sexual selections have been based on paper-thin criteria, like being in the same room.” (p 414)

November 2017; 419 pages

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