If you have watched the TV show Scott and Bailey then you will get the gist of what this book is like. Strong on the Brit police procedure and detectives with a whole load of personal baggage.
The emphasis is more on the characters and less on the alleged crime. Cue lots of drama, complicated relationships and red herrings.
Edith has disappeared without a trace. It is freezing outside, the front door is wide open and she has nothing with her. Has she been kidnapped, murdered or has she just up and left.
All leads seem to point towards something nefarious. Her love life is dysfunctional at best and she has been cavorting with known criminals. Behind the facade of the rich educated girl from an influential family seems to be an entirely different personality.
I have to say I was a little confused because the story was a bit off-balance and some of the threads seemed to go nowhere. I was pretty certain Manon’s personal path would lead to some big revelation further on down the line.
What Steiner did do quite well was keep her intentions hidden from the reader. There was literally such a plethora of avenues to explore, which led to a build-up of tension and the subconscious hope that they would finally find her dead body. I wasn’t interested in whether she was alive any more, perhaps because there was just too much distracting the reader away from victim and her fate.
Then again that’s the whole point in a shell game. You think she is under cup A but in actual fact she isn’t under any of the cups at all.