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Summary

Manon Bradshaw is back.

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. DI Manon Bradshaw can't help taking an interest - these days she handles only cold cases, but the man died just yards from the police station where she works. She's horrified to discover that both victim and prime suspect are more closely linked to her than she could have imagined. And as the Cambridgeshire police force closes ranks against her, she is forced to contemplate the unthinkable. How well does she know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder?

©2017 Susie Steiner (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Persons Unknown

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Mama Mia

I really enjoyed the author's first book but this one was not for me. WAY too much about Manon's pregnancy, and general guff about motherhood. I'm sorry but this isn't what I want from a crime thriller. The plot was convoluted and not terribly interesting. Juanita McMahon is a wonderful narrator however so all is not lost. I do think though when a non-Chinese person does a ham Chinese accent it sounds a tad offensive. Ditto Irish, ditto a couple of other accents she doesn't entirely carry off.

6 people found this helpful

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A rather stereotyped female detective

This could have been so much better, but has the feel of chick lit crossed with police procedural. There is way to much about motherhood and every cliché about the messy life of fictional detectives. Fellow officers bend the rules in a way that defies credibility in order to accommodate the heroine. There is just enough about it to hold the interest, but it's rather forgettable.

5 people found this helpful

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Solid if predictably formulaic

I loved Susie Steiner's first book - 'Missing, Presumed' - as the story was refreshingly new and inventive. Unfortunately her newest work lacks the twists and turns of her debut so all we're left with is character stories. Sadly, for me at least, this is where the author falls short. Everyone in 'Persons Unknown' is a bald, hackneyed cliche. The lead - Manon Bradshaw - especially. She's a veritable soup of gloopy chick lit stereotypes. Save your credit and seek out something a little more original.

4 people found this helpful

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Can't fault it

Just "read" it. You won't regret it. She's a clever, observant, subtle writer and her narrator is gifted. I couldn't put it down.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

I devoured this, the second in the series of DI Manon Bradshaw. I nearly gave it a miss because one reviewer said that, unlike the first, this was pure chic lit. It really isn’t at all. It is a really good crime story, and here the character development is excellent. I feel I know the richly drawn characters of Manon, Davey, Mark and I love Birdie, who sadly will probably only feature in this book. I hope not, she is a warm, funny and intelligent character. I am very much looking forward to the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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Very very good

I love these Manon Bradshaw stories, although this is only the second. Do read in order or you may get confused. She is so believable. The murder is not centre to the story, all the characters with their own issues, stories revolve around it. Hope there will be another story soon. Good narration.

1 person found this helpful

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A brilliant sequel to Missing Presumed.

Susie Steiner has created a totally believable cast of characters. Another superbly written enjoyable mystery!

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful characterisations.

Loved this book. Perfect. Surpassed presumed innocent, which was brilliant too. Such well drawn characters that actually matter. So engaging, had me struggling to turn audio off. Particularly loved Birdie and want to hear more from her.
Locations well suited to various capers. Lived at seven sisters so the jaunt in West Green Road was an unexpected thrill.
Beautifully read as ever by Juanita.
Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

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More focused on the characters than the crime

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Susie Steiner's Manon books are among the very best of character focused whodunnits: in fact their focus is not really on who did it at all but about what is going on in the lives of the people who are affected by the crime, and with a focus, of course, on the life of Manon Bradshaw, the main character. Susie Steiner is interested in the inner lives of her characters and also in their atypical relationships with other people. I think that Susie Steiner has said that she is an admirer of the novels of Elizabeth Strout and indeed one can see this reflected in the kinds of quirky relationships that people have with each other in Susie Steiner's books, e.g. Manon's adoption of Fly, Manon choosing to have a baby by artificial insemination, Birdie's relationship with Saskia, Manon's relationship with Mark Talbot: the latter two are important relationships that are formed in the novel simply because the characters come into contact with each other and like each other: just like real life. Like Strout, Steiner is also excellent in finding wit and humour in the little domestic details of every day life.

The narration of this book by Juanita McMahon is excellent: the pace of the narration is just right.

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Curates egg.

I should start by saying that I really enjoyed the first book on this series, and enthused about it. But I was left feeling that this book was a bit of a con, and the hints were there in the first one.

On one hand, the crime novel element was actually really good. Great dialogue, lovely balance in its depiction of the police, and a decent, if slightly contrived plot.
However the obsession with domestic angst that slightly spoiled the first DI Manon Bradshaw book absolutely engulfed this one, to the extent that the last hour (slightly longer actually) was a complete and literal waste of time.
Assuming there was to be a final twist I stuck with it, but I really shouldn’t have. There was actually no point in listening to it and it added nothing.
Reduce the amount of nonsensical padding and you could have a very enjoyable crime novel.
In reality this isn’t written for lovers of crime fiction, and I’m clearly not the author’s target audience.
I don’t want tales of domestic and romantic hand-wringing unless it’s actually part of the plot, or at least adds to the narrative. In this book it does neither, it’s just self-indulgent. Such a shame.

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  • Tara
  • 04-11-17

Excellent

I loved this book. The characters are great as are the touches of humour. I can’t wait for the next Manon Bradshaw !

1 person found this helpful