This is the first in a series about DS Manon Bradshaw of the Cambridgeshire PD. For those who don’t read/watch way too much British murder of the week stories, DS is detective sergeant. Manon is an unhappily single 39 year old, estranged from her father and sister, but very good at her job. When Edith, a young Cambridge University student from a wealthy family, disappears shortly before Christmas leaving an open front door, blood splatter, and overturned furniture, it doesn’t look good.
Although Manon is the focal point, each chapter follows a different character to move the story along, including the missing woman’s best friend/lover Helena, Manon’s optimistic young partner Davy, and Edith’s mother Miriam. Sometimes moving between characters can derail the plot, but I felt the author (Susie Steiner) handled it well and it added rather than detracted. It made it easier to care about more of the characters, as well as to wonder who might be hiding something when part of their story was told but then the viewpoint moved on to someone else. The ending did surprise me, which I think is a hallmark of a good mystery, and it also used some of the plot points (the finding of a murdered young man with seemingly no connection to Edith early on in the story) as a way to set up some of the characters for further development in the next book of the series.
Fairly easy read, moved along well, entertaining, and made me want to read the next book and see where the characters go.