Remain Silent – Susie Steiner

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*I received a free ARC of this novel, with thanks to the author, The Borough PressHarper Collins UK and NetGalley.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

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Blurb:   The dead cannot speak.

A body is found hanging from a tree in Cambridgeshire, a note attached saying ‘The dead cannot speak’. It’s impossible to say whether it was murder or suicide –  was Lukas silenced, or driven to end his own life? And either way, who is responsible?

But they still have a story to tell.

DI Manon Bradshaw is assigned to investigate, but local tensions are running high and it becomes increasingly difficult for her to untangle what happened. Are others in danger, and will solving the puzzle of Lukas’ death help to save them?

AN UNMISSABLE NEW NOVEL FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Remain Silent is an intense police procedural novel which feels very timely in the current political climate of police protests and growing racial tensions around immigration issues.

The main character, Manon, has to juggle her career as a detective, her relationship with her partner, Mark, and parenting her children, Fly (teen) and Teddy (toddler). The reality of a working mum trying to be everything to everyone feels very real, and the issues are highlighted further when her two – very different – worlds collide, as she and Teddy discover a body in the park.

When it turns out that the dead body is that of a Lithuanian migrant worker, racial tensions rise from a simmer to a boil and Manon has to attempt to solve the case before everything bubbles over. Susie Steiner explores the issues here from all angles: the abused and exploited workers; the NIMBY neighbours, worried about their house prices; the protestors, the sympathisers, and the patriotic (on both sides). It all feels extremely poignant and relevant to current situations in the UK and US, making the realism feel bitterly authentic.

There are some possible triggers included in the story, including torture, animal cruelty and deliberate disfigurement, which could be upsetting for more sensitive readers. These topics are all relevant to the storyline and are handled sensitively, but with the intent to shock the reader with the cruelty and injustice of the relevant situations.

Despite following the clues, I still found myself surprised at the final reveal, and I do always love to ‘lose in a fair fight’ to a mystery! I read this book as a standalone with no problem at all, but if you enjoy a well-crafted police procedural with well-developed characters and exploration of deeper societal issues, then I would recommend you start with Missing, Presumed and work your way forward.

   ‘If we were on TV,’ she says, the breath in her lungs pumped and lively, ‘we’d be in an office with a giant interactive map on it and I’d stroke my finger across it to triangulate the locations.  And we’d be wearing tonal outfits, Davy.’
‘Yeah, well, we’re not on TV, so I can offer you a biro and an Ordnance Survey map.’

– Susie Steiner, Remain Silent
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Find more from Susie Steiner at her website here, or follow her on Twitter and Goodreads.

Remain Silent is available on Amazon right now.

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