‘The dead cannot speak. But they still have a story to tell.’
I’ve enjoyed two of Susie Steiner’s earlier books so I was keen to read her latest book, Remain Silent and once more I was totally immersed in the story. It’s the 3rd Manon Bradshaw book and I loved it.
The Borough Press | 28 May 2020 | 368 pages | review copy | 4*
‘By turns warm and witty, gripping and terrifying, heartbreaking and uplifting, Susie Steiner’s fourth book is both a literary tour de force and one of the finest crime novels of recent years.’ (extract from the publishers’ blurb)
This is not just a police procedural and a gripping mystery it is a tragedy, a scathing look at modern life, centred on the exploitation of immigrant labour, racism and abuse that some of the foreign workers have to endure.
Manon Bradshaw is a Detective Inspector, a working mother with a young toddler, Teddy, her adopted teenage son, Fly and her partner, Mark Talbot who has recently been diagnosed with cancer. She is working in the Major Crime Unit on cold cases on a part-time basis and is not getting on well with her new boss, Detective Superintendent Gloria McBain. Despite that when she finds the body of Lukas Balsys hanging from a tree with a note attached saying ‘The dead cannot speak’, McBain puts her in charge of the investigation into his death – did he commit suicide or was he murdered?
The story, as in the earlier books, has a complicated plot. This one revolves around the plight of a group of Lithuanian immigrants living and working in terrible conditions under a cruel gang master, Edikas. There is a large cast of characters – as well as the Lithuanians and the police there is a local racist group leading a campaign of hatred with protest marches and the threat of violence. All come over as incredibly real people, with the star characters being Manon, Lukas, his friend Matis and Elise who falls in love with Lukas, despite her racist father’s hatred of the immigrants.
This has all the ingredients of a successful crime novel for me. Although it starts off slowly building up a picture of the characters and their situation, it is gripping and intense, dealing with problems of prejudice and downright hatred and xenophobia – a most thought-provoking and shocking novel.
Susie Steiner is a novelist and freelance journalist. She began her writing career as a news reporter first on local papers, then on the Evening Standard, the Daily Telegraph and The Times. In 2001 she joined The Guardian, where she worked as a commissioning editor for 11 years. In May 2019 she was diagnosed with a brain tumour (Grade 4 Glioblastoma) and spent most of 2019 undergoing treatment: six hours of brain surgery, chemo radiation, and six cycles of chemotherapy. My best wishes for her recovery. For more information see her website, susiesteiner.co.uk
6 thoughts on “Remain Silent by Susie Steiner”
As you know, I was as impressed by this as you were. I think the fact that this book got written at all is remarkable given the Steiner’s health problems. As well as the cancer she is also gradually losing her eyesight. To battle on as she does she must be quite some lady.
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It is remarkable – I was rather shocked to read about her health problems and losing your sight must be awful.
Thank so much for your help yesterday! By the way in case your wondering I didn’t write this using the new block system – I’d scheduled it in February.
I was instantly smitten with Manon and this book series. I hope that Susie Steiner recovers as much as possible and gets to write many more books to delight us.
Me too Marina!
I read the first book in this series a while back. I think I own the 2nd one, unread as yet. I’ve got this one preordered because it sounds good too. Sad to hear that the author has had health problems. Thanks for featuring this, Margaret. Oh, and I also hope your arm/wrist are doing better!
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All three are good, Kay! Thanks for asking about my arm/wrist. It is improving and as I’m now using a laptop instead of sitting at my PC that has helped. I spoke to my doctor and he is referring me to the hospital – but it’s likely to be a while yet and I’m hoping it will be better before I get an appointment.
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