“Human beings cannot bear too much reality.”It has been my absolute JOY this week to read the third novel in the Manon Bradshaw series. And, no surprise, it was just as wonderful – if not more so!
“Remain Silent” will, without a doubt, be included in my favorites list for 2020. And Manon Bradshaw? Well, she may very well be my favourite character, EVER!
Manon Bradshaw, a Detective Inspector with the Cambridgeshire Police, is now forty-six years old. She shares a house with her adopted son, Fly, her common-law husband Mark Talbot, and her their four year-old son, Teddy.
Manon is content working on cold cases three days a week since she came off maternity leave.
Davy Walker, once Manon’s sergeant, now equals her in rank. Davy is engaged to be married – a status he is not sure he is completely comfortable with.
Manon and Davy have a wonderful rapport and mutual respect.
When Manon and Teddy discover an immigrant hanging from a tree in a local park, the apparent suicide leads Manon down a path that sheds light on the unethical treatment of Lithuanian migrant workers, men who came to the UK for a better life, but are instead treated abominably, with disgusting living conditions, debt bonding, and emotional and physical abuse of all kinds.
The author creates a personal story around these workers which makes their plight all the more impactful.
“Most nightmares end if you only give them time.
This too will pass was a good enough motto to live by.”
The police case involves migrant workers. Although the case was compelling, for me it was by far overshadowed by the wonderful characters in this novel. Manon is a brilliant policewoman trying to attain the always illusive home/work balance. She loves her children like a fierce ‘Mamma Bear’. Fly is a wonderful boy who at age sixteen is facing his GCSEs and is an excellent big brother for Teddy.
What I love about Steiner’s novels is that she creates the perfect balance between the case in hand and Manon’s personal life. The case this time highlights the abhorrent treatment of Lithuanian migrant workers in the United Kingdom. A very real problem that ‘Operation Pheasant‘ is trying to address.
On the personal side, Manon is struggling with parenting, middle age, police budget cuts and most importantly a cancer diagnosis for her partner Mark. She adores the people in her life and her humour filled relationship with her best friend Bri is a joy to read.
This novel is about normal people just trying to get by in a world that often feels adversarial. It is about parenting, and the love of family in all its permutations. A skillfully written novel that contains empathy, pathos, and humour. In short, I loved this book. I’m already yearning for another glimpse into Manon’s world.
I wish everyone could read this fantastic series. Highly, highly recommended!
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Random House Publishing Group via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9780525509974 ASIN: B07XM84SCD 320 pages
Susie Steiner is a former Guardian journalist. She was a commissioning editor for that paper for eleven years and prior to that worked for The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and the Evening Standard.
Susie has written extensively about losing her eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa. She is registered fully blind and lives in London with her husband and two children. In May 2019 she was diagnosed with a brain tumour (Grade 4 Glioblastoma) and has spent most of 2019 undergoing treatment: six hours of brain surgery, chemo radiation, and six cycles of chemotherapy.
She lives in London with her husband and two sons.
Follow Susie Steiner on Twitter.