Cover Image: Remain Silent

Remain Silent

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In the third book in Steiner's Manon Bradshaw series, we find Manon at work part-time in cold cases, leaving her "time" to raise her toddler, Teddy, and teenage son, Fly. She's adjusting to domestic living with Mark and all the bliss that comes with it: who will take out the garbage, pick up the kids, cook dinner, and more. Then Teddy and Manon take a walk to the park and discover a body: a Lithuanian immigrant named Lukas hanging from a tree, a note attached to his body. Manon's annoying and perhaps clueless boss assigns her to lead the case--with her faithful partner Davy Walker--and Manon is back, attempting to juggle work, motherhood, and what could be a very dangerous murder case.

I love Manon and this was yet another well-written mystery from Steiner. The introduction to this book features one of the most amazing, realistic, and yes, depressing, ruminations on marriage, life, and death that I may have ever read. In fact, Steiner so perfectly captures real life, especially juggling being a working mom. I love that she doesn't shy away from how hard Manon finds parenting, or gloss over the difficulties of marriage. Once or twice I might have found these tirades a bit tiresome (back to the case, I say!), but overall, it's refreshing to find a book that tells it like it is.

Speaking of, this is such a timely read, focusing on immigration, racism, and the overall hatred of "otherness" that seems to permeate the world right now. The central plot focuses on the infusion of immigrants, particularly Eastern Europeans, into England. The story told is a heartbreaking one of anger and loss. Steiner deftly weaves a tale from multiple points of view and time periods--we hear not only from Manon and Davy, but Lukas' friend Matis, who spearheads the pair's immigration from Lithuania, only for them to find themselves basically prisoners. They are indebted to the man who brought them over, trapped in a smelly workhouse, and forced to do menial labor to pay off their "debt." With Lukas dead, the story leading up to his death unfolds, and it's absolutely riveting and heartbreaking. Steiner handles the sensitive issues surrounding immigration and racism wonderfully, crafting a well-done mystery that still gives this topic its due.

"'Why do they hate us so much?'"

Overall, I cannot recommend this book (4.5 stars) or this series enough. I have followed Steiner on social media for years and was devastated to learn she was diagnosed with a brain tumor after submitting this book. My heart goes out to her and her recovery.
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Susie Steiner's third Manon Bradshaw novel, "Remain Silent," focuses on Lithuanian migrants who travel to England, hoping for a better life. Instead, they become the slaves of a sadistic taskmaster who treats them abominably.  They do menial and exhausting work, go to sleep on filthy mattresses, and receive little compensation for their efforts. One of them is Matis, who talked his good-hearted friend, Lukas Balsys, into answering an ad that promised them economic opportunities far from their native Klaipeda.  When the pair reach their destination, they realize that they have been duped.  Along with their fellow Eastern Europeans, Matis and Lukas find themselves in a revolting hovel, doomed to horrific weeks and months of soul-destroying labor.

Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Manon Bradshaw has mixed feelings about her domestic situation. She and her partner, Mark Talbot, are raising an adorable toddler, Teddy, and an adolescent named Fly, whom Manon adopted years earlier and loves dearly.  Forty-six-year-old Manon is profane, comically self-deprecating (she cannot help but notice that she is getting paunchy), critical of others (she loves Mark, but he sometimes gets on her nerves), and can be prickly towards her co-workers.  She has little respect for her officious boss, Glenda McBain, although Manon is fond of DS Davy Walker, a hard-working and dedicated detective who puts up with Manon's prickly personality.  Manon and Davy have the challenging task of investigating a series of suspicious deaths and, in addition, they are keeping an eye on a band of right-wing thugs who despise refugees and disseminate hate-filled rhetoric on social media and in street demonstrations.

The author’s frequent use of flashbacks and constantly changing viewpoints are confusing and disrupt the story's flow.  On the other hand, Steiner makes the most of her ripped-from-the-headlines themes.  Tragically, when disreputable opportunists exploit foreign-born men and women, the victims are usually too frightened to turn to the authorities for help. In addition to tracking down felons, Manon and Davy face challenging and stressful personal problems that force them to take a hard look at what they really want out of life.  "Remain Silent" is an engrossing, timely, and dark police procedural in which Steiner demonstrates that deep-seated resentment, intolerance, and selfishness can undermine relationships, tear apart communities, and precipitate acts of horrific violence.
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"Remain Silent" by Susie Steiner, Random House, 320 pages, June 2, 2020.

Detective Inspector Manon Bradshaw is happy to be working part-time in the cold case department of the Cambridgeshire police force as she now has a 2-year-old and an adopted teenager.

Manon, 46, is late to motherhood. She is stressed because her husband, Mark Talbot, isn't doing his share of the housework. Manon is going to counseling alone because Mark refuses to go.

On one of her days off, she is on a walk with her toddler, Teddy, in a suburban neighborhood. She discovers the body of a Lithuanian immigrant hanging from a tree with a note attached. Her partner, Davy Walker, is sent to the scene. 

When he learns that the dead man is an immigrant, Davy goes to the police Fenland Exploitation Team for advice. The deceased is Lukas Balsys, a Lithuanian migrant worker, whose gang master Edikas is brutal. Two other people were earlier found hanging in the woods, but both deaths were considered suicides.

The new Detective Superintendent in charge is Glenda McBain. She orders Manon to help in the investigation. Meanwhile, Mark is ill, their son, Fly, is having problems in school, and Manson's best friend is getting divorced.

"Remain Silent" is the third in the series. The plot of this one isn't as interesting as the first two, which I really enjoyed. Manon is dealing with so many domestic crises that the story line is muddled. 

The sad news is that the author, who went blind from retinitis pigmentosa when her first book was published, discloses in the afterword that she has been diagnosed with advanced brain cancer. 

In accordance with FTC guidelines, the advance reader's edition of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House, and Susie Steiner for the opportunity to read and review her latest thriller.  This is book 3 in the wonderful Detective Manon Bradshaw series and another 5 star read!

Manon is going through lots in her personal life - dealing with the pains of middle age, a relationship turned a bit stale, a teenager and an active toddler, let alone her job which has been working on cold cases.  This is the definition of trying to have it all and feeling less than successful on all fronts.  When Manon discovers a dead body in the park while with her small child, she is put in charge of the case.  While at first glance the death appears to be by suicide, a closer look seems to lead to murder and takes Manon on a wild ride of investigating anti-immigration factions as well as slave traffickers. 

I love Manon - she is completely real, says what she thinks, even when that tends to get her in trouble.  She is loyal to a fault and cares deeply about her family and friends.
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This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Manon a detective finds a body hanging in a tree while at the park with her son.  There is a note attached to the body in Lithuanian, so it is investigated as a hate crime.  I thought the premise of this story was good and kept me reading, but I did not like Manon, the main character.  There was too much of her "thoughts" that were paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs and were repeated throughout the book.  She was having a conversation with Davy and thought about a conversation she had with someone else that went on and on.  She was too fat, she was too old, she was unhappy in her relationship.  This theme was repeated, every time she looked at food, got up from a chair, saw another couple.  She was also way too harsh.  Didn't seem like there was any sympathy in her whatsoever.  I also felt like the story timeline jumped without really telling the viewer.
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Thanks to #netgalley and #randomhousepublishing for the opportunity to read and review this book #RemainSilent by @SusieSteiner
Pub date June2,2020
Book 3 of the Manon Bradshaw series did not disappoint.  I love that the author shows Manon with all her foibles, and her character flaws. Manon is just like all of us, with the running commentary in her head. The plot of the book revolves around a suicide of a refugee who is part of the  labor imported to do the backbreaking work others wont do. It is tragic to read that people are used as slave labor in this time. The side plots of Manon and her friends lives adds so much to this book.i highly recommend
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Remain Silent by Susie Steiner is the third installment of her Inspector Manon Bradshaw series. It can be read as a stand alone novel as I had not read the two previous books but I will be soon.

Manon is perfect in her imperfection. In her forties, the mom of a toddler and adoptive teen son, a husband who is not willing to go to counseling with her so she goes alone, working part time on cold cases and selling her soul to the devil if her kids will let her sleep for five more minutes. I so want to have a drink with her and complain about stuff!

Her life is uprooted when on a walk with her son she discovers the dead body of a Lithuanian immigrant hanging from a tree with a cryptic note attached to him. She is thrown back into full time detective life as a very disturbing story of human trafficking and slavery of immigrants emerges.

This book becomes more than a police procedural as we see in England, as we do unfortunately here in the U.S., national populism rise and bigotry rear it's ugliness. The author has a point to make and she does it while keeping her core characters real, honest and at times delightfully snarky.

There were parts of this book that I found very hard to read. The depraved treatment of my fellow humans made me physically ill. It was hard to feel sympathetic to Manon's domestic issues when torture is coming up in the next chapter.  If violence is a trigger please beware of it when reading this novel.

Also, please read the author's notes at the back of the book. They are so important to what she was and is dealing with while writing this book.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via NetGalley for a fair and honest review. All Opinions are my own.
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DS Manon Bradshaw is back at work and struggling a bit coping with child care and a hated supervisor.  Then she stumbles across a body hanging from a tree in a park when she's with her son and all bets are off.  This is a complex procedural that's as much about Manon's personal life as it is a search for answers as to what happened to Lukas.  Told from multiple third person perspectives, it's the story of men brought from Lithuania to the UK who think they'll make money to send home to their families.  It's also the story of young Elise, daughter of a hateful man, and Davy, who is not sure if he really wants to get married.  Most of all its about Manon, who is worrying about Mark even as she's seeking justice. It's not straightforward but there aren't so much surprises as there are different paths.  Don't worry, btw, if you haven't read the first two - this is fine as a standalone.  It's topical and piercing.  Make sure you read the afterword.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  An excellent read and I'm very hopeful that there will be another.
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I really enjoyed the first two books in this series set in Cambridgeshire and was eagerly looking forward to reading this third one. However, I had a hard time involving myself in the story, and the entire novel fell somewhat flat for me. 

Manon is again her usually intriguing self, as she works part time and juggles family life with her partner and two children. After she discovers the hanging of an immigrant worker near her home, she is dragged deeper into the mystery of why. And thus, the thought provoking themes of immigrant labor and racism form the backdrop of the story.

There is plenty of suspense in the novel and a few nice twists and turns occur along the way to a reasonable conclusion, which — unfortunately — felt rather rushed. Nonetheless, the book is very well written, and the characters are well established, just as they were in the author’s previous novels. 

All in all, this is a good story that is very well told, but I just could not get into it as much as I did the previous two novels.
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In this third outing in the series, DCI Manon Bradshaw has been working cold cases and has been just fine with that. But when she chances upon the body of an Eastern European worker hanging in a tree in a local park, she is assigned to lead the Major Crime Unit investigation. 

She already has a lot on her plate at home with a two-year-old and an adopted teenage son, but now her husband has fallen worrisomely ill and her best friend's marriage seems to be breaking up. Even worse--she's feeling fat and middle-aged! All this is dealt with with a good dose of snarky humor. You either laugh or you cry. 

The timely topic at the heart of this story though is immigration--how the local people feel about the changes it is bringing to their society and how poorly immigrants are often treated. There are low-paying, dirty jobs that only immigrants are willing to do but there are unscrupulous employers only too willing to exploit their vulnerabilities. 

This is a decent mystery with some twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. Manon is a gem! 

I was sorry to read in the author's Acknowledgements that she is seriously ill with a malignant brain tumor. My prayers go out to her and hope that she gets her wish for five more years to finish bringing up her boys. 

I received an arc of this new mystery from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thanks for the opportunity!
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Well written, captivating and engaging. Another win for Susie Steiner.  I sped through this book as I wanted to read the ending.  Lots of plot devices.  Interesting setting.
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This was the third book about detective Manon Bradshaw, and honestly, I wish I had stopped after the first. They’ve lost steam drastically in my opinion, and this one felt like a mess of ideas and storylines and attempts at relevance/deeper themes that just didn’t work. Not a fan.
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Remain Silent by Susie Steiner is an intriguing mystery with a topical storyline. This newest addition to the Manon Bradshaw series can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend books one and two as well.

  Detective Inspector Manon Bradshaw is enjoying her shortened work schedule so she can be home with four year old Teddy, sixteen year old Fly and partner Mark. But after discovering the body of Lithuanian immigrant Lukas Balsys hanging from a tree, her new boss Detective Chief Superintendent Glenda McBain assigns her work the case with Detective Sergeant Davy Walker.  The investigation is slow moving but Manon and Davy doggedly track down every lead in hopes of catching Lukas’s killer.

  Manon has been working cold cases so she is excited to be working a fresh case. Becoming more involved in the investigation, she struggles with leaving Teddy with a childminder and keeping up with everything at home.  More stress arrives when Mark is hospitalized and they nervous awaiting his test results. Gruff and to the point, Manon tries to put her family problems out of mind as she continues following each new piece of evidence.

  Davy is nervous and a little uncertain as his fiancé Juliet plunges head first into wedding plans. He, too, is also dealing with the work/home balance as Juliet once again becomes a little resentful of his late nights and long hours. But Davy tries to push these worries aside as the investigation takes them to the unsettled town of Wisbech where anti-immigration sentiments are on the rise.

  Lukas’ friend Mattis is of special interest to Manon since he has gone missing.  The two men came to England for a better life but they instead find themselves working for traffickers.  Their living conditions are absymal as they are crammed together with other men  in tight quarters. All of the men work long hours for little pay as their handler takes most of their money for the men’s “debt”.

  Remain Silent is a clever police procedural which deftly balances murder, people trafficking and the realities of life with humor. Manon is a very true to life character who is flawed yet incredibly appealing. The investigation takes a while to gain traction, but once it does, the truth about Lukas is uncovered. With a couple of unexpected twists,  Susie Steiner brings this engrossing mystery to a satisfying and realistic conclusion.  I highly recommend this third installment of the Manon Bradshaw series to readers of the genre.

  (After reading the afterword, I immediately went to Twitter and WHEW! Very relieved.)
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This is the third book in the DS Manon Bradshaw series, and I was excited to pick it up. I’ve loved the rest of the series - Manon is just SO REAL, so messy, so hilariously in her head. Parts of her life are just so relatable (the domestic parts), and then her professional life is so foreign, which is refreshing.

Let me just say: if you liked the first two books, you won’t be disappointed in this one. Steiner continues to deliver.

I will just put in a personal caveat: I started this galley in late February, and just hit a point around 30% where I couldn’t bear to pick it back up. It might have coincided with the COVID pandemic becoming a REAL THING, and this book is DECIDEDLY not light. Immigration and the bigoted backlash to it, modern-day slavery, retaliation maiming - JFC. I think about 30% in is where you’re really getting into Matis & Lukas’s perspective (and maybe Elise?), and it is just HEAVY. I did get back to it in mid-May and finished it in just a few days. But there was quite a big break in the middle.

It’s not a light book. Manon’s facing some hard home-life stuff, as are her friends. People are generally terrible, in the way that people are.  You might save this book for time where you have a lot of emotional resilience?

The author’s note at the end had me gasping.

So....I guess just go in prepared? I love Manon, and I absolutely don’t regret the time I spent with this book. But some days (most days) it felt like it weighed 10,000 lbs each time I picked it back up to read.
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This is the third book the Manon Bradshaw Detective series. These stories focus more on the procedural side of things, but after spending time with Manon, you will get to the know her personal side and to me that is the best part of the story.

The case that is the focus is that of a mysterious death of an immigrant, who Bradshaw found hanging in the local park where she had taken her young son. Bradshaw, had been recently working cold cases after coming back from maternity leave, but of course she is asked to join the team that will run this case.

Alternately Manon is dealing with her home life, and she is dealing with a lot. Unfortunately, I wanted more of these scenes, because by the far they were the best. That is when I felt we got the best of Manon, even when she was trying to push through.

This was my least favorite in the series. I found myself not even really caring about the case Bradshaw was trying to solve, so my mind was wandering a lot. At times this book felt very blah and the ending just felt like why did you end this book that way? I do want to make one note that I did read the author’s note at the end and I do think I felt more sympathetic to this story. I am not sure if this was placed at the beginning, I might have gone into this with a different mindset, but I will never know.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Net Galley for sending me an advanced copy of this book to review.  I enjoyed Susie Steiner's first two books about Detective Manon Bradshaw, so was very excited to read this third book in the series. This one centers on the suspicious death of a Lithuanian immigrant found hanged in a tree  by Manon herself during an early morning visit to the park with her toddler son. Manon is currently working part time in cold cases, as she tries to find a work life balance with her newish partner Mark, teenage son, toddler and the stark reality of how exhausting it is to get through everyday life. The plot itself, a vivid portrayal of the exploitation of immigrants working low skilled jobs, is sad and told in stark details. DS Manon is determined to find justice for the victim. I found myself thinking about this book long after finishing it.
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It has been three years since I read book two of the Manon Bradshaw series, Persons Unknown. I also read book one of the series Missing Persons. I was immediately taken with all the characters but particularly the main character, Detective Inspector Manon Bradshaw. Although brash and moody I could tell Manon was a kind, generous, and dedicated police officer. Since 2017, I have been readily awaiting the next release of the series. Happily, book three Remain Silent was well worth the wait.
 
While on a walk with her young son, Detective Inspector Manon Bradshaw discovers the body of a young man hanging from a tree. Attached to the body is a note which leads Manon to believe the young man’s death may not have been a suicide. Although Manon works cold cases exclusively, she is made the lead investigator on the case. The long hours, the time away from her family, and the politics of working a live case soon become overwhelming. Manon quickly remembers why she moved over to cold cases. As the case becomes more complicated the danger increases, Manon is unsure if she will make it back to the cold case division alive.
 
The body Manon found is identified as Lukas Balsys. Lukas is a young Lithuanian who came to the U.K. in search of a better life.  Immigration is heavily discussed in Remain Silent. All around the world immigration is a hot topic; with opinions and emotions varying on the subject. No matter what one’s feelings may be on the issue, I challenge any reader to not feel sympathy for Lukas and his circumstances in Lithuania which brought him to the U.K. In Remain Silent Steiner, rather than focusing on the politics of immigration, focuses on the humanitarian issue.
 
Manon like many people is struggling to find a work/life balance. She and her partner, Mark are parents to a teenager and toddler. Manon took a less demanding position in the Cold Case department of the Cambridgeshire police force. At first the lack of action for more time home seemed like a fair trade. However, Manon is bored and misses being on the front lines of investigation. Her struggle to have the best of both worlds is something most people can understand, making Manon extremely relatable.
 
Remain Silent is told from several different perspectives and timelines. There are many key characters in the plot, none more important than the other. Each plot line and character are engaging and thought provoking. There are a few points when the story slows down, but the slower pace allows suspense to build up leading to a very satisfying conclusion.
 
Murder and Moore Rating:
4.5 out of 5 Stars
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Remain Silent is the third book in Susie Steiner's Manon Bradshaw mystery series.  I very much enjoyed this author's first two novles in the series and was eager to read this one as well.


Remain Silent is, in some ways, a very tough read.  It is the second book that I have finished recently that has a theme centering on the plight of illegal immigrants.  Ms. Steiner portrays what happens to these characters including Matis, Lukas and  others, with such brutal reality that it was painful to read.  The message is an important one however and something that needs to be considered. 


Manon herself can be acerbic, funny and a woman who makes many pithy parenthetical statements.  In this book, Manon is overwhelmed with challenges.  She has a young son, a teenaged son and a partner, Mark, who is in the hospital.   Manon's lament on how she wishes that she had been treating Mark better will strike a chord with anyone who has faced challenges in a relationship.


Around all of this, of course, there is a mystery.  The murder is that of one of the immigrants and Manon is tasked with solving the case.  Readers who have read the series will welcome back characters on her team including Davy.

SPOILER:


The afterword by the author reveals some of what she, herself, has been experiencing and this, too, has been quite sad and difficult.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in an excellent series in exchange for an honest review.  I hope that Ms. Steiner will continue writing.  She is a talented and clear eyed author.
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3  1/2 ⭐️‘s

Manon is not your regular detective.  She flies by the seat of her pants, and manages to get the job done in the best possible of ways.  I love Manon and her unconventional, outspoken ways along with her partner Davy.  That being said, this was not my favorite of the series.  The story just didn’t capture me as I had hoped after the first two in the series and the ending was quite abrupt.  Reading the afterword it was quite heartbreaking to find out that the author was diagnosed with brain cancer after she finished this book.  Heartfelt prayers for you, Susie!
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I’m a fan of British police procedurals.  There are some things I don’t like about them that I’ve seen in recent years, though.  Among them are (1) a lot of detail about the detective’s home life, especially kids, (2) a plot focusing on human trafficking (for sex or labor).  This book includes both (1) and (2), and yet I loved it.  Steiner is just that great a writer.

This is the third Manon Bradshaw novel and, while they’ve all been excellent, this one is superb.  Manon is just so real.  She’s driven to achieve justice in her work, which makes her butt heads fairly frequently.  She becomes obsessed with her cases, though she feels guilty about neglecting her family because she loves (and is driven crazy by) her teenage son, toddler son and partner, Mark.  She despairs at her weight, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, terrible housekeeping and bad attitude.  But don’t think she’s too self-critical.  She’s got a lot of opinions, strong ones, and doesn’t hesitate to share them.  Her rant on how we, in the 21st century, have embraced ignorance and rejected expertise, is hilarious and depressing at the same time.

As for the plot, Steiner manages to bring freshness to yet another trafficking plot.  Hers is not about sexual slavery, but about Baltic men lured into work bondage.  Without being heavy-handed, Steiner points out the hypocrisy of her countrymen for being anti-immigrant, while jumping to hire the Baltic crews for the tough, dirty jobs no Briton wants to do.

A beautifully written, standout novel.
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