On July 2, acclaimed English author Susie Steiner died at age 51. She was best known for her crime/detective novel series, Missing, Presumed (2016), Persons Unknown (2017), and most recently, Remain Silent (2020). Her series of novels popularly featured quirky detective Manon Bradshaw.
Steiner had to contend with the loss of eyesight and was later diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago.
Steiner’s Early Life
Susie Steiner grew up in North London and studied at Henrietta Barnet School. At an early age, she developed an interest in creative writing. Her favorite authors included Brontes, Austen, George Elliot, and Thomas Hardy.
Susie Steiner’s Career
Susie began her journalism career as a reporter for the Guardian for 11 years but later left to pursue writing fiction full-time. “Homecoming” was her first book published in 2013 in the UK. After Steiner was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in 2019, she admitted that reading was the most valuable pass time in hospital and during chemotherapy.
In an article she wrote in the Independent in 2016, Steiner notes that her loss of eyesight increased her creative output as a novelist. Her appreciation of and remarkable insight into the undercurrents of human nature made her a witty character full of life and a critically acclaimed and bestselling author.
Fictitious Character Detective Manon Bradshaw
A fan once asked Susie Steiner how similar she was to her fictitious character, sergeant Manon, and she said the detective was 98.34% like her, while the rest was pure invention.
Although she was joking, her character represented her understanding of the dynamics between different people and her commitment to exploring questions of equality and justice. As a prolific writer, she was alive to the complexities of people’s desires and their frailties, and this helped her to animate her protagonist, Detective Manon.
The three Outings of Detective Manon
Detective Manon had three outings, as animated by English author Susie Steiner. First was Missing, Presumed, which featured the abduction of a young woman; her well-to-do parents were close friends with the home secretary, a situation that placed the investigating team under intense pressure to solve the case.
The second book, Persons Unknown, shows Manon Bradshaw’s adopted black son placed under arrest as a murder suspect; a real case inspired it. The Third book, Remain Silent, explores a gruesome death among the Lithuanian migrant worker community; at the same time, Bradshaw has to contend with her partner’s cancer diagnosis.
Author Tributes to Acclaimed Writer Susie Steiner
Fans and authors alike feel deeply saddened by the loss of such a talented writer. Susie was a funny and attentive friend with fans all across the world. And the author community feels a profound loss for the absence of the work she had planned to write. But at the same time, they are grateful that she leaves her voice in her four exceptional novels.
Her family will especially miss her, as she was a loving mother of two boys she raised with her husband, Tom. These three were always the center of her world, even as she battled cancer.
In a tribute by her UK publisher, Suzie Dooré, Steiner was a wonderful person with an exceptional personality. As a friend, she had quick wits and brutal honesty, the two traits she quickly passed on to her fictitious series character, Detective Manon Bradshaw.