Dylan Scott has problems. Dismissed in disgrace from the police force for assaulting a suspect, he has no job, his wife has thrown him out and—worse luck—his mother has moved in. So when Holly Champion begs him to investigate the disappearance of her mother thirteen years ago, he can't say no, even though it means taking up residence in the dreary Lancashire town of Dawson's Clough for the duration.
Although the local police still believe Anita Champion took off for a better life, Dylan's inquiries turn up plenty of potential suspects: the drug-dealing, muscle-bound bouncer at the club where Anita was last seen; the missing woman's four girlfriends, out for revenge; the local landowner with rumored mob connections—the list goes on. But no one is telling Dylan all they know—and he soon finds that one sleepy Northern town can keep a lot of secrets.
Dylan Scott has been dismissed from the police force for assaulting a suspect. His self-respect and confidence are in tatters. Now Bev, his wife, has decided she can’t live with him and he’s in the smallest apartment in the world. To add insult to injury his mother has moved in. When Holly Champion calls with a missing person job, Dylan takes it for a few reasons. He needs the money, to escape his mother, and for something to do. He believes Holly is obsessed but after looking into it decides to take the case, making no promises. So begins the search for Anita Champion.
Presumed Dead is, in a word, excellent. Vividly realistic characterization and descriptive writing made the cast and locations very much “there” for me.
I loved the characters, their problems and lives. Dylan Scott is an interesting protagonist. Flawed yet such a great guy. Dogged determination, stubbornness, and refusal to give up make him an impressive PI. His marriage to Bev is on the rocks but he refuses to believe it’s really over. It’s refreshing that neither Bev nor Dylan is made to be the villain. Their marriage and current situation are very realistically portrayed. I was sympathetic to both sides. Hope springs eternal for Dylan. I found myself caring for these characters and not just the leads.
Holly Champion, her search for her mother, and her belief that he’s the only person who can suss out what happened to Anita is a lifesaver for Dylan. I was caught up immediately. Following along as he searched for that needle in a haystack was engrossing. While I was doing other things my mind was worrying the disappearance of Anita. That, to me, is a sign of a great mystery. It’s so compelling that you think about it even when you aren’t reading. I’m very much looking forward to the next in what I sincerely hope is a series.
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