From the critically acclaimed author of The Unquiet Dead and The Language of Secrets comes another powerful novel exploring what it means to be Muslim in the West today through beautifully written characters and a complex mystery.
Canadian police officer Esa Khattak is on leave in Iran. But his supposed break from work is cut short when he’s approached by a Canadian government agent who asks him to investigate the death of renowned Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Zahra Sobhani. Zahra was murdered at Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where she’d gone to seek the release of a political prisoner. Khattak quickly finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the regime. When the trail leads back to Canada, Khattak enlists the help of his partner, Detective Rachel Getty.
Working with Khattak’s oldest friend and a brash young reporter, Rachel uncovers a conspiracy linked to the Shah of Iran and the decades-old murders of a group of Iran’s most famous dissidents. Missing historic letters, a connection to the Royal Ontario Museum, and a smuggling operation on the Caspian Sea are just some of the threads Rachel and Khattak unravel in this murder investigation, while the list of suspects stretches from Tehran to Toronto. As Khattak gets caught up in the fate of Iran’s political prisoners, Rachel sees through to the heart of the truth: Zahra’s murder might not have been political at all.
Praise forThe Language of Secrets
"As much an examination of the complicated social, political and religious aspects of the war against terrorism as it is a crime procedural. It also offers readers an introduction to Arabic poetry and fascinating details about Khattack’s and Getty’s personal lives. These colorful threads complement the bigger storylines.”—The Washington Post
“With its thought-provoking, intelligent plot,The Language of Secrets even surpasses Khan's superb debut,The Unquiet Dead.The Language of Secrets delivers a powerful insight into the Muslim community, exploring those who are peace-loving and proud of their heritage as well as those whose pride transforms into violence....An action-packed police procedural complemented by strong characters with believable motives.”—Associated Press
“Part of the search hinges on Khattak’s knowledge of Arabic poetry, but this isn’t a puzzle mystery; rather it is a novel of character and mores, and an exceptionally fine one…A heartfelt novel for lovers of crime fiction and anyone interested in the complexities of living as a Muslim in the West today.”—Library Journal (starred review)
Praise forThe Unquiet Dead
“Ausma Zehanat Khan's gripping first novel tackles questions of identity, culture, revenge and war horrors in a strong police procedural...Khan illustrates her powerful storytelling through her well-sculpted characters...An intelligent plot and graceful writing makeThe Unquiet Dead an outstanding debut that is not easily forgotten.”—The New York Times
“Impressive...Khan’s talents are evident. This first in what may become a series is a many-faceted gem. It’s a sound police procedural, a somber study of loss and redemption and, most of all, a grim effort to make sure that crimes against humanity are not forgotten.”—The Washington Post
“The Unquiet Dead blazes what one hopes will be a new path guided by the author's keen understanding of the intersection of faith and core Muslim values, complex human nature and evil done by seemingly ordinary people. It is these qualities that make this a debut to remember and one that even those who eschew the genre will devour in one breathtaking sitting.”—The LA Times
“This is Canadian-born Khan’s first novel and what a debut it is!...Khan knows her subject, knows her hometown, and knows how to keep the suspense building. This is a writer to watch.”—The Globe and Mail
“Beautiful and powerful.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Compelling and hauntingly powerful. Readers of international crime fiction will be most drawn to the story, but anyone looking for an intensely memorable mystery should put this book at the top of their list.”—Library Journal (starred review, Debut of the Month)
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