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Ausma Zehanat Khan

Autor(a) de The Unquiet Dead

15+ Works 1,390 Membros 126 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author


Obras por Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Unquiet Dead (2015) 475 exemplares
The Bloodprint (2017) 205 exemplares
The Language of Secrets (2016) 178 exemplares
Blackwater Falls (2022) 128 exemplares
Among the Ruins (2017) 94 exemplares
A Dangerous Crossing (2018) 73 exemplares
A Deadly Divide (2019) 65 exemplares
The Black Khan (2018) 38 exemplares
Blood Betrayal (2023) 34 exemplares
A Death in Sarajevo (2017) 25 exemplares
The Bladebone (2020) 24 exemplares
The Blue Eye (2019) 22 exemplares

Associated Works

Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices (2021) — Contribuidor — 172 exemplares
The Perfect Crime (2022) — Contribuidor — 39 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



I have become a fan of Khan. Her books feature a different approach to policing, a Muslim woman detective in a very masculine culture, great plotting and good writing.
ccayne | 8 outras críticas | Jan 25, 2024 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
On one night, there were two police shootings in the Denver area. One is the shooting of a possible innocent bystander/possible fleeing suspect in a drug raid. The other is the shooting of a vandal by an officer who (claims? he) mistook a can of spray paint for a gun.

Both of the officers were white, and the men who died were young minorities. Both cases will call for the Community Response team to investigate, neither case will be easy for them (and not just because their limited resources will be stretched by simultaneous investigations of a charged nature).

So let's deal with these in the order we learn about them...

Harry Cooper isn't a fantastic cop—nor is he a bad one. He's a solid, middle-of-the-road officer, and has been one for years—and now is near retirement. He's never used his weapon before, but while pursuing some vandals on foot, he fires a warning shot in the air. Then he's sure he sees a weapon in the hand of the vandal facing him. So he shoots to kill.

It seems like a tragic mistake, but as he's part of Sheriff Grant's force, Lt. Seif seizes the opportunity to do a thorough investigation—to ensure that's all it was, and to maybe get more intel to help his case against Grant.

A number of things start to not add up—mostly around the "vandal." He's not one. He's an art student who isn't even from Blackwater Falls. He's taking part in a legitimate street art contest, for one, not someone tagging random private property. Secondly, Seif thinks the physical evidence may point to something bigger. But he's just not sure what. He wants Inaya Rahman to lead the charge on this.

But Inaya has other concerns. She left Chicago after being assaulted by a number of fellow officers, we learned last time. So when one of those officers shows up on her family's doorstep, she's disturbed (to understate it). John Broda has come to her for help—his son is a patrol officer in Denver assigned to help a drug raid on a marijuana dispensary that was known to sell harder drugs, too. In the midst of it, a potential suspect was shot. Officer Kelly Broday was arrested for murder, without saying he shot Mateo Ruiz, he is saying he's responsible for his death.

John Broda wants her to investigate and clear Kell, and in return, John will give Inaya the evidence he needs to close her last case from her days in Chicago.

She starts to look into things in exchange for the evidence, but she's soon convinced that Kell was set up—possibly by a gang within the Denver Police. But she can't figure out if someone wanted Ruiz dead (or why), or if it all has to do with the officer. Or is it both?

Meanwhile, the communities both young men belonged to start to organize and protest—particularly the Hispanic neighborhood Ruiz was from—and the Police Department isn't responding calmly. Time is of the essence for this investigation.

Which is just a pithy way of saying "Everyone's Personal Lives and the FBI's Investigation into the Blackwater Falls Sheriff." We learn more about every member of the Community Response team (and the civil rights attorney they ally with), and whatever arcs we saw or got hints of in the first book progress nicely (well, at least for the reader—I'm making no promises about how the characters feel).

Those aren't the important parts of these books, but the more we get invested in these characters, the more compelling we're going to find how the cases impact them and their lives. As a plus, they're all really interesting characters so the arcs make for good reading.

As far as the FBI Investigation goes? Well...it's still a thing. I'm not sure how much more I can say.

It'd be easy to write this series off as some sort of "woke" thing where a racially diverse group of police investigators find hate crimes everywhere. Especially when white cops kill black and Latino men. That would be a grave error, however. Khan writes complex stories that cannot be reduced to a simple, one-line explanation, never mind a label or two.

In Blackwater Falls we got one murder that led to the uncovering of a web of more crime and corruption. Here we have two murders that end up being about so much more—both cases are about as complex as the one from Blackwater Falls, but the way that Khan weaves the two stories together (if only because the investigators are the same) makes this an even more complex novel. We get two great crime stories for the price of one. Yes, I think one of the cases was easier for the reader to figure out—possibly too easy. But the way that the clues, motives, and solution were revealed more than made up for that. And the other case? You're never going to guess the solution until Khan shows it all.

But better than that is the way Khan shows (again) how crimes like this can impact entire communities, and the tensions that result and build up (possibly spill over) between those communities and the police rings so true that you could believe it happening today.

But Khan's not just good at the big, social commentary—the impact that these killings have on the families is obviously bigger than anyone wants to imagine. And, as she did in the previous novel, Khan shows the grief, confusion, anger, and the other emotions that strike a family at this time with sensitivity and keen observation. Over the last few years, I've started noticing this part of a police procedural, and I really appreciate it when the author does it well. Khan's one of the best around in this aspect.

Throw in some strong writing and great characters to all this? You've got yourself a winner. One of the best sequels that I read this year. You'd be doing yourself a favor if you grabbed the two books in this series up and doing so soon.
… (mais)
hcnewton | 8 outras críticas | Jan 11, 2024 |
Love the family values and complex characters and thrill, felt a little too perfect and the love story a little stilted, but I love Khan’s writing.
sophia.magyk | 10 outras críticas | Jan 3, 2024 |
sophia.magyk | 18 outras críticas | Jan 3, 2024 |



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