A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanet Khan – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book


In the aftermath of a mass shooting in a mosque, small town tensions run high. Clashes between the Muslim community and a local faction of radical white nationalists are escalating, but who would have motive and opportunity to commit such a devastating act of violence?

Detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty from Canada’s Community Policing Unit are assigned to this high-profile case and tasked to ensure the extremely volatile situation doesn’t worsen. But when leaked CCTV footage exposes a shocking piece of evidence, both sides of the divide are enraged.

As Khattak and Getty work through a mounting list of suspects, they realise there’s far more going on in this small town than anyone first thought…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I don’t think that I will be the only reader who finds books that concern hate crime difficult to read. What this author does so well is make it so real without baffling the reader with the politics, which is something I have struggled with in books by other authors. It is evident that a lot of research has taken place, it’s not propaganda or make believe. This is something you see too often in the media, in many, if not all parts of the world. 

The case itself is only a small part of the novel. There is the trouble brewing on campus, the radio shows, the online chat where I spent a lot of time trying to see the true identity behind their usernames. There is the attitudes of the politicians and the police, many of who could do with some lessons on how to deal with other faiths. 

But there are also the characters, both returning and new. The ones I was routing for, the ones who I was hesitant to form an opinion on and the ones I detested as soon as they made an appearance. I won’t say who these are, if you read this book you will find them soon enough. I really hope I never meet anybody similar to at least one of them!

This is a wonderful series, a different country to my own but sadly some of the views are similar. It is an educational but also intriguing crime series with likeable lead characters who deserve an easier life. I’m looking forward to what happens next.

No Place Of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan – Giveaway..

About The Book

Amid a global crisis, one woman searches for justice…

The Syrian refugee crisis just became personal for Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty.

NGO worker Audrey Clare, sister of Khattak’s childhood friend, is missing.

In her wake, a French Interpol Agent and a young Syrian man are found dead at the Greek refugee camp where she worked.

Khattak and Getty travel to Greece to trace Audrey’s last movements in a desperate attempt to find her. In doing so, they learn that her work in Greece had strayed well beyond the remit of her NGO…

Had Audrey been on the edge of exposing a dangerous secret at the heart of the refugee crisis – one that ultimately put a target on her own back?


Today I am thrilled that I can offer a giveaway. The Khattak and Getty series is a favourite of mine and this book is one I am eager to read. All you have to do to win a copy is either share this post or RT my pinned tweet and I will draw a winner using a random number generator at 5pm on Tuesday 17th September. I will pass on the winner details to the publisher, no information will be kept by myself.

Among The Ruins by Ausma Zehanat Khan – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The murder of renowned political filmmaker, Zahra Sobhani, brings Esa Khattak’s cultural holiday in Iran to a sudden halt.

Dissidents are being silenced and Khattak’s mere presence in Iran is a risk. Yet when asked to unofficially investigate the activist’s death, he cannot resist. Soon, he finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the government.

When the trail leads back to Zahra’s family in Canada, Khattak calls upon his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help. As Khattak gets caught up in the fate of Iran’s political prisoners, Rachel sees through to the heart of the matter: Zahra’s murder may not have been quite what it seemed.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Among The Ruins is the third book to feature Khattak and Rachel. It does take place in Canada but unlike the others it also takes place in Iran. 

Their working relationship is one I really admire and enjoy reading. They are both loyal to each other, they have a good friendship but also respect each others privacy. You get to know their private life, a lot less this time with Khattak but it was good to see more of Zach, Rachel’s brother.

I have to admit that Iran is a country I know little about. I wasn’t aware of the beautiful buildings, the parks and the strength of its people. Many of who had to stay  quiet about their beliefs and actions. All I knew was what is portrayed  in the media. 

There are some very short chapters in this novel that showed the more dubious side of what happens there. These chapters will be ones I will thinking about for quite a while. There was also mention of drawings, one in particular left me chilled with its description.

Whilst Khattak was investigating in Iran, Rachel was trying to help from Canada. The author demonstrates the difference in attitudes, how hard it is to visualise what happens in a country where it can be dangerous to speak when you live in a free world. I found this much easier to read. I feel this is because I know so little about Iran, I struggled to understand the situation initially. This is no reflection on the novel just my failing. I did find it easier to understand the more I read. The latter parts of the novel were extremely sad, they left me wondering what I would do if I was in the same situation. I can honestly say, I don’t know. 

The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan – Giveaway – Blog Tour.

Language of secrets new cover

Today I am delighted to host a giveaway for the first two books in this amazing series.  ( UK only) All you need to do is retweet my pinned tweet or share this post and I will pick a winner using a random number generator on Friday 10th August.

About the Book

A terrorist cell is planning an attack on New Year”s Day. For months, Mohsin Dar has been undercover, feeding information back to the national security team. Now he”s dead.

Detective Esa Khattak, compromised by his friendship with the murdered agent, sends his partner Rachel Getty into the unsuspecting cell. As Rachel delves deeper into the unfamiliar world of Islam and the group”s circle of trust, she discovers Mohsin”s murder may not be politically motivated after all. Now she”s the only one who can stop the most devastating attack the country has ever faced.

The Unquiet Dead author Ausma Zehanat Khan once again dazzles with a brilliant mystery woven into a profound and intimate story of humanity.

You can see my review for The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan here

language of secrets

The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan.


About the Book

Detective Esa Khattak heads up Canada’s Community Policing Section, which handles minority-sensitive cases across all levels of law enforcement. Khattak is still under scrutiny for his last case, so he’s surprised when INSET, Canada’s national security team, calls him in on another politically sensitive issue. For months, INSET has been investigating a local terrorist cell which is planning an attack on New Year’s Day but their undercover informant, Mohsin Dar, has been murdered. Khattak used to know Mohsin, and he can’t let this murder slide, so he sends his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, undercover into the unsuspecting mosque which houses the terrorist cell. As Rachel tentatively reaches out into the unfamiliar world of Islam, and begins developing relationships with the people of the mosque and the terrorist cell within it, the potential reasons for Mohsin’s murder only seem to multiply, from the political and ideological to the intensely personal.

My Review

The Language of Secrets is the second book in the series to feature Esa and Rachel. While the storylines are completely different to get the full back story I strongly recommend reading The Unquiet Dead first.

Esa is asked to investigate a group that is possibly Jihadist when an old friend who was undercover is murdered. Because he is well-known in the community, after the events in previous cases, Rachel is chosen to go undercover to the group meetings. She tries to give the impression that she is lost and can get salvation from the close-knit group atmosphere and the learnings that they undertake.  She isn’t the only non-Muslim woman there. There is also Paula, an older woman who is prone to bullying but had feelings for the murdered man and Grace, a seriously messed up teenage girl.

Rachel wants to get answers, find out more about the possible attack and keep the younger members of the group out of danger. Esa is under a lot of pressure. His sister is too close to one of the leaders in the group, the father of the victim is making threats publicly against the police, mainly Esa, and he has to answer to a man who quite frankly needs a smack in the mouth  a strong talking to. There was more focus on Esa’s personal life in this book. The reader was introduced to his younger sisters, the love he felt for his dead wife and the way he lived his life and practised his religion.

I did find it an unsettling book to read. Jihadists and extremism are never far from the news and the attitudes of some in the group were hard to read, you could see the control over the younger members and how easily they could be led. Also unsettling was the approach by the officials. There were some in the investigation team who didn’t understand why Esa’s unit was there. Some of the characters who needed compassion didn’t receive it. But the good in the society were also represented, Esa being a prime example but also others on the periphery who just wanted to live their lives in peace and to be accepted. This was probably one of the hardest things to read in the novel. That the majority in Islam are peace-loving but are presumed not to be.

Even though this is a fictional novel it is based on true events. I hadn’t heard of Toronto 18 on which this novel was based.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.