On my blog today I am republishing my review of Turn a Blind Eye by Vicky Newham. Vicky will be appearing at First Monday Crime alongside Clare Mackintosh, Beth Lewis and Lucy Atkins. The moderator will be Rod Reynolds. Details of the night can be found here
About the Book
A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.
A headmistress is found strangled in her East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept:
I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.
At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found.
Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.
Turn a Blind Eye is the first book in a brand-new series set in East London and starring DI Maya Rahman.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
In Turn A Blind Eye, Vicky Newham has created some strong lead characters with Maya and Dan. Maya is the first Bangladeshi character that I have met and I found it fascinating to read the accounts of her childhood interspersed with the murder investigation. She is a character I am looking forward to knowing more about, her relationship with her parents and definitely her sister. Dan,married into the Aboriginal community brings added empathy and understanding into a multi racial community that is different to what he might otherwise be used to. I warmed to Maya immediately, Dan may take a little longer but I am looking forward to knowing more about his personal life. But there are more than the two lead characters. Their superior officer, who is obnoxious, the victims and their families are all well-developed. The way the grieving families were described was more convincing than some that I have read.
The teachers in the novel also have a voice, they show their concerns, their fears and the frustration they feel at events that they have no control over.
I am not a teacher but the account of life in an inner city school was convincing and the politics interesting. How the teachers and social workers have to deal with a lot more than just whether homework is being done.
I found it to be a brilliant account of how a close-knit community cope when one of their own is killed. It felt realistic how Maya had to deal with a crowd that could get angry, fuelled by the media and fake news.
This novel is much more than a murder investigation. This is a study into how people from different races and religions live alongside each other.