Turn a Blind Eye by Vicky Newham – Guest Post – Blog Tour.

 

4102a2rIIJL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Vicky Newham to my blog to talk about her lead character Maya Rahman. Her debut novel Turn A Blind Eye was published on Thursday 5th April. I loved this novel and my review is here

Guest Post

Introducing DI Maya Rahman

In crime fiction, it’s often difficult to come up with a ‘fresh’ cop protagonist. The cliché is that many are socially awkward, cannot hold down a relationship and drink too much. In addition, many are white males. I’ve been fortunate with my main character, as she evolved in my mind naturally and subverts many of these stereotypes.
Back in 2002, when I was teaching in East London, many of my students, colleagues and neighbours were from Bangladeshi backgrounds. I went out of my way to make friends with many of them and learnt about the aspects of their lives that were different from mine. As a result, I always wanted the main character in Turn a Blind Eye to be a Bangladeshi female. Maya Rahman was born in Sylhet and came to the UK with her family in 1982. She was four, with an older sister (Jasmina) and brother (Sabbir). The family lived in two rooms in a top-floor flat in Brick Lane, where many of their compatriots settled.
When the book begins, Maya is a detective inspector in the Met and she’s faced racism and sexism to reach her rank. When she arrived in London, she was an outsider. For many, she was too ‘different’. Having lived in Tower Hamlets ever since, she’s inevitably absorbed some ‘Britishness’. For some in her community, Maya’s forgotten her roots. They have mixed feelings about her education, relationship status and cultural identity. In the novel, Maya is single-minded, caring and empathic. Her mother struggled to adapt to life in the UK whereas her father thrived. There are family secrets and sadnesses which affect Maya still, but she’s in a happy, long-term relationship and we see her drawing on these aspects of her life to solve the crimes she’s investigating.

About the Book

A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.

A headmistress is found strangled in an 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.

You can purchase the book from usual places including amazon or if you fancy a signed hardback you can also buy a copy from Goldsboro

TABE blog tour

Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham – Review.

4102a2rIIJL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_

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.

My Review

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.

You can purchase the novel here