About The Language of Secrets
AN UNDERCOVER INFORMANT HAS BEEN MURDERED... BUT WHOSE SIDE WAS HE ON?
The sequel to The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan, featured on BBC Radio 4"s Woman"s Hour
"Powerful" - Bookpage * "Exceptionally fine" - Library Journal * "Compelling" - Leigh Russell
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.
My review of The Language of Secrets
The Language of Secrets is the second, and rather wonderful instalment in the Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty Canadian detective series. The first book, The Unquiet Dead, dealt with the Bosnian War and the atrocities that occurred in Srebrenica. This was a hard hitting and emotional read with an intertwined murder mystery at its core. I would highly suggest that you read this book before embarking upon The Language of Secrets, as it provides the backstory and insight needed for this book.
Detective Esa Khattak, is such an interesting character. I couldn't help but like him. He is a Muslim, he has a gentle nature, he loves his famly, he loves his community, he is Canadian. He is an accumulation of all these things, but he struggles to make others understand him and his identity. He struggles with how his life fits into this modern day Canadian community, when the only thing most people see is a Muslim. This struggle, to fit in, is a huge part of Esa's character, and I feel that it is what drives him to succeed in his investigations.
At the beginning of The Language of Secrets, the police duo are still reeling from the psychological impact of their last case, as Esa and Rachel find themselves plunged into the investigation of a murdered undercover operative, and estranged friend to Esa, Mohsin Dar. This book has a deeply personal element to it. Esa wants to protect the integrity and image of his late friend, while investigating his death.
During this book I also began to learn more about Rachel Getty. I warmed to her instantly in the first book, and this feeling continued to grow as I read her journey in this book. She is part of the undercover operation to unearth the truth, and she finds herself in the unknown environment of the Mosque. She is the eyes and ears of the operation, as she presents herself as a young woman converting to Islam. This storyline in itself was utterly compelling. I understood completely how Rachel felt, a woman completely out of her depth.
What I really liked while reading this book was the growing relationship between Esa and Rachel. This was fascinating to read. Esa is very much a man who wants to protect, but also a man who learns much from Rachel. I think that Rachel is one of the few characters who can see the 'real' Esa. They complement each other and I can't wait to read their further investigations.
I found The Language of Secrets to be a moving and thought provoking read about family, injustice, religion and how humans interact with each other during the most darkest of times. It's a book of hope, in these dark times of terrorism and when differences are not always accepted.
The Language of Secrets is published by No Exit Press on July 26.
About the author
Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a specialisation in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She has practised immigration law and taught human rights law at Northwestern University and York University. Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine to cater to young Muslim women. Her debut novel, The Unquiet Dead, won the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award
and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. She is along time community activist and writer. Born in Britain, Ausma lived in Canada for many years before recently becoming an American citizen. She lives in
Colorado with her husband. The Language of Secrets will be followed by Book 3 in the series, Among the Ruins, in early 2019.
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