About Among the Ruins (Detective Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty Mysteries Book 3
Esa Khattak wanted justice. Now he just needs to stay alive.
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.
Steeped in suspense, Among the Ruins is a powerful, provocative mystery exploring the interplay of politics and religion, and the intensely personal ripple effects of one woman’s murder.
My review of Among the Ruins
Among the Ruins is the third book in the Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty series, and oh my, what a read. This book really does have it all. It's a book steeped in political history, a murder mystery and a book about how religion can both divide and unite us. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is a book about the political prisoners of Iran and the murder of documentary filmmaker and activist, Zahra Sobhani. We read the story of a woman who went to Iran and who never left as she was found murdered. It is while on a cultural retreat in Iran that Esa is approached and asked to work undercover to solve the murder. Esa is a character who I greatly admire, and he knows his limitations. He calls in the support of his detective friend back home in Canada to help him join the clues together, and this is what makes the book so very special and unique. There is such a magical bond between these two. A mutual respect for each other that shines from the page. It is their teamwork that helps Esa investigate the murder of this woman, who was not only a political documentary maker, and activist, but also a mother.
This book is about Iran's political injustices, but it is also about humanity, compassion and the seeking of justice. it's also a fantastic murder mystery, as we are with Esa and Rachel every step of the way in tracking down who killed Zahra. I needed to know who was responsible and why they committed such a horrific and unforgivable act of violence.
As we make our way through the book the chapters are interspersed with personal stories of Iran's political past and its political prisoners. Often horrific, disturbing and unsettling to read, I found them to be very much necessary. I know very little about this country's history and, so for me, this really helped to add depth and meaning to what was happening in real time to Esa.
Among the Ruins is a slow burning read that picks up quickly in pace to a race for justice. It's an emotional and thought provoking read about religion and culture that is extremely relevant in today's political climate. A fantastic addition to this gripping series.
With thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to the publisher for providing a paper copy of the book.
Published by No Exit Press, Among the Ruins is available to buy now.
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.
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