Finished April 24
The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
This mystery novel is the first book by this author and is an example of both very good writing and good research. With fifteen pages of endnotes, Khan shows that she takes the time and care give her characters and plots backgrounds based in reality.
Her characters are complex and develop through their experiences. The two main characters here are detective Rachel Getty, a police officer with a difficult past and her boss, Esa Khattak, a man who also has not had a smooth career with the Toronto police.
Rachel's father was a cop, but not a man she admires. He was an abusive father and a drinker. Yet, she still lives at home, for reasons that she can only partially explain. Esa has a strong sense of faith and makes no secret of his Muslim identity. His job is dealing with cases that have minority sensitivities, and he chose Rachel to be his partner. The case they tackle here is one that seems like accidental death at first glance, but as more comes to light, there are secrets reaching back to the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. Esa was a volunteer in the area during that time, and knows some of the details of events, but Rachel must do her research to get up to speed.
As she learns more about her partner and boss, she also uses her own experience to lead her to insights in the case.
This is a fascinating new series, and I look forward to reading the second book.