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Ausma Zehanat Khan is the author of The Unquiet Dead, the first mystery in a series featuring detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty, which won the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. She has also written a forthcoming fantasy series for Harper Voyager.
A frequent lecturer and commentator, Ausma holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a research specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She completed her LL.B. and LL.M. at the University of Ottawa, and her B.A. in English Literature & Sociology at the University of Toronto.
Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine. The first magazine to address a target audience of young Muslim women, Muslim Girl re-shaped the conversation about Muslim women in North America. The magazine was the subject of two documentaries, and hundreds of national and international profiles and interviews, including CNN International, Current TV, and Al Jazeera "Everywoman". Ausma has travelled the Muslim world extensively and frequently writes about ongoing tensions there, as well as the richness and diversity of the Islamic civilization.
Ausma practiced immigration law in Toronto and has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University, as well as human rights and business law at York University. She is a long-time community activist and writer. A British-born Canadian, she currently lives in Colorado with her husband.
Author photo © Athif Khan
The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel-the opening installment in a thrilling quartet-a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope. A dark power known as the Talisman has risen in the land. Born of ignorance and persecution, it is led by a man known only as the One-Eyed Preacher. A superstitious patriarchy, cruel and terrifying, the Talisman suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing. But there are those who seek to stop the oppressive spread of the Talisman. A resistance formed of the Companions of Hira - a group of rebels versed in the power of ancient scripture, a magic known as the Claim - believe they have discovered the key to destroying the One-Eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint.
August 2017 Debut of the Month Provocative and stimulating, this debut crime thriller set in Canada, slams with impact. Two detectives begin an investigation into the death of a man who may have been involved in the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war in 1995. Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a PhD in International Human Rights Law with a research specialisation in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans, her experience and knowledge sets the tone of the novel as she takes fact and blends in fiction. It did take me a little time to settle into the story, and I appreciated the setting of the background of the Canadian police unit and politics. Each chapter is headed by a compelling, sometimes heartbreaking quotation which is explained in the notes. The story slowly grows and gathers pace, creating an intricate, intriguing moving jigsaw of pieces. The most striking part of the story for me, was when the past began to speak, I found myself flinching and yet I couldn't turn away. ‘The Unquiet Dead’ is quite simply, as fascinating as it is a challenging read. ~ Liz Robinson