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Reader Reviewed
The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
  

The Unquiet Dead

Crime / Mystery   Thriller / Suspense   Debuts of the Month   Reading Groups   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
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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

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Sabine Little - 'I cherished it, it is very well written, and I hope many more people will read it, too, because it is very much worth reading.'    
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'The genocide of WW2 is a popular story line in faction - it is rare to read a factional account of the crimes in Bosnia.  This is a compelling mystery about those Bosnian crimes.'
  • Margaret Freeman - 'A powerful and thought provoking story.'
  • Sheila Dale - 'This book is very well written and very disturbing, a reminder of the horrors of war and how the innocent suffer for decisions completely outside their control.'
  • Sarah Musk - 'This book is difficult to read at times but you must read it.  A story about a war criminal, it portrays the inhumanity of genocide and how terrible it is to not know the fate of missing families.'
  • Ed Robson - 'The Unquiet Dead is an impressive debut that approaches the crime thriller from an interesting new angle. Khan is clearly someone to watch!'
  • Helen Lowry - 'All I can say is – I couldn’t put this book down! I was completely hooked from page one. The plot, the well-drawn characters, the descriptions. All added together to make a first-class debut novel.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'When there are thousands of victims, can one murder avenge them all? This is the question at the heart of The Unquiet Dead.'
  • Ann Quintilla - 'A man falls to his death from Scarborough Bluffs. Was it an accident? Was he murdered? Although well-known in the neighbourhood was he really the man everyone thought they knew?'

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Synopsis

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

One man is dead.

But thousands were his victims.

Can a single murder avenge that of many?

Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto: the body of Christopher Drayton is found at the foot of the cliffs. Muslim Detective Esa Khattak, head of the Community Policing Unit, and his partner Rachel Getty are called in to investigate. As the secrets of Drayton’s role in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of Bosnian Muslims surface, the harrowing significance of his death makes it difficult to remain objective. In a community haunted by the atrocities of war, anyone could be a suspect. And when the victim is a man with so many deaths to his name, could it be that justice has at long last been served?

In this important debut novel, Ausma Zehanat Khan has written a compelling and provocative mystery exploring the complexities of identity, loss, and redemption.

Reviews

'compelling and challenging, this is a beautifully written and powerful story of inhumanity and justice' - Leigh Russell, bestselling author of the DI Geraldine Steel series

'Gripping...An intelligent plot and graceful writing make The Unquiet Dead an outstanding debut that is not easily forgotten' - Associated Press

'Beautiful and powerful (starred review)' - Publishers Weekly

'a debut to remember and one that even those who eschew the genre will devour in one breathtaking sitting' - The LA Times

'Compelling and hauntingly powerful...anyone looking for an intensely memorable mystery should put this book at the top of their list' - Library Journal

About the Author

Ausma Zehanat Khan

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

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Book Info

Publication date

27th July 2017

Author

Ausma Zehanat Khan

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Author's Website

ausmazehanatkhan.com/

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Publisher

No Exit Press an imprint of Oldcastle Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
Debuts of the Month
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery

ISBN

9781843449447

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