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Among the Ruins: A Mystery (Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak Novels) Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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Praise for The Language of Secrets
"As much an examination of the complicated social, political and religious aspects of the war against terrorism as it is a crime procedural. It also offers readers an introduction to Arabic poetry and fascinating details about Khattack’s and Getty’s personal lives. These colorful threads complement the bigger storylines.”―The Washington Post
“With its thought-provoking, intelligent plot, The Language of Secrets even surpasses Khan's superb debut, The Unquiet Dead. The Language of Secrets delivers a powerful insight into the Muslim community, exploring those who are peace-loving and proud of their heritage as well as those whose pride transforms into violence....An action-packed police procedural complemented by strong characters with believable motives.”―Associated Press
“Part of the search hinges on Khattak’s knowledge of Arabic poetry, but this isn’t a puzzle mystery; rather it is a novel of character and mores, and an exceptionally fine one…A heartfelt novel for lovers of crime fiction and anyone interested in the complexities of living as a Muslim in the West today.”―Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for The Unquiet Dead
“Ausma Zehanat Khan's gripping first novel tackles questions of identity, culture, revenge and war horrors in a strong police procedural...Khan illustrates her powerful storytelling through her well-sculpted characters...An intelligent plot and graceful writing make The Unquiet Dead an outstanding debut that is not easily forgotten.”―The New York Times
“Impressive...Khan’s talents are evident. This first in what may become a series is a many-faceted gem. It’s a sound police procedural, a somber study of loss and redemption and, most of all, a grim effort to make sure that crimes against humanity are not forgotten.”―The Washington Post
“The Unquiet Dead blazes what one hopes will be a new path guided by the author's keen understanding of the intersection of faith and core Muslim values, complex human nature and evil done by seemingly ordinary people. It is these qualities that make this a debut to remember and one that even those who eschew the genre will devour in one breathtaking sitting.”―The LA Times
“This is Canadian-born Khan’s first novel and what a debut it is!...Khan knows her subject, knows her hometown, and knows how to keep the suspense building. This is a writer to watch.”―The Globe and Mail
“Beautiful and powerful.”―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Compelling and hauntingly powerful. Readers of international crime fiction will be most drawn to the story, but anyone looking for an intensely memorable mystery should put this book at the top of their list.”―Library Journal (starred review, Debut of the Month)
About the Author
AUSMA ZEHANAT KHAN, author of Among the Ruins, holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law and is a former adjunct law professor. She was Editor-in-Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine targeted to young Muslim women. A British-born Canadian, Khan now lives in Colorado with her husband.
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Top customer reviews
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The mystery is solid, with twists that I did not anticipate, and a believable ending. Another thing that I appreciate so much is AZK's ability to present a window into a culture completely different from my own and unknown to me, as a female American WASP. Her insights into Iranian culture are fascinating. Read the author's note at the end of each of her books. I come away from each one feeling as though I've not only been entertained for hours with a thrilling tale, but I've learned something as well and just might be a slightly better person for having read the novel. I cannot wait for the next one.
I have of course found myself emotionally caught up by characters in mysteries, even tearful (Flavia de Luce I’m looking at you). But I can’t think of a mystery book or series that gets me so caught up in the real fate of a group of people or nation or really just what the f*** is wrong with humanity sometimes. Khan had me terrified and sad for the plight of prisoners in Iran – so much so I’d never want to go there- and at the same time longing to see the sights she described. Thankfully she started posting pictures on Facebook and saved me the searching time! What a beautifully sad place.
I’m also currently reading Khan’s foray into fantasy, The Bloodprint, and I’m really enjoying it. Definitely getting flashbacks to the setting for Among the Ruins which is cool and different.
The storyline focuses on the suspicious murder of Canadian-Iranian filmmaker, Zahra Sobhani. Khan provides details of her history as well details of her family living in Canada. Her murder takes place while being held as a prisoner in Iran’s worst Evin prison. Esa is contacted by a Canadian agent requesting he investigate the filmmaker’s death. Esa begins his investigation in Iran while asking her partner Rachel to begin looking into Zahra’s background. The storyline explores the danger of investigating a death someone who may be part of group political dissidents and agents of the Iranian state. Khan’s creates support characters both from Iran and Canada providing each characters’ roles as they enter the AMONG THE RUINS storyline.
Khan creates subplots exploring details of both Esa and Rachel personal lives. The author share details of personal connections with those close to Esa as well as details of Rachel family relationships with her brother and mother. She merges the murder investigation and potential of an international conspiracy dating back to the Shah of Iran, with events with roots in Canada. The author provides the human side to her mystery suspense storyline by including a subplot featuring those who might have romantic interests in Esa and Rachel. Khan’s AMONG THE RUINS puts a spotlight on various human rights abuses taking place in Iran while not losing the focus of the storyline’s mystery The author keeps her readers in suspense until the very end as to who, what, and why things have taken place