Among the ruins

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Book - 2017

"On leave from Canada's Community Policing department, Esa Khattak is traveling in Iran, reconnecting with his cultural heritage and seeking peace in the country's beautiful mosques and gardens. But Khattak's supposed break from work is cut short when he's approached by a Canadian government agent in Iran, asking him to look into the death of renowned Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Zahra Sobhani. Zahra was murdered at Iran's notorious Evin prison, where she'd been seeking the release of a well-known political prisoner. Khattak quickly finds himself embroiled in Iran's tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the regime, but when the trail leads back to Zahra's family in Canada, Khattak calls on ...his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help. Rachel uncovers a conspiracy linked to the Shah of Iran and the decades-old murders of a group of Iran's most famous dissidents. Historic letters, a connection to the Royal Ontario Museum, and a smuggling operation on the Caspian Sea are just some of the threads Rachel and Khattak begin unraveling, while the list of suspects stretches from Tehran to Toronto. But 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 a political crime at all. From Ausma Zehanat Khan, the critically acclaimed author of The Unquiet Dead and The Language of Secrets, comes another powerful novel exploring the interplay of politics and religion, and the intensely personal ripple effects of one woman's murder"--

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Mystery fiction
New York : Minotaur Books 2017.
Main Author
Ausma Zehanat Khan (author)
First edition
Physical Description
viii, 357 pages ; 25 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

On administrative leave after killing a man, Inspector Esa Khattak, head of Canada's Community Policing Section, is visiting Iran as a tourist when business intrudes. Internationally famous documentary filmmaker Zahra Sobhani, who holds dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship, has been raped, tortured, and killed at Iran's Evin prison, where she hoped to free her beloved stepdaughter. Khattak is asked to identify the person responsible. Meanwhile, the inspector is getting mysterious letters, presumably from an imprisoned political prisoner. Khattak's identity is clearly known to various political factions, and he must step carefully in getting involved with the dissident Green movement as he investigates Sobhani's murder. Interspersed with the activity of Khattak, who calls for help from his partner, Sergeant Rachel Getty, are wrenching accounts of torture from a political prisoner at Kahrizak, an even worse prison than Evin. As in The Unquiet Dead (2015), Khan uses an involving mystery in a vividly portrayed setting to illustrate unspeakable violations undertaken by governments in religious and political chaos. In Khan's hands, mysteries carry powerful messages.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Khan's provocative third mystery featuring Esa Khattak (after 2015's The Language of Secrets) takes Khattak, who's on leave from Toronto's Community Policing Section, to Iran. In a small town outside Esfahan, Esa meets an agent for the Canadian government, who asks him to look into the death of Zahra Sobhani, a renowned Iranian-born filmmaker who settled in Toronto. Sobhani created a media storm to secure her return to Iran, where she made a documentary, A Requiem of Hope, detailing the irregularities of the country's 2009 election and the protests that followed. She also evaded her handlers to take photos at the notorious Evin prison. Sobhani was later arrested, tortured, and killed. Members of a ragtag protest group help Esa delve into the maelstrom of Iranian politics. Back in Canada, Esa's police partner, Sgt. Rachel Getty, investigates Sobhani's life in Toronto. Esa and Rachel risk their lives in an effort to discover who killed Sobhani and why. Khan intertwines a tale of love and fear with the rich history of a troubled land. Agent: Danielle Burby, Hannigan Salky Getzler. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

In her provocative third mystery featuring Canadian policeman Esa Khattak (after The Language of Secrets), Khan sends her hero to Iran to investigate the murder of a female filmmaker. Esa, on leave from Toronto's Community Policing Section after a fatal force incident, is in the Iranian city of Esfahan, first as a tourist and then as an official investigator, after he's contacted by a group of dissidents who are upset over the death of Canadian Iranian documentary filmmaker Zahra Sobhani. Her film about the country's 2009 election and its aftermath caused a media firestorm in Iran and led to -Sobhani's arrest, after which she was tortured and killed. As he becomes more immersed in investigating Sobhani's murder, Esa's partner in Toronto, Sgt. Rachel Getty, does her part to poke into the victim's life in Canada. Esa, who originally traveled to Iran to soak up the ancient culture (he's conveniently fluent in Farsi), is torn between stepping into the obvious hotbed of Iranian politics and enjoying the nation's storied history. VERDICT Deeply political without becoming pedantic, Khan's crime novel offers a fictionalized yet very real look at a region that is steeped in both beauty and misery. [See Prepub Alert, 8/15/16.] © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.