Review by Booklist Review
Detective Inaya Rahman's past in the Chicago Police Department comes back to haunt her in the second book in Khan's Colorado-set Blackwater Falls series. John Broda, the man who abused and humiliated Inaya because of her Islamic faith, has come to town seeking her help. Broda's son, a Denver street officer, has been accused of shooting an unarmed man, but Broda is convinced his son is innocent and offers Inaya a deal she can't resist. Meanwhile, a young artist is gunned down by a veteran officer, and the hostility between the sheriff and the Community Response Unit continues. Like Blackwater Falls (2022), this is a compelling and deeply emotional thriller. Khan tackles the heartbreak of losing a child as well as the internal struggle faced by officers of color when forced to choose between a call to service and their communities. As always, she addresses these issues with straightforward honesty and grace. Highly recommended for those who enjoy complex procedurals with a human touch, such as Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Khan follows up 2022's Blackwater Falls with another excellent mystery focused on police violence, bias, and corruption in Colorado. Blackwater Falls cop Harry Cooper is chasing vandals one night when he encounters Black graffiti artist Duante Young and thinks the young man pulls a gun on him. Harry shoots Duante dead, only to discover that the object in his hand was a spray paint can. Det. Inaya Rahman and her Community Response Unit, which handles cases involving police accountability and vulnerable populations, are called in. The same night, a young Hispanic man named Mateo Ruiz is fatally shot during a drug raid in nearby Denver. The most likely shooter is patrolman Kelly Broda, the son of the man who spearheaded a violent attack on Inaya when both were police officers in Chicago. Racial tensions roil the metro area as Inaya, activist attorney Areesha Adams, and criminal psychologist Catalina Hernandez discover that someone lined up a row of garbage cans to corner Young in the cul-de-sac where he was shot. Meanwhile, Ruiz's killing appears linked to a cadre of white supremacists within the Denver police force. Richly drawn characters and nuanced depictions of contemporary policing make this a winner. Readers will be eager to hear more from Inaya soon. (Nov.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Near-concurrent police shootings rock Colorado. During a routine patrol of a quiet residential neighborhood, Harry Cooper, a white officer with the Blackwater Falls Sheriff's Department, shoots and kills Duante Young, a 20-year-old Black street artist whose spray paint Harry allegedly mistakes for a gun. That same evening in nearby Denver, another white cop shoots and kills a 22-year-old Latino bystander, Mateo Ruiz, in the course of a botched drug raid. Lt. Waqas Seif, head of the Denver Police Department's Community Response Unit, instructs Det. Inaya Rahman and her CRU colleagues to focus on investigating the Blackwater Falls incident: "The [Denver] raid is the Drug Task Force's business, not ours." Then Inaya receives a visit from John Broda, a racist bully who terrorized and physically assaulted her when they worked together at the Chicago PD, prompting her exit. John's son, Kelly, is the Denver cop indicated in Mateo's murder and John wants Inaya's help exonerating him. In exchange, John will produce evidence sufficient to convict a fellow CPD officer of beating a young Black man to death--a case Inaya abandoned upon leaving Illinois. Conflicted, she must now choose between obeying orders and righting past wrongs. Khan continues in the vein of her first Det. Inaya Rahman novel, Blackwater Falls (2022), bringing fresh relevance to the subgenre's timeworn conventions. Melodramatic stereotypes pepper the intersectionally diverse cast, diminishing the effect of the twisty, multifaceted story and its thorny politics, but the care Khan takes in developing Duante and Mateo as nuanced characters largely compensates. A penetrating, of-the-moment police procedural. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.