Rummanah Aasi

Description: Despite their many differences, Detective Rachel Getty trusts her boss, Esa Khattak, implicitly. But she's still uneasy at Khattak's tight-lipped secrecy when he asks her to look into Christopher Drayton's death. Drayton's apparently accidental fall from a cliff doesn't seem to warrant a police investigation, particularly not from Rachel and Khattak's team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But when she learns that Drayton may have been living under an assumed name, Rachel begins to understand why Khattak is tip-toeing around this case. It soon comes to light that Drayton may have been a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.
  If that's true, any number of people might have had reason to help Drayton to his death, and a murder investigation could have far-reaching ripples throughout the community. But as Rachel and Khattak dig deeper into the life and death of Christopher Drayton, every question seems to lead only to more questions, with no easy answers. Had the specters of Srebrenica returned to haunt Drayton at the end, or had he been keeping secrets of an entirely different nature? Or, after all, did a man just fall to his death from the Bluffs?

Review: In Khan's debut mystery series opener two Toronto detectives are handed a politically sensitive case. Esa Khattak is a second-generation Canadian Muslim who heads the new Community Policing Section, created to deal with delicate cases involving minorities. When a call from Tom Paley, chief historian at the Canadian Department of Justice, drops Esa and his partner, Rachel Getty, into the mysterious death of Christopher Drayton, who may have fell or jumped or was pushed off a cliff. As they investigate Drayton's past, new information leads Esa and Rachel to believe Drayton has a connection to the Bosnian Genocide of 1995.
  I really like how this mystery is written. It is evident that the author did a lot of research into the Bosian Genocide. In alternating chapters, we get eyewitness accounts of the atrocities of the genocide. Slowly these pieces connect meaningfully to the overall mystery arc. As we learn more details of the past, the mystery goes beyond the simple "who killed Drayton?" as it first appears.
 There is also a wide and interesting cast of characters. Esa is a reserved character who has lost his wife in a car accident and still feels guilty about it. I didn't feel like I had a good grasp on his character, but since it's the first book in a series, I am hoping I will learn  more about him when I continue the series. I did get a good grasp on Rachel who also has personal issues regarding her family such as abusive, alcoholic famed ex-cop father, her meek mother, and her desire to reconnect with her estranged brother who left home at 15 and never looked back.
 The Unquiet Dead is a solid mystery that features complex characters and issues, which at times are hard to read about. I do plan on continuing this series and learning more about these characters.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong genocide violence including rape, suicide, and torture. This some language and crude sexual humor in the book. Due to the mature topics in the book, I would recommend it to mature teens and adult readers only.

If you like this book try: Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak #2), Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
1 Response
  1. I read this one a while ago and also really liked it. I thought the characters were good and the historical tie-ins.


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