Author : Ausma Zehanat Khan
Title : The Unquiet Dead
Series : Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak #1
Pages : 352
Publisher : No Exit Press
Publication date : July 19, 2017
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?
Well, I honestly don’t quite know where to start with this review as I can’t find the words to describe how much it has left me reeling. I don’t normally take breaks while reading a book but in this case, I often felt the need to go off and google fun and fluffy things in an attempt to get rid of the humongous lump in my throat.
Christopher Drayton’s body is found at the foot of the cliffs. Accident or suicide? It soon becomes apparent Drayton wasn’t who he claimed to be so is there a more sinister motive to be found for his death? It’s up to Detective Khattak and his colleague Getty to investigate and figure out the truth.
At its core, the story is a crime fiction one with detectives looking for a potential killer. Their search isn’t easy as anyone could be a suspect. It also comes with much needed diversity and multi-cultural references as Detective Khattak is Muslim. Yet, it is so much more than that as it evolves into something quite thought-provoking that will haunt me for many years to come. Try to imagine coming face to face with a war criminal who’s responsible for the deaths of your entire family. What would you do? Seek justice? Or revenge?
The Unquiet Dead has its roots firmly fixed into an incredibly dark piece of European history that is rarely talked about anymore these days, namely the war in the former republic of Yugoslavia and the genocide in Srebrenica. While I was aware of these atrocities, which happened in the early 90’s, it made for some truly uncomfortable reading.
Some chapters are massively brutal, describing events that are sadly all too prevalent in war. They brought tears to my eyes, rendered me speechless and hit even harder when I got to reading the notes at the end of the book. The storyline is often harrowing, dark and disturbing. It had me gripped from start to finish and I would highly recommend it!
Huge thanks to Maddy at No Exit Press for my advanced electronic copy, which I chose to review honestly!
The Unquiet Dead was published on July 19th.