Thursday 2 August 2018

#BlogTour The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Today it is an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan. If you haven't had the chance to read anything by this author yet then I recommend you do.

About the Author
Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a specialisation in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She has practised immigration law and taught human rights law at Northwestern University and York University. Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine to cater to young Muslim women. Her debut novel, The Unquiet Dead, won the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. She is a longtime community activist and writer. Born in Britain, Ausma lived in Canada for many years before recently becoming an American citizen. She lives in Colorado with her husband. The Language of Secrets will be followed by Book 3 in the series, Among the Ruins, in early 2019.

Follow @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress on Twitter
Buy The Language of Secrets

About the book
An undercover informant has been murdered...but whose side was he on?

TORONTO: A local terrorist cell is planning an attack on New Year’s Day. For months, Mohsin Dar has been undercover, feeding information back to Canada’s national security team. Now he’s dead.
Detective Esa Khattak heads up Canada's Community Policing Section, which handles minority-sensitive cases across all levels of law enforcement. Khattak is still under scrutiny for his last case, so he's surprised when INSET, Canada's national security team, calls him in on another politically sensitive issue. For months, INSET has been investigating a local terrorist cell which is planning an attack on New Year's Day but their undercover informant, Mohsin Dar, has been murdered. Khattak used to know Mohsin, and he can't let this murder slide, so he sends his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, undercover into the unsuspecting mosque which houses the terrorist cell.

As Rachel delves deeper into the unfamiliar world of Islam and the group’s circle of trust, she discovers Mohsin’s murder may not be politically motivated after all. Now she’s the only one who can stop the most devastating attack the country has ever faced.

This is the second book in the Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak series. The first, The Unquiet Dead, was a success and after reading this I can absolutely see why. I actually bought the first straight after I finished the second, that's how impressed I was by the plot, the writing and the breadth of her knowledge.

One of the aspects of Esa's character the author captures well is the way he straddles two worlds, and why he feels as if he belongs in neither of them completely because of that. The first is the world of his faith, family and community, and the second is that of the police and his career.

In an era where being a Muslim means a shadow of suspicion hovering constantly over your head, being a police officer makes you, or in this case Esa, the enemy. The police on the other hand make the automatic assumption that Muslim means terrorist, ergo Esa could be a potential threat. Either way he is treated with suspicion.

Esa is drawn into the murder of an old friend, who appears to be part of a terrorist cell. His hands are bound by his old nemesis, which means he is only getting half of the information he needs to solve the case and keep Rachel and his family safe.

I loved the way the author used the poetry to enlighten her readers about subtext and context in relation to the jihadists, and in general to the written beauty of a different culture and country.

This is a spectacularly well researched and written story, and I will be putting this author firmly on my list of favourites. The beauty of a Language of Secrets is explained by a simple sentence towards the end, and I couldn't agree more with her sentiment. I've always understood that poetry is interpreted individually through our own frame of reference, whether it be culturally, politically or through the veil of religion. I have never thought of it as something to which I have my own code.

This story is as compelling as it is lyrical, and yet it in no way minimises the intricate complexity of the criminal plot in the midst of it all. It is a fantastic read. One of those I could talk about for ages, and those are always the best kind of books.

Buy The Language of Secrets at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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