The Unquiet Dead - Asuma Zehanat Khan

Title: The Unquiet Dead (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak #1)
Author: Asuma Zehanat Khan
Published: 2015
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Source: Surrey Public Libraries

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? (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I read this for my May library book club and I quite enjoyed it.  It was weird reading a book that took place during an event that I very much remember seeing on the news in the mid-1990s.  There is also a callback to Eichmann and how he tried to hide in Argentina after WWII.  Despite the book being choppy in places (this is the author's first novel), I really liked it.  I liked how Rachel Getty was drawn and how she basically put down when she has a gut feeling about something related to the case and her old male partner tries to quiet her down or dismiss her ideas in regards to the case.

Bottom line:  While it isn't a strong first novel, I have heard that the second book in the series is a lot better.  And with that in mind, I think she did an excellent job and acquitted herself quite well in writing a novel based on an event that happened less than 30 years ago.  Recommended.

Rating: 4/5


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