Source: Review Copy
A terrorist cell is planning an attack on New Year’s Day. For months, Mohsin Dar has been undercover, feeding information back to the national security team. Now he’s dead.
Detective Esa Khattak, compromised by his friendship with the murdered agent, sends his partner Rachel Getty into the unsuspecting 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.
The Unquiet Dead author Ausma Zehanat Khan once again dazzles with a brilliant mystery woven into a profound and intimate story of humanity.
This is a novel I can easily give five stars to. The Language of Secrets is the first novel by Ausma Zehanat Khan, which I have read. I still have her first novel The Unquiet Dead sitting on my kindle, and I am bumping it up to the top of my TBR pile. Although her second book is part of a series featuring the same characters, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.
In The Language of Secrets, Ausma tells a powerful and absorbing tale which is very relevant to what is going on around the world today. The plot centres on the murder of a young Muslim man who has been working for the Canadian police as part of an undercover operation to expose a terrorist cell at a nearby mosque. Inspector Esa Khattak investigates the case. His partner, Rachel Getty goes undercover to try and expose a killer who may be among the congregation who worship at the mosque.
As I was reading, I thought it would be interesting to see how Esa’s relationship with the Muslim community would be affected. Many of them appear abhorred by what has happened, and they can’t speak highly enough of the victim. I imagined that some relationships he has would turn sour because of this.
There are some thought-provoking scenes in this book; I thought this particularly when Rachel was becoming acquainted with the members at the mosque. There is one scene in particular, which struck with me when they are discussing terrorism in all of its different forms. I think it is true that we associate acts of terrorism more with certain groups of people when it has happened throughout history. I thought Rachel’s undercover operation was one of the most gripping aspects of the story. You can see the worry that Khattak has for her as she becomes more absorbed in what has been happening at the mosque. There is tension here as you begin to fear that Rachel’s true identity will be discovered and you are fearful about what will happen to her.
There are some dramatic final scenes in this book which I thought gave the novel a satisfying ending. I was constantly wondering if the police were going to manage to stop the attack the terrorists were planning.
Although it is a heavy read at times, and it does tackle a difficult subject matter, I found The Language of Secrets to be utterly absorbing. It is a dark and engaging story that I’m sure will stay with you long after you finish reading.
Publisher: No Exit Press
Publication date: 26th October 2017
Print length: 336 pages
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