The Unquiet Dead (Paperback)
January 2015 Indie Next List
“This is part page-turning murder mystery with complex characters and part heartbreaking story of the Bosnian war that explores the themes of loss and the cost of justice. Rachel Getty and Esa Kahattak work in a special division of the Canadian police that handles minority-sensitive cases. They get called in on a case that looks like someone fell off the bluffs in an unfortunate accident, but rumors are that the victim isn't an 'average Joe' at all, but a Bosnian war criminal using an assumed identity. As Esa and Rachel begin to investigate, they find that nothing is really as clear-cut as it seems. This is a brilliant debut, and I can't wait to see more from this talented author.”
— Amanda Skelton, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN
"Khan is a refreshing original, and The Unquiet Dead blazes what one hopes will be a new path guided by the author's keen understanding of the intersection of faith and core Muslim values, complex human nature and evil done by seemingly ordinary people. It is these qualities that make this a debut to remember and one that even those who eschew the mystery] genre will devour in one breathtaking sitting." --The LA Times
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?
In her spellbinding debut The Unquiet Dead, Ausma Zehanat Khan has written a complex and provocative story of loss, redemption, and the cost of justice that will linger with readers long after turning the final page.
About the Author
AUSMA ZEHANAT KHAN holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She is a former adjunct law professor and was Editor-in-Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine targeted to young Muslim women. A British-born Canadian, Khan now lives in Colorado with her husband. The Unquiet Dead is her first novel.