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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Blood Betrayal

Series: Blackwater Falls #2

Narrator: Fareeda Pasha

ISBN: 9781705072158

Publisher: RB Media, Recorded Books

Publisher: Minotaur Books, St. Martins Press

Publication Date: 11/07/2023

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

A complex and timely mystery, Blood Betrayal proves once again that Ausma Zehanat Khan is a writer at the peak of her powers.

“Inaya is a fabulous character."―New York Times Book Review, "Editor's Choice" on Blackwater Falls

In Blackwater Falls, Colorado, veteran police officer Harry Cooper is hot on the heels of some local vandals when the situation turns deadly: believing one of them has a gun, Harry opens fire and Duante Reed, a young Black man, is killed. The "gun" in his hands was a bottle of spray paint. Meanwhile, in nearby Denver, a drug raid goes south and a Latino teen, Mateo Ruiz, is also killed.

Detective Inaya Rahman is all too familiar with the name of the young cop who has seemingly killed Mateo: Kelly Broda. Kelly is the son of the police officer John Broda, who led a violent attack on her when they were both in Denver. No one is more surprised than Inaya when John turns up on her doorstep, pleading for her help in proving the innocence of his son.

With the Denver Police force spread thin between the two cases, protests on both sides of the cases begin. Inaya and her boss Lieutenant Waqas Seif have their work cut out for them to consider the guilt of the perpetrators and their victims. Harry was by all accounts an officer dedicated to the communities he served: was this shooting truly a terrible mistake? Duante was, to some, a street artist with no prior record, but to others, he was a vandal. Mateo was either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or a dangerous drug dealer. In either case, was lethal force truly necessary?

Forced to reckon with her own prejudices and work through those of her colleagues around her, Inaya must discover the truth of what really happened on one fateful night in Blackwater Falls.

My Review

Ausma Zehanat Khan returns following Blackwater Falls #1 with BLOOD BETRAYAL, the second in the Blackwater Falls series featuring Detective Inaya Rahman (love) with a timely, twisty, and gripping suspense cop procedural.

Set in Blackwater Falls, Colorado, a veteran cop, Harry Cooper, opens fire on a young black street artist, Dauante Reed when he thinks he has a gun but is only a can of spray paint.

John Broda is one of the police officers who has harassed her in Chicago, and now he is asking for her help to clear his son's name. Kelly is a young patrolman in Denver and has been accused of shooting and killing a young Latino man, Mateo Ruiz, in a drug raid.

Detective Inaya Rahman is Muslim and works with the Community Response Unit in Denver. The CRU's mission is to investigate police interaction within the community, violence, and actions if warranted. Areesha, a civil rights lawyer, represents the mother of the young black man.

Two cases. In either case, the ongoing question: Was lethal force truly necessary?

Lieutenant Waqas Seif and Inaya have big jobs and other complexities due to their religion. From past police transgressions and racism, there are a lot of items to juggle and cases to solve in Blackwater Falls.

There are many complex topics and emotions from religion, faith, prejudice, justice, and persecution— as well as their personal lives with the two investigations and the characters.

Ausma Zehanat Khan is a talented writer and storyteller, having read some of her other books and series. BLOOD BETRAYAL is an excellent addition to her collection, and fans will surely enjoy it. The author showcases her talent, blending professional and personal relationships with diverse backgrounds.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Fareeda Pasha for a riveting performance, holding your attention to the end with social and political commentary and timely issues.

Thanks to RB Media, Recorded Books, and NetGalley for an advanced audio listening copy.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Nov 7, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars

Detective Inaya Rahman




* One of “The Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of Fall 2023”―CrimeReads

“Richly drawn characters and nuanced depictions of contemporary policing make this a winner. Readers will be eager to hear more from Inaya soon.”

―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[Brings] fresh relevance to the subgenre’s timeworn conventions . . . twisty, multifaceted . . . A penetrating, of-the-moment police procedural.”

―Kirkus Reviews

“Khan excels in creating multifaceted characters whose engrossing stories bring up social questions to which there are no easy answers. As in the best crime fiction, the solution here is both satisfying and unexpected.”

―First Clue

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 the author of the award-winning Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty mystery series, which begins with The Unquiet Dead, as well as the critically acclaimed Khorasan Archives fantasy series. Her crime series featuring Detective Inaya Rahman begins with Blackwater Falls. She is also a contributor to the anthologies Private Investigations, Sword Stone Table, and The Perfect Crime, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Muslim Girl magazine. A British-born Canadian and former adjunct law professor, Khan now lives in DC with her husband. WEBSITE







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