top of page
Top of Blog
wine patio book .jpg
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Next of Kin

ISBN: 9780008538323

Publisher: HQ Harper 360

Publication Date: 09/20/2022

Format: e-book & audiobook

Narrators: Tania Rodrigues, Avita Jay

My Rating: 5 Stars


Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. His son’s nursery has called to ask where little Max is.


Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done.


What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.

My Review

Kia Abdullah's NEXT OF KIN is an enthralling, intense, heart-pounding, gripping, heartbreaking, and highly emotional domestic/legal thriller with riveting courtroom drama and one which will continue to surprise you to the end!

A story that could be ripped from today's headlines, a day starts as normal and soon becomes a nightmare for an entire family and everyone associated.

One mistake. Deathly consequences.

Set in London, Leila Syed is a successful and ambitious architect married to Will, a partner in an architectural firm.

After her mother's suicide years ago, she adopted her sister, Yasmin, who is now married to Andrew, and they have a three-year-old son, Max.

Andrew has been called into work for an emergency, and his wife is already at work, so he calls Leila to see if she can drop Max off at nursery school on her way to work. She agrees and puts him in her back seat.

However, an emergency arises at work, and she is on her phone, distracted. In the haste to get into the office, she forgets Max is in the car. It happens to be one of the hottest days of the year.

Unfortunately, it is not until hours later, that Andrew calls her to see where Max is since he did not show up at the nursery.

Tragically, it is too late.

What comes next is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. Leila is charged with manslaughter, and a high-profile court case follows, attracting a lot of media attraction.

A family, sisters, and marriages are torn apart. There are judgments against one another, and blaming, and these parts are difficult to read even though you want to know how it will all play out, like a bad train wreck.

The author is a pro. She dazzles, and her writing is flawless!

The novel is broken out into three parts:

Part One – From the beginning of day one of the accident and its aftermath. With Leila and her sister Yasmin. Lots of grief, blame, resentment, shame, family secrets, and guilt. Also, we hear from DS Chris Shepherd.

Part Two —Courtroom drama with POV from Leila.

Part Three —After the verdict.


Multi-layered and complex, there are more twists than you can imagine and a roller coaster ride. Emotionally charged and thought-provoking, NEXT OF KIN is unsettling and disturbing; however, readers will be glued to the pages, frantically turning to discover how it will unfold. The courtroom scenes are both riveting and INTENSE. Your emotions will be all over the board.

Taut, suspenseful, and compelling, the author writes with compassion and sensitivity and dives deep into the relationship between the two sisters.

I can see why UK readers are huge fans of the author, and when more of us US fans learn of this author's talent, there will be many more to follow. Highly recommend.

So excited to discover this author and novel! Why am I just finding out about this author? My first book by the author (awe-inspiring) — she is now on my list of favorite authors—legal/domestic thrillers are my favorite genre, as well.

I purchased the audio book and the narrators: Tania Rodrigues and Avita Jay gave an engaging performance!

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Sept 20, 2022

My Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


“Abdullah’s legal thrillers make John Grisham seem like a maiden aunt.”

—Sunday Times Crime Club

“An enthralling, heartbreaking and thrilling courtroom drama that had me shouting out loud and gripped until the last page.”

—Nadine Matheson, author of The Jigsaw Man

“Brilliantly tense, this is another clever page- turner from Kia Abdullah that I couldn’t put down. Just superb.”

—Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City

"A tense, brilliant read."


"Amid the requisite revelations of resentments and secrets, Abdullah draws out the truth with compassion, charting with notable understanding the ever-changing currents in human relations."

—The Times

"Twists and turns aplenty . . . The author’s greatest strength lies in her sensitive and relatable description of the relationship between sisters Leila and Max’s mother Yasmin."


"Abdullah has handed us another gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama. Next of Kin is precisely observed, tense and guaranteed to enthrall until the final, heart-stopping page."


"A book with a gripping storyline."

—Woman’s Weekly

"A stunning courtroom drama, taut, tantalising, deftly paced, with a denouement that will leave you reeling."

—Saga Magazine

"This is Kia Abdullah’s third novel, and I am continually impressed with how she deftly handles important social issues."

—Belfast Telegraph

About the Author

Kia Abdullah is a best-selling author and travel writer. Her novels include Take It Back, a Guardian and Telegraph thriller of the year, Truth Be Told which was shortlisted for a Diverse Book Award, and Next of Kin which was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award and named Times Book of the Month.

Kia has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph and the BBC, and has received a JB Priestley Award for Writers of Promise (2020). She is also the founder of Asian Booklist, a nonprofit that advocates for diversity in publishing.

Born in Tower Hamlets in East London, Kia was raised in a family of eight children. As the most stubborn of six daughters, she constantly found herself in trouble for making choices that clashed with her parents’, a habit they came to accept when she became their first and only child to graduate from university – with a first in Computer Science.

In 2007, Kia left her job in tech to pursue the one thing she had always wanted: a career as a writer, taking a 50% pay cut in the process. She worked as sub-editor and later features editor at Asian Woman Magazine where she interviewed British-Asian luminaries including Riz Ahmed, Meera Syal, Nitin Sawnhey and Anoushka Shankar.

Kia went on to join global publisher Penguin Random House where she helped grow digital readership at Rough Guides to over a million users per month. In 2014, she quit her day job to found Atlas & Boots, an outdoor travel blog now read by 150,000 people a month.

Today, she spends her time writing, hiking, mentoring pupils from Tower Hamlets and visiting far-flung destinations for Atlas & Boots.

Kia loves to travel, hates to cook and periodically highlights that, in actual fact, she is one of nine children (one passed away), making her number Seven of Nine… which is cool but only if you’re a Star Trek fan… which she is. But please don’t hold it against her. Have a look around, say hi on Twitter and Instagram and if you’re feeling really nice buy her new novel. WEBSITE







bottom of page