Thank you to Net Galley and HQ for providing me with an e-ARC copy! All opinions in this review are my own and are honest.
This story follows DI Maya Rahman as she investigates a murder at her old primary school where the head teacher has been killed. This story is told in different perspectives and also alternates between the present and some of the past from Maya’s point of view and we get to see some of her old life when she was a child and living with her parents and attending the primary school. I enjoyed seeing the story being told for the different perspectives, especially since we didn’t just get the police perspective, we got the perspective of other people who were possible people of interest in the investigation.
This was filled with culture which was great to see, and I feel isn’t something we get in a normal crime / thriller book. The murderer is leaving Buddhist precepts as the murders and so we see the investigation go into detail about what they could mean in relation to the killings. The school and location itself lends to all sorts of cultures which are explored throughout the story and also at the school itself as it deals with issues that students are facing including forced marriages. Maya herself is orginally from Sylhet and we see her dealing with her Brothers suicide and also being looked down on by other people from her culture for becoming ‘too white and British’ whilst trying to embrace her culture and also live in the Country that she now calls her home. Maya is also dealing with other aspects of her home life in this book however they aren’t fully resolved here, so I presume that they will be revisted in the next book.
I did figure out who did it however it wasn’t that far from the actual book reveal anyway so I didn’t read through the book knowing who did it already which was good. I thought the actual investigation and the leads it took were very good and did keep you guessing as to who was the murderer1
I think this is a cracking debut novel and the culture and diversity in this book is really what makes it stand out from other police procedurals. I found the topic of ethnic diversity to be one of the most compelling aspects of the novel – and it certainly drove the plot of this contemporary police procedural – although I didn’t know whodunnit until all was revealed at the end. There is also an intriguing Rahman family mystery weaving itself through the storyline, but it’s left unresolved, meaning it will undoubtedly reappear in future books. I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series and urge to give this a read if you’re a crime/thriller fan!