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.
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 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 Colorado with her husband.
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
“Like Blackwater Falls (2022), this is a compelling and deeply emotional thriller. Khan tackles the heartbreak of losing a child as well as the internal struggle faced by officers of color when forced to choose between a call to service and their communities. As always, she addresses these issues with straightforward honesty and grace. Highly recommended for those who enjoy complex procedurals with a human touch, such as Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series.”—Booklist
“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
“A complex and timely mystery, Blood Betrayal proves once again that Ausma Zehanat Khan is a writer at the peak of her powers.”—Always with a Book