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Blackwater Falls: Detective Inaya Rahman #1    by Ausma Zehanat Khan order for
Blackwater Falls
by Ausma Zehanat Khan
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I really enjoyed Ausma Zehanat Khan's mystery series that began with The Unquiet Dead and centered on a unique police partnership - Esa Khattak (a second generation Canadian Muslim) and his subordinate, partner and friend, Rachel Getty. So I started Blackwater Falls, first in a new series starring Denver Detective Inaya Rahman, with anticipation.

The story opens on a killer admiring how well he or she has staged the death of a murdered young Syrian student above a mosque door. Half-Afghan half-Pakistani Denver Detective Inaya Rahman (part of the city's Community Response Unit) arrives at the scene. It brings back dark memories that haunt her. She takes over the investigation from corrupt local Sheriff Addison Grant, who warns her not to cross him.

Black lawyer Areesha Adams tells Inaya that the hate immigrant communities face in Blackwater Falls trickles down from the Resurrection Church, whose Pastor incites violence. Two Somali teen girls have disappeared, with little police response. Inaya's unofficial partner, profiler Catalina Hernandez, works closely with her. Her boss, Lieutenant Waqas Seif, gives her a hard time, and looks the other way with Grant - why?

The intricate plot circles around Apex Dynamics, an aerostat design company working on border security. An FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force is also involved. After several violent confrontations, all killings are solved in this spectacular start to a new series. I can't wait for more!

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