MYSTERY

Among the Ruins

Minotaur: St. Martin's. (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak, Bk. 3). Feb. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9781250096739. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250096753. M
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OrangeReviewStarIn her provocative third mystery featuring Canadian policeman Esa Khattak (after The Language of Secrets), Khan sends her hero to Iran to investigate the murder of a female filmmaker. Esa, on leave from Toronto's Community Policing Section after a fatal force incident, is in the Iranian city of Esfahan, first as a tourist and then as an official investigator, after he's contacted by a group of dissidents who are upset over the death of Canadian Iranian documentary filmmaker Zahra Sobhani. Her film about the country's 2009 election and its aftermath caused a media firestorm in Iran and led to Sobhani's arrest, after which she was tortured and killed. As he becomes more immersed in investigating Sobhani's murder, Esa's partner in Toronto, Sgt. Rachel Getty, does her part to poke into the victim's life in Canada. Esa, who originally traveled to Iran to soak up the ancient culture (he's conveniently fluent in Farsi), is torn between stepping into the obvious hotbed of Iranian politics and enjoying the nation's storied history.
VERDICT Deeply political without becoming pedantic, Khan's crime novel offers a fictionalized yet very real look at a region that is steeped in both beauty and misery. [See Prepub Alert, 8/15/16.]

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