Thursday, 5 April 2018

Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham

Turn A Blind Eye
By Vicky Newham
Published by HQ Stories (5 April 2018)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher.

Publisher's description
A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.
A headmistress is found strangled in her East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept:
I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.
At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found.
Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.

My verdict
Turn A Blind Eye is a well-paced, well-researched, well-written and well-plotted police procedural.

The plot focuses on a multi-cultural school in Tower Hamlets, when a headmistress is found strangled in her office alongside a note featuring an ancient Buddhist principle. DI Maya Rahman is struggling to investigate, as many of the locals seem reluctant to help and there's a lot of tension bubbling under the surface within the community.

Author Vicky Newham has constructed a multi-layered and complex plot, with realistic characters and believable dialogue. She feeds titbits of information throughout her book, providing enough intrigue to keep her plot moving along steadily, but not so fast that you can't take it all in. There are twists, turns and surprises right until the end.

Turn A Blind Eye brings the East End of London to life, with a great sense of place and an emphasis on location. The book highlights local community spirit, cultural diversity and work ethic, and also isn't afraid to touch on racial tension, cultural clashes and educational issues. It felt fresh and authentic and in keeping with modern times.

I felt that I got to know DI Maya Rahman and her team well, yet the book left enough mystery for me to want to know more. I definitely want to read more Maya Rahman books.

This is a fantastic debut and a very promising start to what will hopefully be a great series.

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