Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham. Read January 2018.

To be published April 2018:

This debut novel drew me into a world I’ve never been part of and made me feel as if I’d lived there for years.

“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.”

On the face of it this book is a London based police procedural and it certainly ranks among the best of those I’ve read. But what sets Turn A Blind Eye apart is the diverse and rich cast of characters, led by Maya Rahman. In the aftermath of her own family tragedy Maya has to head up a murder investigation team up against a clever and elusive killer. In her partnership with DS Maguire I see potential for a long running series.

The author has managed one of my favourite things – creating characters who seem so real that I ended up caring more about them than the actual crimes they were investigating. Having said that a balance between character and plot was skilfully achieved and even minor characters in the story felt real and believable. I did guess the killer early on but it was only a guess and by no means obvious. By the time of the reveal I had enjoyed a satisfying read, wallowing in the author’s addictive style of writing.

I recommend this book to all crime fiction fans and if you don’t usually like procedurals give this one a go – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Thank you to the author and publisher for the advance copy to review.

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