by Ausma Zehanat Khan. Published by Minotaur Books, 2019. Reviewed by Garth Cant
A Deadly Divide is the latest book in Canadian Ausma Zehanat Khan's murder mystery series — six books to date. It tells the story of a mosque shooting in Quebec, where a young Muslim man and a Christian priest are the immediate suspects. Tensions are high, fuelled by a right–wing radio host. The detectives are under pressure to make a quick arrest and shut the case down. But it is not that simple.
Canadian detectives work in pairs and Ausma’s pair are a fascinating combination. Esa Khattak is male, Muslim and migrant and the officer in charge of the unit that works on crime within the ethnic communities.
Rachel Getty is younger, an Anglo-Canadian and sometime Catholic. Her pairing with other officers has been difficult as she is a strong, determined female and brooks no nonsense from male colleagues who find it difficult to relate to a female colleague.
As each book in the murder mystery series unfolds, the partnership between Esa and Rachel gets stronger, and the respect for each other’s culture and identity deepens. These two, together, are a microcosm for what race relations and interfaith relations in Canada can be — and indeed for this country, too.
Tui Motu Magazine. Issue 242 October 2019: 28