Published 5th April HQ Stories
Meet DI Maya Rahman
DI Maya Rahman was born in Sylhet, Bangladesh and moved to East London in 1982. She lived in Brick Lane for many years and attended Mile End High School, joining the local police force after graduating.
She has since risen through the ranks – despite a difficult relationship with her DCI and local journalists – and was recently promoted to Detective Inspector.
This is her first case since returning from compassionate leave following her brother’s sudden death.
I love a good crime story and this is one very good crime story. Striking the perfect balance required for the first in a new series, this book introduced and developed the key characters while they investigated the crime. Set in East London, still grieving following her brother’s death DI Rahman is thrust straight back into work when the Headteacher of Mile End High School is found dead in her office at the start of term. Tragic for the high school, still in shock following the recent suicide of a female pupil… but could these events possibly be linked? The consensus seems not but DI Rahman can’t help but wonder.
DI Maya Rahman is accompanied by her new sidekick, DS Dan Maguire, recently arrived from Australia, an engaging and colourful character perfectly complimenting DI Rahman’s more reserved persona. Together they head up the investigation, fielding pressures both from above within the police and external.
Using a popular method of setting the book in ‘real time’, with chapters as the days of the week, the investigation progresses and the reader follows the various leads, until another murder… Told predominantly from Maya’s point of view, but not exclusively, the story is complemented by brief anonymous sections offering insight into the motivation of the killer, whose calling card uses Buddhist Precepts.
This book was a gripping read, I was intrigued to learn who the killer was and within the book there were several suspects. Within the school, which on the surface had shown significant improvements since the deceased Headteacher’s appointment, it was clear there were many tensions with some terrifically repulsive characters at play. For DI Maya Rahman, a member of the community and an ex pupil of the school, she is familiar with the cultural diversity within the neighbourhood and the issues facing it’s members. The challenges of managing the delicate line between respecting cultural difference and recognising illegal actions is deftly explored here and I particularly enjoyed this aspect of the book. This was a bustling and diverse community which was captured in the writing, adding layers to the story set in this corner of London.
As this is the first series in the book there were some chapters detailing Maya’s past, her family and her move to England. Again this was insightful and relevant to the book in terms of language barriers for first and second generation immigrants and integration. Within the context of the school, issues of honour and forced marriage were explored and the challenge of how a school remains engaged with the community whilst also managing safeguarding concerns which may be in contrast to cultural belief.
Overall a great read in the crime fiction genre. Not only am I eagerly awaiting the next instalment but I am super excited to know that this has been optioned for TV as I have no doubt this book will translate superbly to the small screen.
About the Author
Psychologist Vicky Newham grew up in West Sussex and taught in East London for many years, before moving to Whitstable in Kent. She studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University. Turn a Blind Eye is her debut novel. She is currently working on the next book in the series.
This is a blogtour, so please do check out what others have to say about this great book and my special thanks to HQ Stories for providing me with a proof copy of the book.