This is the promising first in a series featuring DI Maya Rahman.
Being Bangladesi born, she is ideally suited to deal with the multi-ethnic Tower Hamlet district of London in which she works. Hardly has she returned from the funeral of her brother who has committed suicide in Bangladesh, when she has to meet a new partner – a Scots Australian married to an Aborigine – and investigate the murder of a local school headmistress. With the corpse is a card with the second of five Buddhist precepts. Unfortunately, the clues are no use except in hind sight until more school personnel are dispatched and the third and fourth precepts are found with the bodies.
Hounding her for results, Maya’s superior officer is more of a hindrance than a help.
The writing is flavoursome; a delight to savour, but the pace is somewhat slow and the multiracial detail is a bit distracting from the who-dunnit aspect. The characters are well painted and develop into believable people, especially considering their multi-ethnicity. Although the different faiths and rituals are convincing, the motives behind the elaborate fixations of the killer are less so.
Thank you, Jonathan Ball Publishers, for this ARC.
Published by HQ, an imprint of Harper Collins. ISBN: 9780008240790