“Iran’s stormy history is the atmospheric backdrop for Ausma Zehanat Khan’s Among the Ruins, the third book in her exceptional series featuring Esa Khattak…The story takes on the air of a James Bond movie, including an explosive finale on the Caspian Sea.”—The Washington Post
On leave from Canada’s Community Policing department, Esa Khattak is traveling in Iran, reconnecting with his cultural heritage and seeking peace in the country’s beautiful mosques and gardens. But Khattak’s supposed break from work is cut short when he’s approached by a Canadian government agent in Iran, asking him to look into the death of renowned Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Zahra Sobhani. Zahra was murdered at Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where she’d been seeking the release of a well-known political prisoner. Khattak quickly finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the regime, but when the trail leads back to Zahra’s family in Canada, Khattak calls on his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help.
Rachel uncovers a conspiracy linked to the Shah of Iran and the decades-old murders of a group of Iran’s most famous dissidents. Historic letters, a connection to the Royal Ontario Museum, and a smuggling operation on the Caspian Sea are just some of the threads Rachel and Khattak begin unraveling, while the list of suspects stretches from Tehran to Toronto. But as Khattak gets caught up in the fate of Iran’s political prisoners, Rachel sees through to the heart of the matter: Zahra’s murder may not have been a political crime at all.
From Ausma Zehanat Khan, the critically acclaimed author of The Unquiet Dead and The Language of Secrets, comes Among the Ruins, another powerful novel exploring the interplay of politics and religion, and the intensely personal ripple effects of one woman’s murder.
Khan's provocative third mystery featuring Esa Khattak (after 2015's The Language of Secrets) takes Khattak, who's on leave from Toronto's Community Policing Section, to Iran. In a small town outside Esfahan, Esa meets an agent for the Canadian government, who asks him to look into the death of Zahra Sobhani, a renowned Iranian-born filmmaker who settled in Toronto. Sobhani created a media storm to secure her return to Iran, where she made a documentary, A Requiem of Hope, detailing the irregularities of the country's 2009 election and the protests that followed. She also evaded her handlers to take photos at the notorious Evin prison. Sobhani was later arrested, tortured, and killed. Members of a ragtag protest group help Esa delve into the maelstrom of Iranian politics. Back in Canada, Esa's police partner, Sgt. Rachel Getty, investigates Sobhani's life in Toronto. Esa and Rachel risk their lives in an effort to discover who killed Sobhani and why. Khan intertwines a tale of love and fear with the rich history of a troubled land.