The Unquiet Dead author Ausma Zehanat Khan once again dazzles in The Language of Secrets, a brilliant mystery woven into a profound and intimate story of humanity.
Detective Esa Khattak heads up Canada's Community Policing Section, which handles minority-sensitive cases across all levels of law enforcement. Khattak is still under scrutiny for his last case, so he's surprised when INSET, Canada's national security team, calls him in on another politically sensitive issue. For months, INSET has been investigating a local terrorist cell which is planning an attack on New Year's Day. INSET had an informant, Mohsin Dar, undercover inside the cell. But now, just weeks before the attack, Mohsin has been murdered at the group's training camp deep in the woods.
INSET wants Khattak to give the appearance of investigating Mohsin's death, and then to bury the lead. They can't risk exposing their operation, or Mohsin's role in it. But Khattak used to know Mohsin, and he knows he can't just let this murder slide. So Khattak sends his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, undercover into the unsuspecting mosque which houses the terrorist cell. As Rachel tentatively reaches out into the unfamiliar world of Islam, and begins developing relationships with the people of the mosque and the terrorist cell within it, the potential reasons for Mohsin's murder only seem to multiply, from the political and ideological to the intensely personal.
Loosely based on a terrorist plot foiled by Canadian law enforcement in 2006, Khan's engaging sequel to 2014's The Unquiet Dead finds Esa Khattak, the head of Toronto's Community Policing Section, investigating the murder of an estranged friend, Mohsin Dar, who, unbeknownst to him, infiltrated a Muslim terrorist cell that was planning a devastating attack. Khattak, who still mourns his late wife seven years after her death, struggles daily with his man-in-the-middle role between police and fellow Muslims. But as he and his personable partner, Sgt. Rachel Getty, sprint to uncover out what's really going on in the cell led by the charismatic Hassan Ashkouri while being kept dangerously in the dark by Khattak's nemesis, Ciprian Coale, about a larger antiterrorist operation, the stakes suddenly skyrocket with the engagement of Khattak's headstrong sister, Ruksh, to Ashkouri. Those prepared to slog through the blizzard of poetry used to convey clues will be rewarded by a gripping climax in the snowy wilderness of Ontario's Algonquin Park.