Blackwater Falls (Detective Inaya Rahman #1)

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Mystery Thriller

From critically acclaimed author Ausma Zehanat Khan, Blackwater Falls is the first in a timely and powerful crime series, introducing Detective Inaya Rahman.

Girls from immigrant communities have been disappearing for months in the Colorado town of Blackwater Falls, but the local sheriff is slow to act and the fates of the missing girls largely ignored. At last, the calls for justice become too loud to ignore when the body of a star student and refugee–the Syrian teenager Razan Elkader–is positioned deliberately in a mosque.

Detective Inaya Rahman and Lieutenant Waqas Seif of the Denver Police are recruited to solve Razan’s murder, and quickly uncover a link to other missing and murdered girls. But as Inaya gets closer to the truth, Seif finds ways to obstruct the investigation. Inaya may be drawn to him, but she is wary of his motives: he may be covering up the crimes of their boss, whose connections in Blackwater run deep.

Inaya turns to her female colleagues, attorney Areesha Adams and Detective Catalina Hernandez, for help in finding the truth. The three have bonded through their experiences as members of vulnerable groups and now they must work together to expose the conspiracy behind the murders before another girl disappears.

Delving deep into racial tensions, and police corruption and violence, Blackwater Falls examines a series of crimes within the context of contemporary American politics with compassion and searing insight.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) Detective Inaya is investigating a gruesome death of a young teen displayed very religiously. The investigation leads to many missing teens.

The religious and refugee element was very good. I loved the differences in religion and ethnicities but beyond that, this book never grabbed me.

Investigator books can be difficult to write in my opinion. The amount of information you give, the personalities of the investigators and the crime all have to be implemented so well to maintain full interest. This book just didn’t have a great flow. There were multiple characters so it was hard to keep people straight, and it was much longer than it needed to be. The crimes were interesting enough but when the religious aspect is thrown in, it loses that spark for me. It really was difficult to read the intense bullying (definitely not a strong enough word) that occurred. Instead of ingratiating me to the victims, it made me pull back and lose interest.

General content summary: F words = 26, young girl’s body found displayed irreverently (at a mosque, symbolic of religious meaning), physical violence (multiple), racism/bigotry (multiple), threat with guns (multiple), teen bullying (intense), intense racial adult bullying (multiple), flash bangs and excrement and small bombs thrown in window at people, near drowning, autopsy details, previous military death, forced injury that made one lose a hand, previous drowning death, immigration and refugees, teen bodies found, previous spousal physical abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault (few details), tasing a person, previous torture and starvation. 

Thank you to Minotaur Books for the gifted copy!

The book releases November 1, 2022.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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