cover image Blood Betrayal: A Detective Inaya Rahman Novel

Blood Betrayal: A Detective Inaya Rahman Novel

Ausma Zehanat Khan. Minotaur, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-82240-6

Khan follows up 2022’s Blackwater Falls with another excellent mystery focused on police violence, bias, and corruption in Colorado. Blackwater Falls cop Harry Cooper is chasing vandals one night when he encounters Black graffiti artist Duante Young and thinks the young man pulls a gun on him. Harry shoots Duante dead, only to discover that the object in his hand was a spray paint can. Det. Inaya Rahman and her Community Response Unit, which handles cases involving police accountability and vulnerable populations, are called in. The same night, a young Hispanic man named Mateo Ruiz is fatally shot during a drug raid in nearby Denver. The most likely shooter is patrolman Kelly Broda, the son of the man who spearheaded a violent attack on Inaya when both were police officers in Chicago. Racial tensions roil the metro area as Inaya, activist attorney Areesha Adams, and criminal psychologist Catalina Hernandez discover that someone lined up a row of garbage cans to corner Young in the cul-de-sac where he was shot. Meanwhile, Ruiz’s killing appears linked to a cadre of white supremacists within the Denver police force. Richly drawn characters and nuanced depictions of contemporary policing make this a winner. Readers will be eager to hear more from Inaya soon. (Nov.)