cover image The Language of Secrets

The Language of Secrets

Ausma Zehanat Khan, read by Peter Ganim. HighBridge Audio, unabridged, 9 CDs, 10.5 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-62231-741-7

Ganim has a pleasing baritone voice, but it is used to little effect on this audio. Though a heightened performance is not called for here, Ganim barely distinguishes speakers%E2%80%94male and female, Arabic and Canadian%E2%80%94and adds little drama to characters' thoughts and actions in a variety of dangerous situations. This is partly due to the limitations of the book. Khan's second novel, like her first, features Esa Khattak, the head of Canada's Community Policing Section, and his sidekick, Sgt. Rachel Getty. This time around the two are investigating the murder of Khattak's estranged friend, Mohsin Dar, who, unbeknownst to Khattak, infiltrated a Muslim terrorist cell that was planning a devastating attack. 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, the stakes suddenly skyrocket with the engagement of Khattak's headstrong sister, Ruksh, to Ashkouri. The book deals with the discrimination and emotional contradictions faced by Arab-Canadians, but the plot is often confusing, the characters leaden, and the tensions muted. Ganim is best when he's simply narrating the story of Khattak's search for a friend's murderer and Sgt. Getty's attempt to infiltrate a terrorist group plotting a Toronto bombing on New Year's Eve. A Minotaur hardcover. (Feb.)