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Tuesday 22 May 2018

‘Turn A Blind Eye’ by Vicky Newham

Published by HQ,
5 April 2018: 
ISBN: 978 – 0 – 00-824067 -7 (HB)

DI Maya Rahmen is a British/Bangladeshi policewoman who has lived in the East End of London since she was four. Maya is a kind and caring professional who has plenty of her own problems to cope with before she can even begin to think of solving the challenging series of brutal murders she is about to confront.

When we first meet Maya, she is on compassionate leave, having just returned from attending the funeral of her brother in Sylhet – he had committed suicide by setting fire to himself.  Her mother has dementia, and her father, who walked out on the family when she was a teenager, is an ever-present ghostly – or perhaps not so ghostly – presence. All these issues impinge on how Maya views the crimes and the people she deals with.

Maya and her new Australian sergeant, Dan Maguire, are called to Maya’s old school – more memories to contend with - where the trendy young headmistress, Linda Gibson, has been strangled.  Beside Linda’s body is a card with the second of five basic Buddhist precepts written on it.  Does this mean that there is a first victim waiting to be identified, and that the murderer has their eye on three more victims?  Of course, it does.

The investigation is influenced by the need to take account of the many social, cultural and racial tensions that are bubbling away under - or even on - the surface, within the school’s Mile End catchment area.  The Buddhist connection seems clear.  Finding it is another matter. Maya and her team are not helped by their boss, DCI Briscall. He dislikes women in general and Maya in particular. Egged on by a voracious journalist, Briscall is interested only in getting a result quickly, regardless of whether or not it’s the right one.

Turn a Blind Eye is a quick and easy read.  The background is truly authentic, though I would have to say troubling at times as it provides scant evidence of an integrated society in the East End. Maya and Dan are refreshingly original and likable characters and, as this is the first in a series of DI Rahmen stories, I will look forward to hearing more of them.
Reviewer Angela Crowther

Vicky Newham is the author of the DI Maya Rahman police procedural series which is set in East London. The first book, Turn A Blind Eye, was published on 5 April 2018, and has been optioned for television by Playground Entertainment. The second, Out of The Ashes, will be published on 4 April 2019. Vicky has drawn on her Psychology background and her experiences of living and working in East London to write the books in the series. She studied Psychology at university and taught GCSE/A-level Psychology for 10 years before moving to Whitstable, Kent where she now lives with her cockerpoo dog.

Twitter @VickyNewham

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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