Steve has arrived for his first day at his new job in a secondary school in East London. He’s hungover and heartbroken, and although he wants to make a good impression on teacher training day, he also wants the day to end quickly. With maintenance work going on in the school, technical issues cause a few set-backs, when Steve goes to find Linda Gibson – the head teacher – to continue a meeting, he has the biggest shock of his life. He enters the dark room and falls over something, something that turns out to be a dead body, Linda’s dead body, and so he pukes. Turns out an early finish isn’t on the cards!
DI Maya Rahman is back from Bangladesh, where she was attending her brother’s funeral. His death has shocked her, she can’t understand why her lovely brother has been treated so badly when he’s always just been himself. She needs a distraction and when she hears of the dead headmistress in her old school, she takes the reins.
A card is left next to the body, it holds a single sentence, an ancient Buddhist precept, but worryingly it’s the second precept. Have they missed a body? Maya needs to discover the truth but the teachers aren’t being forthcoming, they hint at issues but never unveil the truth.
Steve continues to make friends with his fellow teachers and finds out some juicy gossip, he does the right thing and alerts Maya, but the more time Steve spends with the teachers and students, the more he realises there’s some deep rooted cultural and social issues going on behind closed doors.
Another body is discovered with the third precept and that’s the point at which you feel the atmosphere change – Maya needs to catch this serial killer before another murder occurs. But who is it?
I’m a big fan of detective books, and am particularly fond of Detective Ben Cooper in Stephen Booth’s books, so I’m always very excited when I find another series that I’m a fan of! This is only the first in the DI Maya Rahman series but the potential is HUGE. Newham has created a character who is instantly admirable and the balance between case and personal life is spot on – you get to know Maya but the case remains the main star of the plot.
Newham manages to set the scene and create such detail in it, that the story feels alive and grips you in the same way you feel when you’re watching your favourite detective show on TV.
The plot unfolds in a precise and confident way, showing you that Newham is in complete control, and she’ll decide when the reader finds out who the killer is.
Multi-cultural aspects weave into every part of this plot, Newham showed a great understanding of the challenges that occur in a diverse community, whilst also showing how strong and interconnected the people can be.
In a nut shell, this book shows how incredible Newham is and I look forward to seeing how DI Maya grows in this series. BRING ON THE NEXT!
Turn a Blind Eye is out now in hardback and eBook versions by HQ, the paperback version follows in February next year!
I was very lucky to grab a copy of this book at a HQ event back in November, I am so grateful when publishers introduce me to new authors, and Newham is incredibly talented!
Until next time, Chloé x