In the aftermath of a mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec, the local police apprehend Amadou Duchon―a young Muslim man at the scene helping the wounded―but release Etienne Roy, the local priest who was found with a weapon in his hands. The shooting looks like a hate crime, but detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty sense there is more to the story.
With great intelligence and sensitivity, Khan portrays the ease of online radicalization and the ways in which ideological divides cement into far more violent ones ... expands the Canadian crime fiction palette because it presents a world where crime-solving is part of deeper and more substantive global issues. It’s a piece of fiction that manages to tell a truth even non-fiction has had trouble communicating. Khattak and Getty aren’t world savers; sometimes they can barely save themselves. But each step they take to right wrongs and to help people is a step in much need. They, as detectives, have grown and changed a great deal over five books ... Khan has the confidence and authority to reckon with these larger issues. Her broader-scope explorations, however, do not transform A Deadly Divide into a 'message' novel and do not detract from the primary aim of storytelling. Character remains key, which is why A Deadly Divide rightly devotes plenty of space to Khattak’s struggle to be a good partner and to Getty’s reticence in trusting other people ... Khan portrays the depth of feeling and friendship between her two main characters, and why readers have come to care about them so much ... Still, I can’t help but think Khan has barely scratched the surface of what her series can accomplish. There’s so much room for Khattak and Getty to grow, as detectives, and especially as complicated human beings. No doubt Khan will continue to explore, to paraphrase Inspector Khattak, how the enemy who smiles at you as they plot in the dark are the most dangerous ones of all.
... devastatingly powerful ... I, too, found myself distracted by all the romantic shenanigans, but I did very much enjoy not only the layered mysteries—with the promise of a greater one to be investigated in the next installment of the series—but also the nuanced and intelligent way that current sociopolitical events are examined and handled through the fictional lens. Ausma Zehanat Khan does not shy away from tackling the tough subjects facing Muslims both in Canada and globally, and her latest novel meditates with eloquent thought and heart on the recent real-life shooting massacre in a Canadian mosque ... I also enjoyed her depictions of Islam...It’s fascinating to see the different cultural and intellectual influences that shape the practices of religion alongside beautifully written descriptions of experiences universal to all Muslims ... is both a celebration of modern Islamic community and a timely look at anti-Muslim bigotry and the structures that allow it to flourish. It also paves the way for a case where Esa is both target and investigator, a situation that I’m greatly looking forward to reading—and solving with our investigative duo—in the next book of this terrific series!
... does not offer a glancing look at hate, used solely as a vehicle by which to move the plot of a novel forward; instead, like Khan's past books, the subject is the starting point for a deeper dive into animosity in its many forms. In a fast-paced and expertly plotted mystery, Khan explores the depths of human complexity and the very human costs of hate.