Blackwater Falls by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Blackwater Falls introduces Detective Inaya Rahman in the first book of a new crime series.


Inaya Rahman is part of the Community Response Unit of the Denver Police. When the body of a bright, young Syrian refugee is found strung over the door of a mosque, Detective Rahman and her team investigate who might be behind this murder. She quickly learns that two other Muslim girls have recently gone missing and that the sheriff did not thoroughly investigate their disappearances.

Inaya looks at the major players in this community. Particularly those who are hostile to people of colour and those close to the victim.

Aside from the investigation, Inaya grapples with pleasing her mother, who desperately wants her to get married. She feels like an outsider to her community who views her job as a betrayal. And she receives harassment from the police department and church, which are predominantly white.

Review of Blackwater Falls

This police procedural follows a few POVs, but Inaya’s is the main character arc. As Inaya is the main character, her story is the most fleshed out. I would have liked more chapters from her team members, but maybe we’ll see that in future books.

I didn’t mind the burgeoning romance. It was a bit cringe at times but not totally awkward.

The book’s blurb, and hopefully my synopsis, are very clear that this is a book steeped in racial tensions and politics. It might seem like the author is going overboard to some readers, but this is not a novel experience for many BIPOC, especially women of colour. If it makes you uncomfortable, it should.

I cannot wait to read more from this author. I highly recommend this book.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 01 November 2022

Thank you to Minotaur Books for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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