A DANGEROUS CROSSING
By Ausma Zehanat Khan
Publisher: Minatour Books (February, 2018)
Kindle edition: $13.99
Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak series (Book #4)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Esa Khattak and Nathan Clare have been friends since childhood. Esa is now an inspector for the RCMP, and when Nathan’s sister Audrey goes missing, his first call is to Esa. Nathan and Audrey run an NGO that is involved in facilitating Canada’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the country. The Prime Minister has a stake in the plan: if things go awry, it could cause political problems. He gives carte blanche to Esa and his colleague, Sergeant Rachel Getty, to pursue the case.
Audrey was last seen on the small Greek island where her NGO, Woman to Woman, is based. The bodies of an Interpol agent and a young Syrian boy were found in Audrey’s tent, shot with her gun. The question to be answered: is she, too, a victim, or is she a stone cold killer? At the moment, she is definitely a person of interest. Her friends and family don’t believe she is capable of murder: she has devoted her life to helping others. The search for Audrey leads Esa and Rachel across the Greek islands, to the dangerous Turkish/Syrian border, and across continental Europe. The disturbing and dangerous clues they find along the way cause even her strongest supporters to wonder what she’s involved in.
This novel is, at times, difficult to read, not because of the writing, which is powerful and moving, but because of the subject matter. The Syrian refugee crisis grows by the day. The European Union can’t keep up with the need. The poorest countries are taking in the outcast refugees, struggling to meet their needs. The vulnerable Syrians, devastated by the destruction of their homes and lives, are further victimized by greedy people movers who take all their money and stuff them into leaky rubber rafts. The ones who make it to shelters live in squalor, without sufficient food or medical care. Despite all this, most have hope that one day they will get to go to a country that welcomes and cares for them.The author is uniquely qualified to write this book. She holds a Ph.D. in international human rights and is a former adjunct law professor. She has crafted her knowledge and experience into a masterpiece, a work of fiction that should bring this tragedy to the attention of the world. Highly recommended.
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