ARC BOOK REVIEW: Blood Betrayal (Blackwater Falls #2) by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Publication Date: November 7, 2023
Format: Kindle
Genre:  Police Procedural

Publisher: St. Martins Press
 352 Pages
Buy: Kindle | Audio


In Blackwater Falls, Colorado, veteran police officer Harry Cooper is hot on the heels of some local vandals when the situation turns deadly: believing one of them has a gun, Harry opens fire and Duante Reed, a young Black man, is killed. The "gun" in his hands was a bottle of spray paint. Meanwhile, in nearby Denver, a drug raid goes south and a Latino teen, Mateo Ruiz, is also killed.

Detective Inaya Rahman is all too familiar with the name of the young cop who has seemingly killed Mateo: Kelly Broda. Kelly is the son of the police officer John Broda, who led a violent attack on her when they were both in Denver. No one is more surprised than Inaya when John turns up on her doorstep, pleading for her help in proving the innocence of his son.

With the Denver Police force spread thin between the two cases, protests on both sides of the cases begin. Inaya and her boss Lieutenant Waqas Seif have their work cut out for them to consider the guilt of the perpetrators and their victims. Harry was by all accounts an officer dedicated to the communities he served: was this shooting truly a terrible mistake? Duante was, to some, a street artist with no prior record, but to others, he was a vandal. Mateo was either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or a dangerous drug dealer. In either case, was lethal force truly necessary?

Forced to reckon with her own prejudices and work through those of her colleagues around her, Inaya must discover the truth of what really happened on one fateful night in Blackwater Falls.


I received a free copy of this book from St Martins Press through I am leaving this review voluntarily. 

This is the 2nd in the Blackwater Falls Series.  I love these timely police procedurals.  Inaya is a young cop who is trying to make a difference in her community.  She comes from a devout muslim family and is very secure in her faith. Her boss Waqas Seif is drawn to Inaya, her fearlessness, her devotion and her strength.  However in order to be with her Seif knows he needs to accept a part of himself that he has a hard time with.  

These books are so much more than a police procedural.  It is about faith, community, and culture.  I love that the main characters are strong female women in cultures where the men are usually the main focus.  Be it through Machismo or faith, these characters prove that this is in many regards illusion.  

The shooting of 2 unarmed men of color lead us down a path where things are not always what they seem and instead of looking at things straight on you may need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  Fantastic writing I am hooked on this series.  


Click on the 3 lines at the top of the blog to view my sidebar where you can follow me on facebook, bloglovin, and amazon