Having read the first book written by Kia Abdullah Take It Back. Introducing Kara Kaleel, I was excited to get an eARC of book two. The first book had been so good one of my top reads of 2019. I wanted to see where the character would go next. I wasn’t disappointed, this book is as gripping and powerful as book one. Handling a taboo subject within a different culture, but doing it in a sensitive way, with a dramatic courtroom drama, where the reader questions and wonders which way the verdict will go. Continuing with the aftermath of the verdict. The stigma attached, with an ending that will blindside you.
Kamran Hadid attends Hamptons, an elite all boys boarding school, he is from a wealthy family, his younger brother Adam, also attends the same school. Both Kamran and Adam excel at their studies and sporting activities. Kamran has his whole life mapped out in his head, although at times you wonder if it is all what he actually wants to do or whether it’s the constant pressure from his father Mack.
One night after a drunken party at Hamptons, Kamran staggers back to his room and falls asleep, but something happens on that night that will change his life forever. It’s after this night that he seeks out Zara Kaleel. She is an assault counsellor, although the place she works is for women only, so she initially has to turn Kamran away, but this bothers her, so she takes the case on herself. As in the first book the case generates a lot of publicity, and the courtroom is tense, the defence and prosecutors shedding doubt on the victim and defendants side, but which way will the jury go?
Zara is still dealing with her previous troubles, her family still not making her life easy for her. But it helps to see what drives her along in her quest to fight for what she sees as right. It makes her human and believable. Along with a few of the other characters from the first book, Safran and Erin, interesting how Erin reacts later in the book and Zara’s response.
This is such a well written story, with some great characters, showing how culture can imprison a person, the pressure to be a big tough man, to be masculine at all times, unable to break free from that mould of what is expected. For Kamran and Adam there is no emotional support at home, the father makes them go shooting, despite neither of the boys wanting to kill animals, but he sees it as making them into men, the mother Sofia struggles to stand up to her husband, what he says goes. The whole atmosphere within the home comes across as suffocating.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a suspenseful psychological thriller, with a few twists thrown in, cleverly written, riveting and engaging from start to finish. the way that the author is able to weave a story about culture/religion and the empathy you feel for these characters is just outstanding. If you haven’t read Take it Back grab that one as well as this one because both books are just ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reads.
I would like to thank #netgalley and #HQ for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review. I now look forward to book 3.
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Kamran Hadid feels invincible. He attends Hampton school, an elite all boys boarding school in London, he comes from a wealthy family, and he has a place at Oxford next year. The world is at his feet. And then a night of revelry leads to a drunken encounter and he must ask himself a horrific question.
With the help of assault counsellor, Zara Kaleel, Kamran reports the incident in the hopes that will be the end of it. But it’s only the beginning…..