Chosen by Farhana
Not one, but two kick-arse female detectives, a diverse cast of fascinating supporting characters, and a dark and twisting whodunit that takes you from London, to Pakistan, Bali, Istanbul and beyond... The Unbroken is not your typical crime thriller.
Written by Manchester-born Alex Caan (author of Cut to the Bone, First to Die and (under Alex Khan) Bollywood Wives), his latest novel The Unbroken keeps you guessing till the very end. The action begins with Millie Beaumont, a young woman of humble origins who, having recently married rich and handsome socialite Oscar Hayat, seems to have the world at her feet. However, the fairytale wedding of the year soon turns into a nightmare when the couple are kidnapped and Millie turns up dead, with Oscar still missing...
Cue detectives DS Moomy Khan and DI Sarah Heaton, and their partnership provides the heart (and occasional laughs and tears) in this story. This is the first outing for these two characters (Alex plans to write more in the series), and their back stories are just as intriguing as those of the characters they encounter in their hunt for Millie’s killer and for Oscar. For Moomy and Sarah both have Muslim backgrounds, though Moomy is more of the ‘lapsed’ kind who went from believing in Bollywood-inspired romance to spending most of her nights out drinking and clubbing, whereas Sarah was raised Catholic and is a recent convert to Islam. Both have tragic pasts, which intertwine with the main narrative via memories and flashbacks. This character-led approach makes the novel stand out and, along with the descriptions of the other characters who they meet/ interrogate/ hunt along the way, gives the novel added layers in terms of what you might expect from a more traditional whodunit.
For example, other figures include: a father who is admired in the West for becoming a self-made billionaire, but is looked-down on by others in high society for his humble roots as an Iraqi refugee; a wife and mother who had to choose between true love and securing her family’s fortunes; a young man torn between his secret desires and the expectations of society; and several vulnerable young women (both ‘on’ and ‘off stage’ in terms of the main narrative and timeframe) who struggle to make their way in a world that affords them little choices in life. Everyone, it seems, feels like some kind of an outsider in this novel, which also deals with the themes of race, faith, love and family.
Therefore, if you’re after a crime thriller with a fascinating lead duo, a dollop of drama, a dash of scandal, a bit of Bollywood, and red herrings galore, then you might want to check out The Unbroken.
To find out more click here