Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: "The Abbey" by Chris Culver

Ash Rashid is a police detective in Indianapolis and a part-time law student. He used to be a homicide detective, but after being shot during an investigation, he realized that dealing with so much tragic death had taken its toll on his psyche. He's also a Muslim, albeit one who drinks a little too much (maybe a lot), can't quite concentrate on his daily prayers, and he may have bacon every now and again.

"I may not have been a very good Muslim, bu my religion called me to seek and foster justice. It's a divine edict as stringent as any command in any faith."

When his niece Rachel, an athletic high school student who seemed on the right path, is found dead of a supposed overdose, it shocks Ash and compels him to try and figure out what really happened. And when Rachel's boyfriend allegedly admits to Rachel's murder and then commits suicide out of supposed guilt, the police are convinced the case is closed. But Ash isn't, and despite roadblocks put up by his own department, he is determined to figure out what really happened to Rachel.

But when more seemingly unrelated murders begin occurring, the heat is turned up—on Ash himself. What he finds is far more complicated than he imagined, and far more dangerous to him and his family than he bargained for. Should he follow orders and drop his investigation as he has been ordered to do, and simply accept Rachel's overdose as an accident? Or should he risk his own safety and that of his family to find out the truth, even if the truth is more than he can handle? Is there anyone he can still trust?

The Abbey is the first in a series of books featuring Ash Rashid, and I really enjoyed this. Ash is one of those good guys who has more than enough flaws of his own—in addition to his drinking (which is a bit of a problem), he's a little too impulsive, and he can't seem to let things go, which isn't a bad quality to have in a police detective. He's introspective, however, but he is willing to blur the lines between right and wrong in the pursuit of the truth.

This book had a good mix of action, some suspense, some interesting twists, and strong character development. While the plot isn't necessarily surprising, it's still pretty compelling, which makes it a fairly fast read. I really like Ash's character, and I'll definitely be reading the next two books in this series. Rashid is a good addition to the world of dogged police detectives.

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