Book Reviews

Beautiful World: No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress @annecater #RandomThingsTour

Some series stand out in the best of ways. Ausma Zehanat Khan’s work with Esa Khattack and Rachel Getty makes it one of the cleverest and topical series you can find around.

I am lucky to have reviewed two other books following this team. Check out my thoughts on The Unquiet Dead and The Language of Secrets.

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Title: No Place of Refuge
Author: Ausma Zehanat Khan
Publisher: No Exit Press
Date of publication: 22 August 2019
Format: eARC
Number of pages: 352

Amid a global crisis, one woman searches for justice…

The Syrian refugee crisis just became personal for Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty.

NGO worker Audrey Clare, sister of Khattak’s childhood friend, is missing.

In her wake, a French Interpol Agent and a young Syrian man are found dead at the Greek refugee camp where she worked.

Khattak and Getty travel to Greece to trace Audrey’s last movements in a desperate attempt to find her. In doing so, they learn that her work in Greece had strayed well beyond the remit of her NGO…

Had Audrey been on the edge of exposing a dangerous secret at the heart of the refugee crisis – one that ultimately put a target on her own back?

No Place of Refuge is a highly topical, moving mystery in which Khan sensitively exposes the very worst and best of humanity. Fans of the series will love this latest instalment.


In No Place of Refuge, the author bravely tackles the subject of refugees, mixing it with a touch of politics and a personal investigation to find a close friend who has vanished abroad, leaving two dead bodies behind her. Have no fear, you won’t drown in a report-like narrative, judgmental declarations, or ‘not-so-well’ hidden messages on every subject that makes this novel so rich. I picked this new installment in the series with excitement, knowing I would travel and learn about the world in a unique way. If you are sick of the news and looking for a current, captivating, and yes, entertaining read; look no further.

From Calais’s Jungle to Canada. From Greek camps to Turkey. I watch the news, I read the papers. I lived twenty minutes from Calais, and yet, all I know about the migrant crisis as we call it is what I am fed by the TV. I didn’t have the insight to look at things in a different way before I accompanied Rachel and Esa on their trip to find NGO boss and friend Audrey. Nothing felt real. Ausma Zehanat Khan takes pictures I get from the world, then she adds stories around them, she gives faces names, she enlightens us with the intricacies coming from all sides of the issues at hand. This is fiction used at its best. She doesn’t try to change your mind, she wants you to open it to all points of view and get a sense of reality that might escape us from where we stand.

With a case involving different jurisdictions and an issue everyone wants solved without getting hands dirty, Rachel and Esa find themselves in different kinds of danger. Audrey worked for an NGO, was on Greek territory, and the bodies of a French Interpol agent and a boy were found where she was last seen. See the puzzle? Let me tell you, no, you don’t!!! It takes the team their best tactics not to stomp on anyone’s toes while figuring out who to trust to make sense of the mystery ahead. The image that came to me when I was reading was a giant quicksand. A quicksand surrounded with blood, fear, and horrors.

No Place of Refuge is not an easy read. It challenged me, it made me think, it got me emotional on so many levels. Ausma Zehanat Khan has once again carved an outstanding piece, freezing our society in this time and place forever. Religion, friendships, untold horrors, gun. The author blew me away with her ability to assemble all the ingredients I needed to get the rush of a thriller while helping me understand our world better. Tension and tears were going hand by hand, my heart turned from broken to filled with rage, and my head became haunted by the thought-provoking truths laying bare in front of my eyes.

In the meantime, personal lives are not forgotten as both Rachel and Esa must face their feelings, deal with the emotions building from the case, and find ways to accept the new landscape of their life as time passes…

I said it before when reviewing previous novels from the series, but I need to mention it again. The research and knowledge poured into this book is of high standard. The details are so striking that it makes the novel even scarier, more real, and most of all, authentic.

No Place of Refuge is a bold novel committed to open eyes and take readers on a deadly race. Thank you, Ausma Zehanat Khan, for using your talent and work to create a new genre; the fiction which tugs at the seams of the veil of our world.

This amazing novel is waiting for you! Amazon (and while you’re at it, take a look at the previous novels, you won’t regret it!!!)

I would like to thank Anne Cater for organising this blog tour and allowing me to read and review this novel.

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Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a specialisation in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She has practised immigration law and taught human rights law at Northwestern University and York University. Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of
Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine to reflect the lives of young Muslim women. Her debut novel, The Unquiet Dead, won the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First
Novel. She has also written The Language of Secrets and Among the Ruins. She is a longtime community activist and writer. Born in Britain, Ausma lived in Canada for many years before recently becoming an American citizen. She lives in Colorado with her husband.


22 thoughts on “Beautiful World: No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress @annecater #RandomThingsTour”

  1. This sounds like a very current book and a topic that perhaps should be written about more.
    Great review, very thorough and heart felt. Maybe a bit heavy for me at the moment but one to keep in mind.
    Amanda xx


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