Amina Akhtar

Thomas & Mercer


New Yorker Ronnie Khan suffered years of constant physical and mental abuse from her Aunt Shameem. Orphaned at an early age, Ronnie became a slave to the woman, an object of scorn and pity in the city’s Pakistani community. Everything changed when Ronnie discovered socialite wellness guru Marley Dewhurst who befriended and encouraged her to find her own path in life. Ronnie plucked up the courage to leave her abusive aunt and travel with Marley all the way to the artistic town of Sedona, Arizona, where Marley has ambitions to become a spiritual healer.

… a deliciously devious plot that satisfies from the start …

Living amid the red mountains and deserts seems unnerving to city girl Ronnie, but she begins to settle down and make friends—badly mistaken cultural appropriation aside. However, it’s not long before Marley, normally so friendly and wise, starts to show a nasty ambitious streakWhen someone begins to murder the town’s wellness gurus Marley seizes the chance to enhance her standing, but her “patrols” of vigilantes cause uproar. The killer can only be someone in the community, but who could it be? The local ravens appear in Ronnie’s prophetic dreams and take an unnerving interest in her life. Is she tapping into the area’s spiritual power? As the body count rises Ronnie, has to walk a fine line between angering her friends new and old. If she makes a mistake it could cost Ronnie her life.

Kismet is a hugely enjoyable read. Amina Akhtar successfully skewers the pretentiousness of the wellness industry and badly mistaken cultural appropriation in a deliciously devious plot that satisfies from the start to the twist-in-the-tale finish.

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