The Abbey (a full-length suspense thriller)

The Abbey (a full-length suspense thriller) - Chris Culver Ashraf Rashid is a former homicide detective who is now working out of the Indianapolis prosecutor's office while going to law school part time. He is called in by his old partner in Homicide when his niece dies at her rich boyfriend's apartment. Everyone seems too anxious to close the case and call it a simple drug overdose, so Rashid starts investigating the case himself. Along the way, we encounter Eastern European gangsters, people playing at being vampires in the eponymous Abbey, a desanctified church that is now a nightclub, a mysterious Chinese microbiologist who holds the key to the mystery, as well as an assortment of cops, politicians and, of course, Rashid's own family.

Rashid himself is a sympathetic but flawed character, and I hope his background and the demons that haunt him will be further fleshed out in future installments. A Muslim American detective (even a "bad" Muslim with an obvious - to the reader - but unacknowledged drinking problem) is definitely a departure from the usual, and I liked the fact that his ethnic identity, while peripherally important, did not drive the story.

All in all, this is a promising debut novel, and I look forward to Detective Rashid's future adventures.