Next of Kin is courtroom thriller and the third novel by Kia Abdullah. I saw Kia Abdullah with Lisa Jewell at last year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival and have been meaning to read one of her books ever since. She was talking about her books and writing in general, but mainly with reference to Next of Kin. Kia Abdullah specialises in courtroom dramas and carries endless research and plotting for her stories, unlike Lisa Jewell, who just writes and sees where it takes her!
Leila Syed is a successful businesswoman who is especially close to her younger sister, Yasmin. Yasmin isn’t as rich or successful as Leila, so Leila likes to help her out whenever she can.
On the hottest day of the year, Leila gets an early call from her brother-in-law. He needs to go into work urgently, could she drop her 3-year-old nephew, Max, at nursery? Max is loaded up into the car and Leila drives to work, already thinking about the challenging day she has ahead.
Three hours later, she gets another call from her brother-in-law. The nursery have phoned him. Why isn’t Max in?
That call will change the lives of Leila, Yasmin and their family forever.
Is it possible for someone to forget a child in the car, especially a woman like Leila who is always so organised?
Leila’s trial will tear the family apart. Could this seemingly cold woman really leave her nephew in the car deliberately? And why isn’t she showing emotion about what she has done?
The story is pretty horrifying, but nothing is as straightforward as it seems. There are some stunning twists throughout the book and especially at the end.
Next of Kin is a really classy thriller. I’ve never heard anyone mention it before, but it deserves to be read! I will certainly be reading Abdullah’s previous books over the coming months and looking out for her new novel in the autumn.