Cover Image: Next of Kin

Next of Kin

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Member Reviews

WOW, I was impressed with this one. I want to state up front that there is a death of child in this one, so please check out more detailed trigger warnings if this could be triggering for you.

I've heard talk about how great the author's books are and I am sad it has taken me this long to read one. I was gripped from the start as this could be ripped from the headlines. As I read this one I knew there was more to the story and figured out a small piece, but was still awed and shocked by the twists and turns. Part family drama and part legal thriller, I did not want to put this one down. I needed to know what this family was hiding in the midst of their tragedy.

Leila was such a relatable character. What if a small thing in your busy life, led to something that changed everything? Ruined everything.

This would be a great book club or buddy read as there is a lot to unpack and discuss.

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Jaw-droppingly good! I can't believe I'd never heard of Kia Abdullah before reading this book. She creates a plot so twisty, it's the snake that eats its own tail. Pay close attention, because every little detail is actually a setup that she pays off. Reading her is like watching a master at work.

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Thank you @netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy!
Leila has taken care of her sister Yasmine since they were children and their mother died. Now they are adults, Yasmine is a mother and Leila still helps her out a lot. All is good until the morning that Yasmine's husband asks Leila to drop Max off at daycare, and she leaves him in a hot car and he dies. You think it can't get worse. Leila goes on trial for murder. But it is after the trial that things get really interesting. A lot of family secrets come out, and the truth is crazy. Definitely kept me entertained and reading! #nextofkin #kiaabdullah #familymystery #courtroomthriller #bookstagram #booklover #reader #bookblog #lovetoread #fictionreader #bookreview #bookrecommendation #readersofinstagram #bookloversofinstagram #takeapagefrommybook #readallthebooks #booksbooksbooks
#netgalley #advancedreaderscopy

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First, lets all pick our jaws off the floor after we gawk at this cover.

The illustrator did an incredible job showcasing the mystery and suspense within this thriller.

This was my first book by Kia Abdullah, but I can say with 100 percent certainty it will not be my last. I truly fell in love with her writing style. I have never read a courtroom drama before, however, I was completely enthralled and consumed with every word written. I have always been a fan of courtroom dramas and obsess over Dateline and Law and Order :SVU, so it was only natural to have appreciated this thriller for all that it held.

The suspense grabbed me by the throat early on and did not release its grip until the very last page. I lost track of time and just could not get to the next page fast enough.

This book is worth every bit of the success headed its way. Kia Abdullah is an author to keep an eye on and I have become an instant fan.

Five Stars

Teaser :


Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. His son’s nursery has called to ask where little Max is.


Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done.


What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

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Pub date: 9/20/22
Genre: thriller, family drama
Quick summary: Every parent's nightmare comes true for Yasmin when her sister Leila accidentally leaves Yasmin's son Max in her car. What follows is a dramatic manslaughter trial - and the reveal of many family secrets.

What did I just read?! This book starts off so straightforward, you think you have everything figured out, and then BAM - the twists start coming. The plot is not 100% realistic, but I'm still giving this book 5 stars because it surprised me so many times In addition to the thriller elements, I loved how Abdullah explored the relationship between Yasmin and Leila using the trial to expose their secrets - it was very effective.

If you enjoy a courtroom drama, definitely give this one a try!

Thank you to Harper 360 for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Heartbreaking, emotional, suspenseful and compelling. This book had me so far in my feelings. I loved it. I hated it. But no really, I loved it. Parts were hard to read and the grief was so real and raw. 5 stars.

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This was an intense, emotional book. A family courtroom drama. This one definitely pulled me in from the start and was really fast paced. This one has triggers that may make it hard for some people to read, such as death of a child.

Leila and Yasmin are sisters and Leila has raised Yasmin since their parents death. When Leila is supposed to drop her nephew off at school one day, she has an emergency and stops at the office to handle the situation. But then she gets a call that her nephew didn't show up at school. She rushed to the car, but it's too late. Then we proceed with the court trial. After that, this book takes a turn that I was not expecting, it just totally went in a whole different direction. It's pretty crazy! Definitely add this one to your list. I also loved this authors other book TAKE IT BACK.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

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Thanks to and Netgalley and the publisher who provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was not an easy book to read.
The death of a child and who is to blame. It was heartbreaking, intense and really emotional.

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This one kept me guessing until the end. It was heartbreaking and explored so many twisted family dynamics.
Leila was supposed to drop her nephew Max off at daycare one morning. But she forgot.
Racing to the parking lot, she grasps the horror of what she has done. A terrible and sad scene unfolds.
I don’t like to read about any kind of violence to a child but I got drawn into the story and I just had to know how it was going to end. It surprised me!

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I'm trying to find the words to explain how this book makes me feel. I'm conflicted.

On one hand, the main topic of this book is gut wrenching and made my heart ache so badly. Such a huge tragedy, I wasn't expecting to read about, became a twisted story of guilty or not guilty?!? Right or wrong?!

I questioned myself if I was going to continue reading because of the subject matter but I did and I think Im glad I did. As I said, this book has me all twisted up. And now I feel like I just got hit with a left hook, a right jab, and then a K.O with that ending.

There are many twists I didn't see happening. Actually the keep hitting until the end.

This author has me very intrigued with her books now. This was my first but my twisted feelings can't wait to dive into more.

3 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars?!?!?!??!! I can't decide! I. Am. So. Torn. But. I. Can't. Look. Away!!!!

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Leila and her sister Yasmin lost their parents at a young age. Leila stepped up and became her sister guardian and took care of her from age 11 to 18. Leila worked hard to give her sister the best life she could. She worked 3 jobs and went to college and eventually she became an architect.

Even after Leila and Yasmin got married to their husbands she still took care of her sister and her brother in law. She bought them a house and a new car to help them out and she babysat her son. Yasmin’s husband Andrew had called Leila one morning and asked her if she could bring his son max to the nursery since it was on her way to work, she said sure that she was happy to do it. Leila made a huge mistake or so we all thought.

To be really honest, I couldn’t believe whaat happened in this book. It was a complete shock for me. I couldn’t believe the ending!!! It was good but a shock. If you haven’t read this book you need to. I highly recommend the book. It’ll make you cry. Because it made me cry. I still did really like the book. It had a great story and it was well written but wow

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Lies, deception, mercy, secrets, family conflicts, and murder. The author created a smorgasbord of drama for a feast the keeps the reader wanting to know what the Buxton course will be. Yes one will be left with a cliffhanger. So hold on tight for the ride.

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I'm a big fan of Kia Abdullah and I thought Next of Kin was really well-done. It was a story of a family coming to terms with a terrible tragedy. It had a lot of psychological depth, and a lot of twists and surprises as well.

That said, some people commenting on my blog post have said that they just couldn't read a book covering the death of a child in this manner. I found it hard to read, and it should have been hard to read. But things like this do happen, and it made a truly heartbreaking premise.

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Ripped directly out of the headlines!

What a hard book to read.

Leila is extremely close with her younger sister Yasmin and her brother-in-law Andrew. One morning when Andrew calls her before work and asks for help, dropping off her three-year-old nephew Max, at his nursery, she says yes, automatically, with no hesitation.

Hours later she gets a frantic call from Andrew asking where Max is, and why he wasn’t dropped off that morning. Leila panics and goes out to her car. It is there that she finds him. In the backseat. Strapped in. On the hottest day of the year.

Thereafter, Leila is charged with negligent manslaughter. That is NOT surprising.

There are, however, plenty of surprises in this unputdownable domestic, courtroom thriller. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and frankly, jaw-dropping, Next of Kin kept me totally engrossed. While there were a few things that I felt were implausible, I enjoyed this novel and can’t wait for Kia Abdullah’s next book.

A buddy read with Kaceey that we both really liked.

Thanks to Harper 360 for the arc via NetGalley.

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Wow! What did I just read? I can't believe I enjoyed a book that was SO HEARTBREAKING so much. "Next of Kin" centers around the death of 3-year old Max who was left in a car in the middle summer. His aunt Leila is charged with manslaughter as she was supposed to be dropping him off at daycare that day. The book dives into her trial and the relationships between Leila and her sister (Max's mom) and their husbands.

This book is as heavy as you can imagine. But I mean you CAN"T even imagine because there are so many more shocking revelations and twists as the trial unfolds. I feel weird saying I enjoyed the plot of this book since it was so depressing, but it was quite unique and I haven't read anything like it before. I definitely have a problem with the believability of one twist, but I will keep this spoil-free! I'll just say jumping to conclusions, much? Please message me though if you have read this and want to discuss!

Thank you NetGalley and Harper 360 for allowing me to read and review this eARC!

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This book was difficult to put down. I read it in 3 sittings. I had many moments when I thought I had “things” figured out and every time I was wrong. It was one curve ball after another. I enjoy stories like this that keep me guessing. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.

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Leila and Yasmin are very close sisters. When a tragedy happens, who is to blame? Is there someone to blame? What the heck did I just read?? A really well written engaging story. Then I got to the twist. WTH?? Then I'm hit with ANOTHER! And if that wasn't enough, here comes ONE MORE! Stunning! Not in a million years did I see any of this coming.

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Reading this book is like being stabbed in the heart over and over and over again.

When a family suffers the consequences of an unthinkable act, their trauma, grief, and shame are highlighted in a murder trial. Was a crime committed, or is there more to this story than meets the eye?

The plot revolves around a three-year-old child who was left in a car on an extremely hot day--he doesn’t survive. Was his death an accident or intentional?

The fate of the accused plays out in the courtroom, the media, and the public eye. The investigation and trial add a complex layer to the plot. I enjoyed the trial, as I kept getting swayed by the lawyers and testimony on both sides.

Abdullah does an amazing job of portraying the emotions of the characters and exploring the trauma of the event. This side of the novel is too real, and it was hard to read. Watching the characters struggle to accept what happened tore my heart out.

There are several twists, and these took my rating down a bit. Some readers have described the twists as shocking, I didn’t find either of them that way. I don’t think the final twist was necessary, as it was sensationalized instead of adding depth.

Overall, I appreciated this for making me think, but it was too much to take emotionally--I would not want to read it again.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Wow! I've read a lot of crime fiction and Nordic noir, so I'm used to dark, graphic content. But dang...Next of Kin made me SO uncomfortable and gave me a visceral reaction. Maybe it's because I'm a mom, but I just wanted to scream throughout the book. I really felt the characters' grief and agony at their loss.

Then the twists came and I was shocked, surprised, devastated, even more uncomfortable! It's take me several days to process how I really feel about this book. and overall, I think it's devastatingly clever, but it is likely going to be traumatic for many readers. Abdullah did a good job of activating the reader's emotions.

My one comment was that I wish the ending had more resolution. I would've liked to know/see more about what happened. The ending was a bit anti-climactic.

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Intense. Emotional. Shocking. Heartbreaking. This book blew me away. I loved the writing style. Abdullah is a word s!with of the highest kind. She somehow manages to make poetry fast paced and full of suspense.

The characters drive this dramatic tale. They're so well written they truly feel like real people. I certainly liked some more than others but appreciated the personalities of each.

This novel delves deep into possibly triggering issues. If you don't cry, you're A monster.

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