Next of Kin

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Pub Date 20 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 17 Jan 2023

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“Abdullah’s legal thrillers make John Grisham seem like a maiden aunt.” Sunday Times Crime Club

“An enthralling, heartbreaking and thrilling courtroom drama that had me shouting out loud and gripped until the last page.” Nadine Matheson, author of The Jigsaw Man

“Brilliantly tense, this is another clever page turner from Kia Abdullah that I couldn’t put down. Just superb.” Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City

* * * *


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…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.

* * * *

Readers are GRIPPED by Next of Kin

“Kia Abdullah is the absolute queen of the courtroom drama.” NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“WOW!! This book is astonishingly brilliant! An absolute masterpiece.” NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I couldn’t put this down and Kia Abdullah is becoming a firm favourite read” NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Kia Abdullah is a writing maestro.” NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“A gripping legal thriller that will leave you reeling. A book that will stay with you long after the last page. The ending is a stunner!” NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Abdullah’s legal thrillers make John Grisham seem like a maiden aunt.” Sunday Times Crime Club

“An enthralling, heartbreaking and thrilling courtroom drama that had me shouting out loud and gripped...

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ISBN 9780008538323
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Average rating from 79 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you Netgalley and Harper 360, HQ for the copy of Next Of Kin. This was a fabulous book and every sentence made me want to keep reading until the end. Leila and Yasmin have a complex, realistic relationship that made me care about both of them. The gripping story was totally immersing and the shocks just kept coming. If you’re looking for a book that won’t let you look away, this is it!

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Thank you Harper 360 and Net Galley for an Unbelievable Novel!!!! This was a WOW type of book, not One but Two OMGosh Shockers!!! What a thought provoking story. Fantastic book, this will stay with me a Very Long Time!!! I felt like I was with Every character during each chapter.

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Kia Abdullah is my all time favorite author. Her writing is so evocative and her books bring out ALL of the emotions while still being a total thriller. If Take It Back made me love her and Truth Be Told solidified her spot at the top of my favorite authors, then Next of Kin made me a full-fledged addict to her writing. I love that she’s not afraid to write about topics that make me squirm. I felt sympathetic toward every single character in this book. They all made me uncomfortable and drawn in at the same time. As usual, there were tons of moments where I slapped my hand over my mouth and lots of heartbreaking moments. And I’m still sitting here with all kinds of ‘What would I do in that situation?’ questions floating around in my mind. Kia Abdullah is not afraid to explore those questions and then delve deeper than I would even think possible. PLEASE never stop writing novels, Kia!!! Even going in expecting a million star read, I’m still totally blown away! I mean, I teared up when I read the blurb for goodness sake!
I can’t wait to discuss this with my friends when they read it, too. It would be the most perfect book to discuss for a book club! 87 gazillion stars from me! I cannot wait for her next book!

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Just wow!! Kia Abdullah absolutely knocks it out of the park again. I’m just gobsmacked. Painful premise and flawless execution. Such.a chilling read. Great characters and fragile secrets lead to bomb shell reveals
Highly recommend
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book

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Part family drama, part courtroom thriller and all edge-of your seat, nail-biting read, Next of Kin is the explosive new mystery by gifted author Kia Abdullah.

Sisters Leila and Yasmin have a loving yet complicated relationship. Yasmin and her husband Andrew have moved near the more successful Leila, now estranged from Will. Yasmin relies on Leila’s help with three year old Max, not fully realizing how much Leila wants a child of her own. Leila always agrees to help but a surprise request one morning leads to unspeakable horror. “I got a message from the nursery. They said Max wasn’t dropped off this morning…Leila, where’s Max?”

An arrest and trial follow. Leila’s life is shattered: her job, her sister, her brother-in-law, all that she cared about are forever changed. And a dogged police detective is determined to prove that Leila is guilty. Will her life ever return to normal? And, more important, does she care?

There is so much more to come, including the final chapters that will turn around everything you’ve been led to believe. Next of kin is a tour de force and deserves every one of 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Harper 360 and Kia Abdullah for this ARC.

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This is a well written legal thriller that focuses on the complex relationship between two sisters. What happens when one of them kills the other's son by accident and gets prosecuted for it? I guessed the first twist but then they kept coming and in fact a sequel would work for this story. It is mostly Leila story and what she does for love of her sister, she is a complicated heroine, probably not likeable i "real life" but very understandable the hard choices she has to make. Lots to think about ethically in this one 4.5

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My first read by this author and I'm happy to say I freaking loved it!
Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah is a phenomenal legal thriller story.
Brilliant writing, complex storytelling with a compulsive and gripping narrative.
The pacing was perfect and kept me enthralled and intrigued till the very end.
Characters were so interesting and Leila's story kept me glued to the pages.
Looking for your next page-turning book? Grab Next of Kin!

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my blog, platforms, BookBub, B&N, Kobo and Waterstone closer to pub date.

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Leila receives a call from her brother in law, asking her to drop off his son Max at nursery school. A distracted Leila drives to work instead. Hours later, when Max never arrives at school, Leila realizes what she’s done, and the tragic outcome results in Leila’s arrest. Next of Kin is a relentless thriller, with spellbinding courtroom drama and tension-filled family dynamics. You’ll find yourself surprisingly rooting for Leila as the plot unfolds, as characters are torn between seeking justice or vengeance. Crisply written, this is a winner! I received an arc of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review,

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This book hooked me from the very beginning and never let me go. The pacing was amazing! Unwanted to flip forward to learn what was happening because I couldn't t read it fast enough. However, I refrained and I am glad I did. The story unfolded on pace and I gasped and cried just like the author wanted me to. An amazing read!

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I have been hearing great things about this author and was excited to be approved to read and review NEXT OF KIN.

What would you do if you asked your sister to take your son to nursery and she forgets him in the hot car, and he’s left to die?

I read this in one and a half sittings. I absolutely could not put it down. The writing is stellar. The characters are complex and well fleshed out. The topic is every parent’s worst nightmare and I found myself in tears several times. The dynamics between the sisters was so complicated and sometimes heartbreaking. I felt so many emotions reading this story. There are some gut punching twists towards the end, and I had to put the book down several times and take a breath.

Overall, this book is brilliant, and heart-wrenching and I was completely invested in the story from beginning to end.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-ARC.

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Truly remarkable. This was a fully immersive story that had me gasping, my stomach turning, my mind racing and I wasn’t able to start another book for a couple of days as these characters stayed in my head and my heart. My car gives me a warning every time I exit to lookin the back seat and I have read other novels concerning children dying in an overheated car. This plot starts with the death and grief for the family. Then it becomes an almost second novel. Please read it, it’s the best of the year. I still think of these not particularly sympathetic characters and I will probably read it again later in the year.

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There are legal thrillers…then there are legal THRILLERS!

WOW! This book was equally powerful both in and out of the courtroom.

A successful business woman, Leila is starting her day like every other. As she is about to step outside leaving for work she gets a call from her brother-in-law pleading for help. He explains he needs to run into work immediately and asks Leila if she can drop off his son Max at the nursery. Not a problem. Leila adores her nephew and easily agrees.

But on the way Leila receives a call of her own from work and needs to get to the office stat! What a day this has turned into. Her thoughts are now on work, not on her nephew sitting in the backseat.

A devastating, horrific mistake. But the police believe otherwise, sensing there was more to this tragedy. Now this family will be torn apart in their private lives as well as in the courtroom.

Kia Abdullah writes a highly compelling and unsettling legal thriller. The court room action was taut. The characters…heartbreaking.

So many times I had to pause for a moment to think….feel. After all, isn’t that what we all search for in our books?

Simply outstanding! I have one more book from this talented author on my kindle and I cannot wait to get to it!

A buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper 360, HQ

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Oh this was a very intense read of sibling rivalry, jealously and resentment. It was a thrill ride from beginning to end and the author did a phenomenal job at keeping me hooked into the story.

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This book was interesting and very well-written. I would likely want to read more from this author and will recommend this to friends.

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Legal Thriller With Most Explosions Outside The Courtroom. This is a British legal thriller where the trial actually ends with about a quarter or so of the book left to go... and *then* the explosions start. By the end of the trial, you think you know what happened. And then there is the Detective, who, like in V for Vendetta, just isn't quite satisfied with the answers he's been given. So he continues to poke around a bit... and in the process the reader gets put through a shock and awe campaign that would wow even the Iraqis circa 2004. Truly an excellent tale very smartly told but covering topics which make a lot of us cringe at - which is one surefire sign of a tale that *needs* to be told. Truly the only potential negative mark here is for those readers who like every single plot thread tied up neatly in a nice little bow by the end of the book. This book... is more messy and "true to reality" than that. Still, partly *because* of that abrupt ending, this book is thus very much recommended.

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Leila Syed receives a frantic call from her brother-in-law just as she is leaving for work. He has a work emergency and needs to go in immediately, and needs her to come over and pick up her nephew Max and drop him off at daycare on her way to work. She reluctantly agrees, even though it will be taking her out of her way to do so. Max is bundled into his rear-facing car seat and put into the backseat of her car, right behind the driver's seat. But thanks to a perfect storm of events, Leila forgets to drop Max off and leaves Max sitting in her hot car, until the daycare contacted Andrew to let him know his son was never dropped off that morning. By then, it was too late. What follows is a grueling investigation and courtroom drama that pits family members against each other, and leaves people wondering... "Did Leila leave Max in her car on purpose, or what really happened?"

I am still reeling from the final twist of the book. I love this author's books, so I was prepared for there to be a twist at the end, but she hit me with several right there at once. This would make a perfect book club read. There are a lot of discussion topics I could see that book clubs would find appealing. This is perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult & Lisa Genova. If you want a book that will leave you thinking, one that will stay with you long after you have finished it, one that you want to tell everyone about, then you have found it.

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Oh my gosh, Kia, what have you done?

Next of Kin had me gasping one moment and in tears the next! Kudos to Kia Abdullah for being able to write about a sensitive, emotional topic.

Leila has only ever wanted to take care of her sister, Yasmin. So when she's asked to pick up her nephew as a favor to her brother-in-law, she doesn't hesitate. But she forgot to take him to nursery school, with devastating consequences. Now she is torn apart by her actions and the need to feel guilt. Her sister, Yasmin, can't even look at her after what she's done. And now everything will hang on 12 jurors.

I felt so invested in every one of the characters and this story made me think about what it would feel like to be in any one of their shoes. The moral and ethical questions it raises are just beyond what I ever want to be presented with. And a good book does just that: it leaves us thinking about the characters and their actions long after we've read it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper 360, HQ for an advance reader's copy.

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I love legal thrillers, and NEXT OF KIN hit the mark! Leila was supposed to drop off her nephew Max at daycare on her way to work. Busy and distracted, she doesn't give Max another thought until her brother-in-law calls in a panic to tell her Max's daycare reported that he hadn't shown up.

Leila races to her car, but it's too late. Soon she finds herself front and center in a high profile courtroom drama that tears the family to shreds. However, as the case progresses, it soon becomes clear that there is much more to the case than what lies on the surface. Tense, thrilling, and with some jaw dropping twists that I never could have predicted. My only gripe is the extraordinarily long chapters, but as the book progressed, I was so riveted I stopped noticing!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this early read. Publishes September 20, 2022.

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Oh my. I was hesitant to start this book, knowing the subject content. How horrific! But curiosity won out so start it, I did. Once I started it, everything else was background to this story. It’s told so well, without dwelling on the saddest parts & the twists that you’ll never see coming will throw you for a loop. This is a great, fast paced read that holds your attention & then some. Five fabulous stars!!

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I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

It is a testament to this author’s talent that I, a boy mom, could tear through this book. Tragic and twisty every step of the way, I savored every page. My favorite thriller of 2022.

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Next of Kin
by Kia Abdullah
Thank You Harper 360 and NetGalley for gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
Holy crow!! I loved this book. It was mind-blowing how this book just sets you into a place where you just use some fall-out of your chair, as well as your mind. Brilliantly written. I had to savor this one, not rush, and make every bit of the shocking last. I will revisit this one, and smack it down in hardcover to some friends.
Kia Abudullah you hit this home run out of the best yet. Bravo!!!

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Kia Abdullah knows how to write a heart wrenching, page turning, crazy legal thriller!!

Next of Kin follows Leila Syeds court case of accidentally leaving her nephew, Max, in a locked car on the hottest day in the summer resulting in his death. This situation is any parent/caregivers worst nightmare. Leila’s sister, Yasmin, who was raised by Leila is now torn apart with grief and hurt at her sister’s fatal mistake. Sounds straightforward? Think again, there’s countless twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I would highly recommend Next of Kin and will be picking up Abdullah’s backlist right away!!

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Next of Kin
Genre: Thriller
Format: Physical Book
Date Published: 9/20/22
Author: Kia Abdullah
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 384
GR: 4.30

I requested a digital advanced readers copy from NetGalley and HarperCollins and providing my opinion voluntarily and unbiased.

Synopsis: ON AN ORDINARY WORKING DAY… 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. YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE… 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 IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE. 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…

My Thoughts: Just wow. This was intense, tense, gripping, distressing, and tragic, all of the elements of a brilliant thriller. Just a warning, there is a child perceived death, but I believe it was done with such grace and sensitivity, I was able to read it. The twists were unpredictable, which was refreshing as most of the time I can guess the twists. Then the ending was fireworks explosive! The story is broken down into three parts, the event, the trial, and then after. I left the synopsis as vague as possible as it is better to go into this blind. The characters are well developed, with multifaceted depth, tension, deceitful, and not very likable, written by design. The author’s writing was complex, suspenseful, twisty, intriguing, and kept me engaged the entire book. This would make an excellent book for a book club discussion. This is the most gripping, riveting legal thriller that I have read in awhile and I have read a lot of thrillers this year. I cannot recommend this enough, it releases tomorrow!

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Leila who loses her mom at the age of 18 takes on the task of raising her 11-year-old sister she will let nothing get in her way. Life moves forward for both, and Leila now finds herself quite successful. She is still very close with her sister and there is nothing she won't do. So, on a given morning her brother-in-law calls and ask Leila to please take Max to school she thinks nothing of it. After picking up Max she is faced with a work crisis and her mind is focused on solving this situation as she is always good at solving problems. Leila gets to work and solves the crisis, and everything is going well until she gets a call from her brother-in-law that the school has called and mention that Max is not at school and suddenly, she realizes that she has committed a terrible act. The majority of this story is the trial that takes place as a result of this accident or was it really an accident? This is definitely a page turner; you cannot read the pages fast enough to see what happens next with the story building up to ending you do not see coming. Gives this a read and you will not be disappointed. Be warned there are some triggers in this book concerning a young child's death.

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Next of Kin is not for the faint of heart, it's not a comfortable read nor a feel good story -- You have been warned!
Leila is a busy and successful architect. All that is missing from her life is a child, but she and her now estranged husband are unable to conceive. She lives vicariously through her younger sister Yasmin's child. The sisters' mother took her own life when they were children and Leila has looked out for "Yasmin ever since. She drops everything when Yasmin's husband calls and requests that she bring their child to daycare. What happened next will blow your mind!
If you like insane twists with uncomfortable drama and legal and police procedurals thrown in, Next of Kin is for you!
#Harper360 #NextofKin #KiaAbdullah

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We have all heard and read the stories in the news. The terrible tragedies that occur when a child is accidentally left in a hot car for far too long and dies. As a parent, I cannot fathom the grief those other parents go through; especially when they are then put on trial for their children’s death.

<i>Next of Kin</i> takes this tragedy to another level - it was 3 year old Max's aunt who left him in the car for 3 hours accidentally, causing his death. A series of unfortunate and ill-timed events now have Leila standing trial for manslaughter while her sister, Yasmin and her husband Andrew suffer the loss of their second child.

This novel delves deeply not only into Leila’s trial but also the family dynamics of Leila, her estranged husband Will, and Yasmin and Andrew. Leila won guardianship of Yasmin when she was 18 (Yasmin 11) and worked hard to make sure her little sister had a stable home life. As an adult, Leila thrived as a business owner, though in other areas of life, lacked personally. Andrew, Will and Yasmin are all well-developed characters and though you don’t see much until Part III, it’s there that the family really showed through.

<i>Next of Kin</i> was dramatic (but not overtly done) and could have stood alone without the pesky detective and his sections and theories. The author expressed the guilt and torture felt by both parents and family members regarding the death of children (TW for child death as well as children with disabilities that lead to death). Navigating this subject is tricky territory and I feel the author did so with sensitivity and taste.

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This is a book that manages to be both heartbreaking and horrifying, while still being very readable.

I was all in on our main character, shocked by what happened...and even more shocked by the way everything ended.

My first book from the author and it was a wonderfully twisty surprise!

*ARC via Net Galley

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Kia Abdullah has done a brilliant job of writing a tense, enthralling thriller. However, the twists and even more twists at the end go to an irritating point.

This book has me struggling with how to rate it. Five stars for the excellent writing and three stars for including not one but several turns too far at the end. Four stars overall.

As noted by other reviewers this book does deal with the very difficult topic of child death.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper 360 for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper 360 HQ for gifting me a digital ARC of the new legal thriller by Kia Abdullah - 5 amazing stars!

An almost ordinary day, Leila is getting ready to leave for her job in her architecture firm when she receives a call from her brother-in-law asking her to take Max, her 3-year-old nephew, to day care because he has a work emergency. She agrees and heads over to her sister's house nearby. Andrew straps Max into the rear-facing carseat in the back and Leila heads to the daycare. But then she gets a call from her assistant with a work emergency that only she can handle and she heads there without thinking. Hours later, Andrew calls Leila because he got a call that Max never showed up to daycare. In the hot sun, the worst thing happened to Max. When Leila is charged with manslaughter, the trial threatens to further destroy both families. Leila has always been the responsible one and taken care of her sister, Yasmine, when their parents died. She's helped her in every way, struggling in silent over her own issues. With her family, marriage, and freedom on the line, Leila is devastated.

My heart is still pounding hours after I finished this book! This is another amazing legal thriller from this author that you must read. And those twists - wow. This is an absolute must read with lots to think about as well. It's devastating because these accidents can happen all too easily and too frequently. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!

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After blowing me away with “Take It Back”, I wasn’t sure that anything could top it. However, Abdullah returns with a riveting thriller with high stakes courtroom drama about what it truly means to be family. This book felt unputdownable and the pace moved at a breakneck speed despite there being a lot of courtroom scenes which could get monotonous. She weaves her signature shocking plot twists throughout the story that kept me on my toes waiting for the next reveal. I absolutely love and will recommend this thriller! 5 stars!

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Holy moly! My mind has been blown! 🤯

Leila Syed is getting ready for work one morning when she receives a frantic phone call from her brother-in-law Andrew. There is an emergency at his work and he was hoping she could bring her 3 year old nephew, Max, to nursery for him since it's nearby her work anyhow. Leila is happy to do it and agrees without another thought. Andrew and her sister Yasmine live right around the corner from her so she gathers Max as quickly as she can.

On the way to the nursery school she receives a work call. An emergency. Blueprints are missing that her partner needs desperately in order to attend a meeting in which they hope to score their biggest client yet. The only other set of prints is in her locked office so she flies to the office so her partner doesn't miss this incredibly important meeting.

Around noontime Leila receives another frantic phone call from Andrew. Max never made it to school. The shock hits Leila like a punch to the face and she races to her car in the parking lot where the inevitable happened on the hottest day in London.

I was hooked from the very first page. The opening scenes were downright horrifying. A thought you hate to even consider and your first reaction is how does a person just forget a child in a vehicle but we see it on the news often enough to know that it does indeed happen. Kia Abdullah then takes us through the trial - is Leila guilty of manslaughter having intentionally left her nephew in the vehicle or was it an honest to god mistake in which she simply forgot. He was sleeping after all.

So much to consider, so much to think about. I thought Abdullah did an outstanding job in creating these characters and my like and dislike for each of them ebbed and flowed like the sea on a stormy day. I was so conflicted, so enthralled, so heartbroken for their loss.

Abdullah also educated me on a disease I was completely unfamiliar with. Epidermolysis bullosa. Having never heard of it before I decided to hit up my friend Google for more information and I almost wish I hadn't. I almost wish I could unsee what I saw and unknow what I read. What an absolutely awful condition a baby must suffer. The world is horrible enough, if there is a higher power out there, then why must you make people suffer so cruelly. 😢💔

As you near the end, reveals are made and let me tell you I didn't see any of them coming. Absolutely jaw dropping. A round of applause to Abdullah! 👏👏👏 I can't wait to get my hands on her next book. ALL THE STARS!!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper 360 for my complimentary copy.

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Wow! Fantastic read by Kia Abdullah! As I read this heartbreaking story that we all heard at one time or another on our evenings news, I tried to relate to everyone's feelings. Tried to comprehend how someone could have done this, and actually feeling sympathy for all involved. Then BAM, the story took a twist that I never seen coming.. And it didn't stop there.. This was a page turner for sure. Not my first book by this author and without a doubt won't be my last.

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An excellent, powerfully emotional legal thriller ! Looking forward to reading the next one by Kia Abdullah.. A solid 5 stars

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Fast-paced, tense, and utterly gripping. A recommended purchase for collections where legal thrillers are popular.

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I requested this book after reading other reviews and because I loved Kia Abdullah’s book, Take It Back.

I started Next of Kin late at night and finished it the next morning- I couldn’t put it down. Fair warning: the opening chapters are truly distressing and difficult to read and digest.

Leila is about to head out the door for work when she receives a call from her brother-in-law, Andrew asking if there’s any way she could drop off his three year old son to his nursery. Andrew has never asked this of her, but he has an urgent situation at work he needs to tend to. Leila is also rushing that morning, but she agrees to come get Max.

After retrieving Max, she begins her drive. Leila takes a phone call from her assistant who is panicked looking for blueprints for an important meeting, Leila becomes distracted with problem solving this matter and pulls into her parking space at work. Leila doesn’t even remember she has a sleeping Max in her backseat and goes about her day. It’s only hours later, when Andrew contacts her asking why she didn’t drop off Max at his nursery that the dread sinks in…she never dropped him off and he’s been in her car for hours on a very hot day. Leila goes outside to her car, knowing what she will find. This tragedy results in manslaughter charges against Leila, even if it was a terrible accident.

Part one and two follow what happened and then the trial, but the author saves some unbelievable revelations for part three. This story was heartbreaking, but it unfolded with such intensity that I couldn’t stop reading. This author does such a fantastic job of handling sensitive subjects and nightmare situations. I look forward to reading more from Kia Abdullah.

Thank you Netgalley and HQ for my copy of Next of Kin. This one just came out- 9/20/22.

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"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…"

I really enjoyed this page turner with a super unique plot. The writing was fantastic and the twists kept coming in the second half of the book. The ending was meh in my opinion but I still loved it overall and am eager to read more of Kia Abdullah's books!

Thank you Harper Collins & NetGalley for the ARC and opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review! Pick this up on 9/20!

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Layla‘s brother-in-law Andrew had an emergency at work and asked if she could drop little Macs off at the nursery. She said it was no problem, after all helping her sister and brother-in-law is what she did. All the way to work however she gets an emergency call about blueprints that her architect partner Robert needs to give a presentation for a huge client and she goes into emergency mode. Three hours later when she gets a call from Andrew asking “where is Max?“ Layla is now panicking and although she doesn’t want to go see she knows she must and this is when she finds a little Max in the backseat of her car, dead. Layla and her husband will are separated but when she gets immediately arrested for the murder of her nephew she is relieved when he is there to comfort her. Her sister now Big Sur but her brother-in-law is strangely on her side. There is so much to this book and if I say more it will be a spoiler and OMG what a twist they have in this book. There is no way anyone can see this coming I know I didn’t if you love books that leave you Godsmack and screaming OMG… You need to read “next of Ken“ this is the reason the genre thriller was created it is so freaking good! I mean wow what a book! I received this book from NetGalley and publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review .

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I was absolutely thrilled to get an ARC of this brilliant novel. Thank you NetGalley! This was an intense, emotional, jaw-dropping read I couldn't gobble down fast enough. A perfect blend of psychological thriller and courtroom drama. Count me in as a huge Kia Abdullah fan!

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This was a 5 star book. The characters were well developed. It drew me right in from the start it was hard for me to put it down. It moved along at a good pace. The twists in this book just kept coming and coming. I figured out one of the twist before hand but the others came out of left field. I had no idea it was heading that way. But I do wish we would of had a little more info on EB

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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Harper360 and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

Gripping read full of suspense, action, chilling thrills and twists.

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I read this during a major reading slump, so it took me forever to finish, and I don’t know why. I loved everything about this book! I am not usual a legal thriller reader, but this one just worked. All the twists and turns kept me guessing until the very last page. I will definitely be reading more by this author.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Ohmigosh!!! This one just hurt my heart! The beginning and the whole premise are absolutely heartbreaking. Still an EXCELLENT story! Very well-written with so many twists! Great characterization. Those are the marks of a really great author to me! If you can take a horrible premise and still make me care and love your story, I'm a forever fan. She did that also with Take it Back, which I loved and is the reason for requesting this one. If you love thrillers and/or courtroom drama, I cannot recommend this one enough!

Thank you to #NetGalley, Kia Abdullah and Harper 360, HQ for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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This author continues to amaze me with her ability to navigate such complex situations and themes. She comes at us from all angles and then throws some unexpected twists and all the tense courtroom scenes. I think fans of Jodi Picoult would thoroughly enjoy. I’ll read anything this author writes. Consider me a forever fan.

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Special thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book.

This book was an ntense read. I loved it. It had the perfect balance of courtroom drama and psychological thriller.

This was a unique book with plenty of twists and turns. Highly recommended.

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How did I miss reading this author? Let me tell you, she will be high on my list in the future. This novel was another example of immersive reading where I couldn't put the book down. The author has a way of letting you feel the characters pain, indecision and anguish which brought me to tears more than once. Leila( the eldest) and her youngest sister Yasmin have lives that have been enmeshed for years since Leila became the sole caretaker at 18 when Yasmin was 11. Leila has been the stoic ,rational driven individual who took her duties seriously rising to head her own architectural firm, although along the way being dubbed the "ice queen" hiding her emotions under a veneer of strength and control. Her pretty sister however has strong feelings about her being in her sister's shadow, as she was "only a secretary" and never had the fame and fortune of her sister. Behind Yasmin's back, Leila has been giving her and her husband extra money and was a devoted aunt to their son Max. Their first son died of an awful genetic disease called E.B.where any touch would cause his skin to blister and peel. In keeping with Leila's generosity to anything concerning her nephew she was more than happy to help her brother-in-law, Andrew, when he had an emergency and needed someone to drive Max to preschool. On the way she had an emergency situation of her own which she rushed to the office to handle. Then came the phone call...The school had called Andrew that Max hadn't shown up...and it was 3 hours later. When Leila rushed down to the car, Max was blue and suffering from hyperthermia from being locked up on one of the hottest days of the year..One can only imagine the pain experienced by both families as news of his death reached them.Leila is charged with manslaughter and the reader is drawn into the court drama. Once the verdict is handed down, the tension decreases but oh my, several twists upended the following chapters. My mouth literally dropped open as had not anticipated these dramatic turn of events. Fellow readers, there is so much more to this book..It behooves you to run, run, run for both an emotional and event ridden rollercoaster. I just loved this book.

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Complicated family relationships are at the heart of this domestic suspense novel. After a brief glimpse into the lives of two sisters, Leila and Yasmin, the story moves to the day their lives are forever changed. Leila was supposed to drop her nephew off at daycare, but hours later realizes she forgot. Shocking, heartbreaking and thought provoking. Leila and Yasmin’s relationship is more than a sister relationship. Leila raised Yasmin after the deaths of their parents. This parent relationship layer greatly impacts the sister relationship. This explores the impact of a tragic mistake on a family.

Well written, entertaining read. This is emotional and intense and will not be for every reader. The courtroom drama was full of many twists and turns. Courtroom scenes nicely balanced with scenes of Leila trying to come to grips with her mistake. The detective in the novel was a bit over the top. Refused to believe Leila could make an mistake. Doggedly pursued her without believing other alternatives.

This did go in an unexpected direction in the last ~ 15%. Overall, I was entertained and enjoyed this fast paced suspense novel. I do advise readers to look at trigger warnings prior to picking this up. Could be a challenging read for a parent.

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the ARC copy in exchange for my honest review.

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NEXT OF KIN is another outstanding legal thriller by Kia Abdullah. Leila is at her office in her architectural firm when she gets a call from her brother-in-law. The daycare says she never dropped off her nephew. This book examines the guilt and tragedy of infant hot car death, the complex relationships between families (I found it especially surprising how much Leila is blamed despite how much the parents sort of dump childcare on her, knowing how stressed and overworked she is), and as the legal case begins, it becomes very interesting. The relationship between Leila and her younger sister Yasmin, who Leila raised from the age of 11 after their parents’ deaths is close and complex. Leila has always protected Yasmin, even at great personal cost. Yasmin has also suffered tragedy in her adult life, and the way that part of the story as it is revealed is crafted, is very well done. I liked that there were no truly black or white characters in this one, no characters I could say were truly good, or truly bad, just all painted in wonderfully intricate shades of gray. I have to say I did not see some of the twists coming at the end, and the author once again surprised me in more than one way. Very cleverly crafted! 5/5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book from Harper 360, HQ and NetGalley for review purposes.

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Oh. My. Gawd!!! This book was gut-wrenching and intense and emotional and overall AMAZING! I could not put it down. And when I did manage to put it down, because you know, LIFE (insert eye roll here), I could not stop thinking about it.

The characters are incredibly well written. Not only did I get to "know" them, but I could feel their emotions. The plot moves at a steady pace, keeping you interested and intrigued one suspenseful page after another. And the twists...oh, my goodness the twists. I can honestly say that I did not see any of it coming! And perhaps that's because I was so immersed in the story that I wasn't anticipating the ending.

Beware, this is not a light read. It contains complex situations and heavy, heartbreaking themes throughout. But trust me, it is INCREDIBLE! This is my first book by Abdullah and I cannot wait to read more from her catalog.

Thank you Harper Collins & NetGalley for the ARC and the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Wow, wow, and wow!! This is my first Kia Abdullah book and I'm hooked. I haven't read a 'legal thriller', since a John Grisham book years ago, which pales in comparison. This was so well crafted and structured, not a loose end to be found anywhere! Thank you NetGalley and HQ for an early release of this book.
Trigger warning: this is a tragic story about the death of a child.

Leila and Yasmin are sisters that grew up as orphans, Leila taking the lead as the primary caregiver. She works 3 jobs to keep Yasmin out of foster care and so they can stay together. Fast forward, Leila is a successful architect running her own firm, somewhat married, and happy. Yasmin is happily married as well with a 3 year old son, Max.
Leila is very involved in Max's upbringing as she's been unable to have a child of her own. One fateful summer day, she's asked to take Max to daycare, but must first stop at the office to take care of something. And forgets about Max...or does she?

How the actions of all the key characters play out seals their fate as depicted in the shocking ending. It's one surprise after another. I was fascinated with the court case this resulted in. How a seemingly professional, upstanding citizen in the community could be reduced to a jealous, hateful woman desperate to have a child. For awhile you were not sure how the jury would decide as both sides had merit, and made good cases for the defense and prosecution. It was also interesting how the state can press charges in cases like this. If this hasn't already been optioned for a film or series, it's just a matter of time.
5 stars from me!!

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Oh my my.... what did I just read? Review follows now that my heart rate has returned to normal. This book delivered quite the visceral punch.

On a hot morning in London, Leila Syed agrees to help out her desperate brother-in-law by picking up 3-year-old Max and taking him to nursery. Unfortunately, Max doesn't make it to school. Leila has forgotten that he was strapped in the back seat and Max is found dead, inside the vehicle, in the parking lot of her office building several hours later. What happens next?

The book is divided into 3 different parts and focuses on the crime, the trial, and the aftermath. It is quite gripping and tense though the characters were so unlikable that I was sometimes unable to elicit any empathy for them. I was so torn in my emotions as various details were revealed and the narrative really kept me guessing.

What a great story as long as you can suspend disbelief and go with all the twists and turns. It's definitely more a domestic drama than a legal thriller as, even though I know next to nothing about the British legal system, I think the courtroom scenes were unrealistic. Something that was totally missing was extended interaction between Leila and her attorney. There was no trial prep and it all just seemed that was not the focus of the book. But, whoa, the drama!

In any event, I enjoyed this one and have also really liked two other books I've read by this author. She has a knack of finding some very timely issues and writing great stories about them. I definitely feel that this novel will invite some lively discussion about several different aspects of the legal case and the nature of family and female ambition. The less you know going into the book, the better.

Thank you to NetGalley and HQ for this e-book ARC to read, review, and recommend. I am looking forward to the author's next book.

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First read by this author based on some good ratings/reviews. This book had a introspective flavor which can wear on me. I didn’t like the beginning of the story as the main plot unfolded but the story just kept getting better as I turned the page. All of the characters had their quirks and flaws that helped to keep me on the edge of my seat. Definitely an impressive read!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity in exchange for an honest review.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of Next of Kin.

I enjoy legal thrillers, as long as it's not too legal, you know what I mean?

Just a bit to get me reading and turning the pages, sort of like an extended Law & Order episode.

Next of Kin is an interesting story, almost ripped from the headlines, so to speak, featuring two sisters, their complex relationship, their personal grievances, jealousies and sorrow, and a dead child.

When Leila's nephew ends up dead after a horrific mistake, the sisters are pitted against each other in court. And bitter truths eventually come to light.

Was it a mistake? Is Leila's ambition and cold demeanor an excuse to accuse her of an unspeakable crime?

But, things are not always what they seem and both sisters have been hiding secrets from their spouses. And from each other.

There are standard tropes to be found here; Leila and her husband are both incredibly attractive; so is Leila's younger sister, who is a charming flirt.

Leila is a tough, smart business woman and in our patriarchal society, she's punished for qualities a man in the same position would be praised for, not surprisingly.

Everyone is hiding something from each other; Leila and her sister, their spouses, no one is reliable so the narrative can't be trusted. We have to rely on Leila, and we soon find out we're unable to.

I'm not a fan of this literary device; purposely hiding facts from the reader, but this isn't a standard mystery where the detective pounds the pavement looking for a killer or killers.

This is a domestic thriller so you expect certain details to be withheld.

I liked the writing, the prose flowed, and the tone and style made it easy to follow the story.

I didn't like the sisters, though I didn't dislike them. I found the sisters too shallowly and typically characterized, including their husbands, who are mostly in the background, though they make fatal mistakes of their own that jumpstart the action.

Also, I'm not sure how believable it is for a father to automatically assume his child is sick because he knows the signs but has not confirmed it with a medical professional?

I know I would run straight to the doctor but that's me.

That strained my ability to suspend disbelief a bit but I was curious to see how the rest of the story would unfold so I let it go.

Overall, I liked the pacing of the story, the twists at the end were soap opera-ish but at that point, I was waiting for it.

I appreciate the opportunity to read Next of Kin, and I would read the author's next book.

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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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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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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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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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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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