Take It Back: A Novel

Take It Back: A Novel

by Kia Abdullah

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From author Kia Abdullah, Take It Back is a harrowing and twisting courtroom thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page is turned.

One victim.
Four accused.
Who is telling the truth?

Zara Kaleel, one of London's brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.

When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie's best friend doesn't believe her.

But Zara does—and she is determined to fight for Jodie—to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 09/07/2020

Barrister Zara Kaleel, the heroine of this riveting, thought-provoking legal thriller from British author Abdullah (Child’s Play), is a rising star in a prominent London law firm, until she decides to do something more meaningful: become an advocate for sexual abuse victims. Her first case in this new role involves four teenage boys, all English Muslims from East London, accused by their classmate Jodie Wolfe, a 16-year-old disabled white girl, of rape. That Zara is an English Muslim herself advocating against Muslim boys guarantees front-page attention. Zara is torn by her family’s dismay over her role and her firm belief in Jodie, even though Jodie’s alcoholic mother and best friend don’t believe the girl. The residents of East London, immigrants and poor native born, each come across as distinct individuals. In the courtroom, shifting testimony and constant new revelations reveal the humanity—good and bad—of all participants. Readers may find themselves believing one side, then the other, up until the shocking ending. Abdullah is definitely a writer to watch. Agent: Jessica Faust, BookEnds Literary. (Dec.)

From the Publisher

"Completely original...a shocking legal thriller that goes where few legal thrillers have gone before...stunning." —New York Times Book Review

"Sex, race and social justice collide in this twisting courtroom thriller." —USA Today

"A fast-paced courtroom drama, Take It Back by Kia Abdullah asks tough questions about race, class, and gender while keeping you guessing until the (truly shocking) last page." —Real Simple

"Riveting, thought-provoking legal thriller... Abdullah is definitely a writer to watch." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Abdullah has done an exemplary job of character development and is especially good at ratcheting up suspense as the trial proceeds." —Booklist, starred review

"A propulsive read with an unpredictable finale." —Air Mail

"A thought-provoking and sparklingly intelligent novel, with the welcome bonus of an unguessable ending." —The Telegraph

"A superb legal thriller that fairly crackles with tension." —The Guardian

"Intense, shocking and so real you can literally feel its heartbeat." —Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me

Library Journal


When Jodie, a 16-year-old girl taunted for her facial deformities, accuses four boys from Muslim immigrant families of rape, London lawyer-turned-rape counsellor Zara Kaleel (also Muslim) helps prepare her for the forthcoming trial. Explosive social implications, surprise ending; a multi-best-booked British publication with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250273024
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/08/2020
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 9,742
File size: 3 MB

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