Category Archives: Take It Back

Review: Take It Back by Kia Abdullah

Title: Take It Back by Kia Abdullah
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Legal Thriller, Domestic Mystery
Length: 296 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


Take It Back by Kia Abdullah is a captivating legal thriller with a topical storyline.

Zara Kaleel is a former barrister who now advocates for victims of sexual abuse. When  sixteen year old Jodie Wolfe reports she was attacked by four of her classmates, Zara never doubts her story. After Jodie agrees to go to the police, Detective Constables Mia Scavo and John Dexter bring the teenagers in for questioning. The young men deny Jodie’s accusation but after finding evidence which contradicts their stories, the case goes to trial. Because the four teenagers are Muslim and the sons of immigrants, the trial becomes a flashpoint for anti-Muslim and anti-immigration protesters. With tensions rising, will Jodie find justice?

The daughter of immigrants, Zara is at odds with her family who do not agree with her choices. Their interactions and visits are often fraught but she refuses to give into their pressure. Despite knowing she made the right decisions, Zara struggles with to find peace and happiness.  As the protests become more volatile, will Zara pay a personal price for continuing to support Jodie?

Jodie has not had an easy life. She has a medical condition that results in severe facial deformities. She is often the target of bullies and she must deal with being called hurtful names.  She lives with her single mother who blames her daughter for her problems and offers her little love or support. Jodie second guesses her decision to press charges against her attackers but Zara’s encouragement convinces her stay to the course.

Take It Back is a multi-layered domestic mystery with a timely plot. The characters are vibrantly drawn with realistic strengths and weaknesses. The courtroom scenes are gripping page-turners that raise many questions what happened to Jodie. With stunning turns, Kia Abdullah brings this tension-filled legal thriller to an absolutely jaw-dropping conclusion.  I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this thought-provoking novel to fans of the genre.

Comments Off on Review: Take It Back by Kia Abdullah

Filed under Contemporary, Domestic Thriller, Kia Abdullah, Legal Thriller, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, St Martin's Press, Take It Back