Review: Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah

Hey everyone!
Today, I am excited to be sharing my review of Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah with you all, on it’s publication day!

Title: Next of Kin
Author: Kia Abdullah
Release Date: 2nd August 2021
Page Count: 384
Publisher: HQ
Buy It Here (affiliate links): Amazon UKWaterstonesBook Depository

GoodReads Synopsis:


Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. He’s at his son’s nursery to pick up Max. But he isn’t there.


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. Max has been locked in her car for six hours on the hottest day of the year.


But she’s too late.

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.

My Review:

I previously read both Take It Back (review here) and Truth Be Told (review here) by Kia Abdullah, which I received ARCs of through NetGalley, and I loved them both so much that I then went and bought myself hardback copies of the books when they were released. So, it’s not surprising that I have been excited about Next of Kin for a long time, and I pre-ordered it as soon as I could. I was extremely happy when I was then approved for an ARC of the book through NetGalley and got the chance to read it before publication day. I did however save it until closer to the release date, and it was most certainly worth the wait.

The story begins with a relatively normal family get together at Leila’s house. Leila, her husband Will, her sister Yasmin, and her brother-in-law Andrew are all chilling out in Leila’s garden, while Yasmin and Andrew’s son Max is asleep. But a few pages in to the book, and this comfy, happy, family dynamic is horrifically destroyed. Andrew calls Leila in a panic, asking her if she could drive Max to nursery before she goes to work, as he has to rush off to a work emergency. But Leila has her own work problems, and consequently forgets that Max is in the car, leaving him in the boiling heat, locked in her car, for hours while she’s at work. No-one was prepared for the deadly effects of this accident, and it will completely change this family forever.

I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. It is a pain that no-one should have to experience, and if I’m honest, I don’t think I would be able to get through something like that, it would completely destroy me. Although Yasmin and Andrew are both obviously struggling (which is completely expected in the circumstances), they are both so strong, and they fight their way through an unimaginable amount of devastation. I feel so sorry for them both, but I also really feel for Leila. She clearly loved Max, and is hurting to, but because of the circumstances of Max’s death, no-one is making sure she’s okay, and that must be the most lonely, and heartbreaking feeling in the world. I could feel the raw pain and grief that each of the characters were feeling, and it was incredibly emotional to read.

The whole court room proceedings were so intense. Sometimes it can be a little long winded and tiresome when a book documents a trial, but that wasn’t the case with this book, it kept you interested the whole way through, and desperate to find out the outcome. There was a couple of big twists at the end of the story that I never expected, and they made the story so much more than it already was. It added so many more layers to an already difficult and complicated situation, and I loved that. I’m still thinking about it now!

Kia Abdullah has this incredible ability to pull you in, and to make you feel every emotion in her writing. Her books always seem to tackle hard to handle subjects in a way that packs a real punch, and leaves you thinking about it for a long time after you finish reading. Not only that, but she looks at these subjects from multiple perspectives, starting conversations that others are too scared to start or even consider. For these reasons, and because of how fantastic her writing is, Kia Abdullah is easily one of my favourite authors. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us.

I always knew that Next of Kin would be a hard hitting, emotional, and incredible book, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. This book has you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, with an intensity that keeps you completely hooked. This story had me in tears, but I just couldn’t stop myself from reading. Like all of Kia’s books, this isn’t for the faint hearted, but I highly recommend this to everyone!

A huge thank you to NetGalley and HQ for providing me with a copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review.

I give Next of Kin a 5 star rating.

Disclaimer: My posts often include affiliate links, which means that I receive a small commission for any purchase made through my links, but with no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting me and my blog.

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