Rahman’s stories, all 12 of them, have backdrops as varied as the lingering smell of dried fish curry accompanied with the thud of a wooden spoon against a clay pot in Modhupur in the 1930s’ east India, to the sudden blast of hot air that fogs one’s glasses when you enter a laundromat from the winter chill of Providence in Rhode Island.

In between, there are stories set in the years of insurrection and war in Bangladesh. In Kerosene, a striking tale that opens with a violent paragraph, a revolutionary is in conflict with the sudden upheaval of war and circumstances that lead him to commit a heinous act.
–Arindam Mukherjee at Open Magazine

It was a comfort, personally, to read something in which characters were almost constantly moving, from either one place or one state of being to another. As someone who was feeling both unsettled in place and in temperament, I identified immediately with the collection’s theme of transition and adaptation. (While reading the book I was reminded, at times, of Arjun Appadurai’s discussions of “ethnoscapes” and the movement of groups and the remaking of identities, something which Killing the Water depicts skillfully, especially in the latter stories that feature immigrants from Bangladesh living and working in American cities, struggling with the choice of what to keep from their old lives and what to leave behind as they engage with a new culture.)
–Kevin Hyde at the Asymptote blog

A debutant writer, considered often as an arriviste, is taken with a pinch of salt.

But expatriate writer Mahmud Rahman gives one the delight of having to discover that beneath the foam and fizz of an exuberant debut there’s a dark, strong drink.

Rahman’s collection of stories makes for a heady cocktail which despite the disparity of themes in their alternately itinerant order — war, violence, displacement, migration, flow and movement — coalesce into something far greater than the sum of its parts.
–Prasenjit Chowdhury at the Deccan Herald