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Agency Rules - Never an Easy Day at the Office Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Born in Pakistan's troubled Swat Valley, educated and raised in the United States, Khalid returned to Pakistan almost 17 years ago and fell in love with his country. His debut novel, Agency Rules - Never an Easy Day at the Office, is a journey behind the headlines about Pakistan, the world's most dangerous place, to deliver an intense story that will challenge the reader to question everything they have been told about the country.
He began writing to let the wickedness escape, as the other option means a great deal of blood, numerous torture implements and... well, infinite ways to dump a body. It's safer for everyone involved and less dangerous for the guilty... until he writes another book.
Find out more about him at agencyrules.com, @AgencyRulesPK (twitter.com/AgencyRulesPK) or the Agency Rules Facebook page (facebook.com/AgencyRulesPK).
- ASIN : B00HUZOED2
- Publisher : Dead Drop Books; 1st edition (January 13, 2014)
- Publication date : January 13, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1143 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 312 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1495366731
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,484,703 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The very best thing about this book is that it doesn’t feel like an American perspective dominates the story. As a reader, you feel at all times that you’re getting an insider’s angle, which is refreshing compared to many modern spy/espionage books where an American has to ride in and save the day. Even the terrorists here are portrayed as complex characters with thoughtful motivations. Kamal, as a main character, works perfectly to lead the way into the complexities of Pakistan. I found the political characters just as interesting as Kamal, and the layers and layers of complication involved in the government were gripping. The flavor of the culture comes through at every point in this book, and it always feels like it’s written by someone who genuinely knows this world. Some people might find the bits of native-tongue dialogue annoying or frustrating when not translated, but I really appreciated the touch.
I can’t comment on the “accuracy” of any of the Pakistani political or military elements because that is all quite literally foreign to me, but this book certainly intensified my curiosity about a part of the world I know little about. And since this is a work of fiction, I think it’s fine to just go along with it and dive into the story. The military action and spy/thriller parts of the book are smart and thought out, and again it’s helpful to take this all in through Kamal’s eyes. The slower, more tension-building parts of the book are equally well-crafted. Kamal is just as dangerous and deadly as he is smart and capable, which is a nice balance for this kind of story.
Sometimes jumping to new characters was a bit confusing because they were so minor you forgot about them for a while, but the ending pulls everything back together so you see what the author was doing, even if it’s a tiny bit lurching. But, since this IS a book about spies, I liked that I had to really focus and try to sort out some things for myself rather than have every little answer handed to me. And there are some typos scattered throughout, but nothing anywhere near distracting enough to make me stop reading.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes spy novels and/or who wants to get a feel for a part of the world most of us aren’t exposed to.
There were many layers to the story and Mr. Muhammad does a great job of weaving them together while painting vivid pictures in the readers head. While I am unfamiliar with Pakistan, I found it very easy to follow along with the story and the scenes. I thought this was an excellent political/espionage thriller. The reader gets a peek into Black Ops as well as military Intelligence. Agency Rules had everything one could want in this genre, politics, bribery, double talk, terrorism, interrogations, suspense, mystery and plenty of action.
This book is highly recommended. Five Stars!!
Kamal Khan, the protagonist of Muhammad's book, is a child of privilege who rises through the ranks of the ISI to become one of its top operatives. In order to pursue his personal vendetta against the Pakistani Taliban that is tearing apart his Swat Valley homeland, he must continually battle corruption and incompetence within his own agency and the highest echelons of Pakistan's government, as well. Agency Rules is a triumph of the storyteller's art, effortlessly leading the reader through the labyrinthine Pakistani intelligence bureaucracy and political structure, laying out the lines of internal and external conflict, and sweeping across a large, complex nation, from its ultramodern capitol Islamabad to its tribal hinterlands in Khyber Paktunkwha province, without losing its way, despite the torrent of information it provides. All this, while weaving a white-knuckle plot, delineating a dark and driven protagonist, and etching lines of conflict and moral ambiguity in high relief.
Set against the turmoil of the mid-90's as Pakistan is left to deal with the aftermath of the Russian retreat from Afghanistan. Agency Rules pulls no punches in its portrayal of the corruption and faithless foreign alliances that have beleaguered Pakistan since its inception.
Centered on the pacification of Karachi, a secret military group leaves no stone un-turned as they search for the conspirators behind the assassination of Prime Minister Azam Shah. What they discover will lead them not only through the levels of the civilian government, but to facilitators from far beyond their own borders.
Mr, Muhammad leads the reader unflinching through both the beauty and the horrors of this troubled land.
If you are a fan of LaCarre, Clancy or Fleming, you owe it to yourself to read this book. You will not be disappointed!
Top reviews from other countries
Although there are a few violent and gruesome moments peppered throughout the book, they never feel gratuitous or unnecessary, and the action scenes are well described and efficient. It would seem that this is Khalid’s first novel (judging by his Amazon biography) so if his writing is this good now, I can only say that he has a bright future ahead of him. Looking forward to reading more novels in this series. Well done.
Note: Although, I downloaded this book during a free promotion, this has in no way influenced my opinion of the book.
Khalid has weaved an interesting and thought provoking story of espionage and conflict, around the uneasy political situation in Pakistan. He captures the essence of the country and the complex relationships with terrorism, neighbouring countries and the western influence in a readable manner. I probably did miss some of the finer points of political diplomacy (straight over my ditsy head) but there was enough of a story to hold my interest.
I did like the realism, when it came to the central character, Kamal. Yes he was highly trained and at the top of his game, but when outnumbered by heavily armed opponents, he suffered more than a hair out of place and a tie that needed straightening. He did "neutralise" them singlehandedly but he was injured in the conflict and those injuries were given time to heal.
There is enough detail to satisfy spy thriller fans but there is also universal appeal for those less concerned with technical details of modern warfare and espionage.
The complex story follows the devious exploits of Kamal Khan, a soldier trained in black ops tactics, ruthless, deadly efficient and on a mission. But that mission is hampered by bickering government agencies who all have their own agendas. He reveals a terrorist base of operations holding a training facility with a mass of weapons. His immediate objective is to take them out by any means at his disposal. But he must also deal with the interfering agencies as well.
Every scene is laced with great dialogue, exceptional characterisations and brilliantly fleshed out spy tactics.
But where the author truly excels is depicting his home country through the eyes of the hero, explaining Pakistan's history and politics in such a way as to leave all the negativity behind.
A FIVE STAR spy thriller and very highly recommended.
The action is tight, tension taught, every scene essential to the plot and vividly realised in the reader’s mind. One gets the feeling that Muhammad takes an astringent view of Eastern politics but his view is never out in the open, never lecturing; rather like the AK-47s and knives that the protagonists wield so mercilessly. The climax is deeply satisfying and the book ends on a stupendous hangover, one that makes you itch to read book 2, which, I am sure, will come.
If you want a glimpse behind the Kalashnikov Curtain, take this one.