- File Size: 909 KB
- Print Length: 384 pages
- Publisher: HQ (January 17, 2020)
- Publication Date: January 17, 2020
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07YRCLW27
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,274 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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East of Hounslow (Jay Qasim, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Book 1 of 3 in Jay Qasim|
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Customers who bought this item also bought
‘Educated me about some of the most urgent issues of our time while making me repeatedly snort with laughter’. Telegraph
‘Combining humour and tragedy is one of the hardest literary challenges, but Khurrum Rahman succeeds.’ TLS
‘Told with striking panache. Announces the arrival of a fine, fresh new thriller writer’ Daily Mail
‘A very funny but tense thriller…Think Four Lions meets Phone Shop’ Red
‘As much a coming-of-age story as a full-on action thriller, East of Hounslow is thought-provoking and entirely gripping.’ Guardian
‘Sweary, funny and, above all, an absolutely cracking thriller that you’ll tear through, this is the anti-James Bond that the 21st century needs’ Emerald Street
'East of Hounslow, in which a young Muslim finds himself forced to become an MI5 plant in a group of jihadists, is as British as Nelson’s Colum. A superb and exciting debut novel' Telegraph
‘Clipped dialogues, staccato sentences and the hilariously brilliant prose set the pace of this excellent unputdownable crime thriller. The climax will leave you breathless.’ New Indian Express
‘A brilliant thriller. You’d be mad not to buy this.’
Ben Aaronovitch, author of Rivers of London
‘Excellent book. Phenomenal writing.’ BA Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors
‘I loved it. More please’ Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child
‘Builds to a heart-constricting climax’ Times Crime Club
‘The best thriller I’ve read in ages’ Stephen Leather--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1975 Khurrum moved to England when he was one. He is a west London boy and now lives in Berkshire with his wife and two sons.
Khurrum is currently working as a Senior IT Officer but his real love is writing. He has a screenplay which has been optioned by a Danish TV producer but is now concentrating on novels. East of Hounslow is his first novel; he is currently working on Homegrown Hero, the second in the Jay Qasim series.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE!!!! I forgot to add this when I submitted this review from my cellphone. When I typed "Pakistani" the predictive text popped up Taliban! Wow! I thought Khurrum is so on target (no horrible pun intended!)! THEN my review was not accepted. Why? Because in my "headline" I had used the abbreviated form of Pakistani that Khurrum uses throughout his book. Brother, it is hard living in a white society when you are not "WHITE!" Keep telling us how it is, Khurrum!!
An eye-opening view into the world of Muslim extremists, with a dash of MI5, and a side serving of Afghanistan, coupled with an armed drug lord and wrapped up with humour and a Mummy's boy...
I can recommend reading this to get a slight insight into the lives of your everyday Muslim. Yes, it is about Muslim extremists, but it's so much more than that. It's daily like, it's prayers, it's religion as a way of life. It's people going about their lives apart from a small fringe - a fringe which gets all the media attention.
Well worth a read. A great twist in a fast-paced terrorism thriller. Can't say any more other I didn't see the twist coming. But then I never do! I'm like the perfect reader.
Because Jay is able to switch between the religious and secular worlds with ease, MI-5 has identified him as a potential informant. For the same reason, a militant Islamic group courts him for membership. With the threat of Silas looming, he’s pushed into choosing his allegiances to save himself from Silas’s retribution at the hands of his henchman, Staples.
Witty and observant, Jay makes a great narrator. With some distance from each side, he’s able to critique both—not only the deadly terrorist suicide bombs but also the equally destructive unmanned drone strikes. East of Hounslow compares and contrasts the recruitment techniques of the terrorist and the spy agency and shows a training camp and mission planning from the inside with some revelations about the cell members’ motivations.
I found the book fascinating, especially once Jay became ensnared in his mission, and by the end of the book, I was biting my nails. This is the first installation in a planned series, and I’m already anticipating the sequel.
Thanks to HQ/HarperCollins and NetGalley for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
Top international reviews
The characters. Everything about this book feels authentic. I really like the characters struggling with their identity, values and living their everyday lives. I think everybody who grew up in London could find the character traits from the characters here in someone they knew. Just normal everyday Londoners.
The locations. If you have been to London you will know what every place in this story look like. The touches of the London tragic and getting a Death in the train brilliant.
Separating the terrorists from the Muslim community. Yes unfortunately these people exist but they are in the minority. Also really highlighting their hypocrisy. One of the most powerful chapters of this book is when a character give a very positive lecture (for appearance sake), then turned it round to justify evils act in his minds.
A great book, a good message, and educational about Islamic practices as well. If there are more books to come in this series I can't wait to read them.
A spy story, a social commentary, a coming of age story, a tragedy or just a very witty insight into the life of a young British muslim caught between two very conflicting worlds. "East of Hounslow" is all of these and more; so much more.
Mr Rahman tells the story of Jay, a young man moving through a world defined on one side by his love of the hedonistic world of drink, sex and drugs and in the other, that of the Islamic life which his religion would have him lead. The books telling of his journey from the secular life that he leads to the jihadist training camps of Pakistan, is superb, a thrilling mix of drug gangs, terror groups, MI5 and the mundane everyday life of Hounslow.
The book also highlights how both sides use the young and vulnerable to achieve their aims and how cheaply their lives are valued.
A brilliant, thought provoking and hugely relevant book.
As well the funny bits,of which there are many,and a good contemporary story of spies ,terrorists and prejudices there is social commentary and a balanced view of "the war on terror".
It reminded me very much of Ben Elton's earlier books,when he was funny rather than smug,mixed with a Stephen Leather style plot-line.
The characters are great,the story doesn't flag and while the finale does flag a little I'd feel guilty if I didn't give such an entertaining ,and in places thought-provoking, book 5 stars.
Great debut from an extremely promising new author.
Just as Jay starts contemplating following in his mum’s footsteps and upping sticks to Qatar, who should approach him but a spook from MI5. They have been watching Jay and feel that he is the ideal plant to keep tabs on the extremists that they know are part of the circles that Jay moves in. Jay doesn’t want to know but as his options are laid bare, he realises that he is not in a position to negotiate let alone refuse their requests. He is appointed a handler and told to feed back to them with regular updates on the fringe players and possible jihadists. Once of his first tasks is to give them the goods on his supplier,Silas. On the face of it, this will remove one of Jay’s biggest headaches as his handler assures him that, with Jay’s testimony, Silas will be put away for a long spell. So far, so good. It’s when Jay gets involved with a group planning a terror attack on London that he realises just what stakes MI5 are playing for.
I work with a Muslim and I can see him slotting into this story effortlessly. From the dialogue to living with his mum to the mosque visits, all comes across as the real thing. It’s easy to take issue with some of the characters here and of course,their actions; but this is only a story and it couldn’t be more topical.
I was interested to see that Stephen Leather had read this book. At one point in the book,Glock 19 handguns are issued. Now, I do not proclaim to know much about guns, far from it, but from some research and from numerous other books I have read, the general consensus seems to be that Glocks do not have a safety catch. Yet, one of the characters says to Jay that he has slipped off the safety catch on his Glock. Maybe a minor point but it is part and parcel of adding authenticity to check these sort of details. I would have thought Stephen Leather would have picked this up in a heartbeat. There are also a fair few typing errors.
Niggles aside, this is a very entertaining book. Jay has been given some great lines and he’s a character who is easy to root for. I shall keep an eye out for the sequel.
Jay is directionless and drifting through life, a low level weed dealer. He gets a wake up call when he gets sucked into a frightening world of extremists and terrorism.
What follows is an all-too-believable tale of young men being radicalised and incited to carry out appalling acts. With a strong cast of characters and excellent scene setting, Khurrum Rahman builds the tension slowly to reach the exciting climax. An intelligent & well-written debut.
Introducing bumbling anti hero Jay Qasim. A drug dealing Uber cool wannabe gangster - Head hunted by MI-5 to become an unwitting and unwilling spy.
Jay is recruited by MI-5 to infiltrate a local cell, possibly recruiting young Muslims with a deadly end game planned.
This story takes Jay from the streets of London to the training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan as Jay gets deeper and more embroiled in his task.
What sounds a bit crazy is in fact an absolutely brilliant kind of social commentary for today’s world, and a book that almost feels like essential reading.
Whilst darkly brilliant humour ripples throughout, the story itself is a deeply serious affair, thought provoking and very relevant.
Jay as a character is a triumph, and his arc from dealer to possible terrorist and part time spy is something to behold. Faced with all kinds of dilemmas, it’s a stunning read as you almost feel Jays every struggle.
Full of wit, but deeply serious in its content, this first book from Khurrum Rahman is absolutely top drawer.
Not only does he open up a culture that a reader such as myself has no idea about, he does it with a brutal honesty but also at times with a light hearted and easy manner.
The story barrels along at a ferocious pace, much the same as Rahman’s imagination.
A Gripping, Funny, Compelling, Enthralling Thriller.
Simply a stunning MUST read.
The plots and the story are well written and rather thought provoking. This book is quite an eye opener, very explicit with a lot of what unfortunately is reality.
Sorry to say that even although I did enjoy reading this novel, I will not be following the further adventures of young Javid. I’m just a bit too squeamish.
The story and its protagonist are described as 'funny' or even 'hilarious'. I would say mildly amusing in places is more accurate as a description. Jay's all right as a lead character, I found him likeable enough, but I didn't greatly care about him and I had little interest in any of the other characters. There were elements of the story that were very implausible, and didn't necessarily add a lot. The other jihadis seemed to be a plausible enough mixture of naïve and fanatical, but it never really got across why they felt so strongly about things that they felt killing innocent people was justified and appropriate. The usual explanations were given but I didn't really feel it.
If you like thrillers, then this is a perfectly reasonable one. It's quite exciting, it's a reasonable idea. It's not exceptional, and I don't think I'll bother with the sequels.
It's an exciting and amusing story which I thoroughly enjoyed (although the blurb describing Jay as "a hilarious new hero" may be overdoing it slightly). There's a second book in the series, and on the strength of 'East of Hounslow', I shall definitely be buying it.
It is a great story about Javid Qasim (Jay) who is a small time drug-dealer who lives in Hounslow and is recruited by MI5 to spy for them. It is brave to tackle this subject and the book feels fresh - a little bit different from the norm. The characters are well developed and you can feel a connection with not only Jay but his friends and family. I loved the style of writing and the language used - it makes it realistic.
I'm looking forward to reading book two in the series - Home Grown Hero.
Superb storytelling. Highly recommended.
I love a crime thriller so this book caught my eye. The protagonist is absolutely brilliant, funny and realistic. Rahman is a brilliant writer, effortlessly mixing the crime elements with comedic content. As soon as I finished the first book, I bought the second. My only disappointment was there are only two! Rahman is on my list of fav authors.