Homegrown Hero

Khurrum Rahman. HQ, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-00-838468-5
Rahman’s superior second thriller featuring former London dope dealer Jay Qasim finds Jay (who reluctantly infiltrated a Muslim terrorist group on behalf of MI5 in 2020’s East of Hounslow) working as a Hounslow Council help desk operator, content to have some “normality and structure” in his life. Unfortunately, a fatwa has been issued against him by Sheikh Ali Ghulam, the new leader of the terrorist organization Ghurfat-Al-Mudarris. Jay’s quirky, often funny narrative alternates with poignant scenes featuring Imran Siddiqui, a sleeper agent, who—after many years in London—longs for a normal life of his own with his white, non-Muslim girlfriend and her five-year-old son. The author’s focus on white nationalists and jihadist cells, whose seductive offering of a group identity can lead rootless young people to participate in horrendous assaults on those identified as “the enemy,” leaves readers with a visceral understanding of racism and the lures of extremist belief. Darker and more complex than its predecessor, this entry handles topical issues with clarity and wisdom, plus a dash of wry wit. Rahman is a writer to watch. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/25/2021
Release date: 06/29/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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