Home Grown Hero

Written by Khurrum Rahman

Review written by Andrew Hill

A former Customs and Police Officer, Andrew Hill is just putting the finishing touches to the first book in a crime series set in the New Forest, where he lived for 30 years. An avid reader across the crime genre and regular at Crimefest, he now lives in West Sussex and works in property.


Home Grown Hero
HQ Harpercollins
RRP: £12.99
Released: November 29 2018
PBK

Starting at the violent end of 2017’s cracking debut, East of Hounslow, we soon find our erstwhile undercover MI5 undercover agent, Jay Qasim back on his West London manor. He’s earning a crust in a call centre and has cut his ties with MI5, but is still dealing drugs.

We get to meet new characters like Imy, a refugee with a traumatic past, a white girlfriend, a well-hidden secret and a white nationalist/terror group (styled of the now outlawed National Action).

The story is told from Jay and Imy’s perspective and is darkly witty, but frightening and enlightening in equal measures.

The author takes you on a journey into what it means to be a minority in contemporary Britain and at times it’s a pretty unpalatable, particularly for a white, middle class male reader like myself. But the depiction of the tortuously narrow path of trying to be a moderate, whilst being assailed by radical indoctrination that presses in on both a personal level, and also digitally online, is cleverly threaded throughout the story.

The racism portrayed (from both edges of the extremes), is shocking in its casualness and immovability. It leaves you wondering if there really is a middle ground to meet on at times.

Both Jay and Imy long for the quiet life, but with MI5, white nationalists and jihadists forming a triumvirate of pressure points for the two central characters, you have a thriller that moves with a steadily increasing speed.

The author has avoided the pitfall of giving people black or white hats and this gives the story insight, depth, nuance and a gripping reality.

This is a terrific read and you should do yourself a favour and get a copy.



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