WESTERN FRINGES by Amer Anwar (May 31st, 2017 Edurus Books)
A SIKH GIRL ON THE RUN. A MUSLIM EX-CON WHO HAS TO FIND HER. A WHOLE HEAP OF TROUBLE.
Southall, West London.
Recently released from prison, Zaq Khan is lucky to land a dead-end job at a builders’ yard. All he wants to do is keep his head down and put his past behind him.
But when he has to search for his boss’s runaway daughter it quickly becomes apparent he’s not simply dealing with family arguments and arranged marriages as he finds himself caught up in a deadly web of deception, murder and revenge.
With time running out and pressure mounting, can he find the missing girl before it’s too late? And if he does, can he keep her – and himself – alive long enough to deal with the people who want them both dead?
Straight off the back of the high I felt after reading STREETS OF DARKNESS – I was keen as to read another novel which featured Asian culture, so I jumped at the chance of being able to read WESTERN FRINGES.
There is a reason that this book won the CWA Debut Dagger – it is fresh, relevant and action packed throughout. This book took me a little while to get into, purely down to my own headspace, but once I was back in – I devoured half of the book in ONE DAY!
What I do enjoy is chapter length, I feel that for a story like that, where it is action and character driven, you can’t have long drawn out chapters. I like the snappiness of shortness of each chapter that keeps me as a reader on my toes as to what is going to happen next.
Zaq and Jags are two very likable characters and I completely bought into them. They had great chemistry in the book and I related to the way they speak to each other with that banter that you would expect from a younger person today. I also enjoyed the way the way they treated other characters in the book. They weren’t angsty men, who were always looking for a fight and trying to be the ‘bad man’ – completely the opposite. Yes, Zaq has a past, but when his situation is explained, you start to see him in a different light and not the hardened ex-prisoner as the blurb may suggest.
The only niggle I had (and of course, this is always a personal preference!) is I felt that some of the text was placed simply as filler, and to me didn’t really add anything to the story. Example; Zaq goes to KFC to get some food after a pretty trying day. That would have been enough for me, but it went on to tell us what meal he had! (A Wicked Zinger box meal if you are interested!) Silver lining is that if I were to ever encounter Zaq, I know where I would take him out to dinner 🙂
If you like fast paced crime fiction with diverse characters and culture, then this is definitely a book I would recommend. If, like me you read STREETS OF DARKNESS and loved it – I would also highly recommend this book!
A BIG thank you to Amer Anwar and the team at Edurus Books for gifting me a copy of WESTERN FRINGES in return for an honest review! It has been my pleasure!
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