Brothers in Blood

Brothers in Blood

Amer Anwar was a Writer in Residence at West Dean College, and hearing him talk about how he wrote and got his first book Brothers in Blood published was fascinating and inspired me to listen to it as a brilliantly narrated audiobook.

This is a crime debut like no other I’ve read. It is set in the intimately described streets of Southall, near Heathrow in West London – a major centre of the South Asian community. Its protagonist Zab Khan has recently been released from prison (and you have to wait quite a while to find out why he was in there) and is working in a builder’s yard, when he is threatened by the owner, who forces him to go and search for the owner’s daughter Rita Brar, who has gone missing.

With help of his loyal, brave and always enthusiastic friend and sidekick Jags, he spends an action-packed few days being beaten up a lot, being cooked for by his lovely housemates whenever he returns home bruised and battered, having to call in old favours from an ex-con, and skulking round pub car parks and stake-outs in the yard’s van.

The detail in the book brings every street corner, warehouse, posh flat and roundabout to life. The characters are full and rounded and the pace is palpable. It has all the ingredients of a great piece of crime fiction and I can’t wait to read Stone Cold Trouble, the next in the series.