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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

‘Western Fringes’ by Amer Anwar

Published by Edurus Books,
31 May 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-9957123-0-0

When Zaq Khan is called to his boss's offices at the builders' yard where he works on release from prison, he fears the sack. However, it is worse, under threat of being sent back to prison on trumped up charges he is instructed to search for his boss, Mr Brar's runaway daughter. It seems he has arranged a marriage for her but she had other ideas and was seen with another man, Mr. Brar is furious. Reluctantly Zaq has to agree to find her, although inside he is seething and he goes to see his friend Jags who offers to help.

They find out where Rita Brar works and slowly piece things together. However they also have her two brothers Parminder and Rajinder, both huge menacing brutes to contend with. They seem to know a lot more about Rita and the man she was seen with than they let on.

It soon becomes clear that the brothers are also mixed up in crime on a large scale. Is there really cement in the sacks they are seen loading up at a warehouse? Zaq and Jags' search is further hampered by someone intent on making Zaq's life a misery, he is attacked for no apparent reason and he has no idea who the men are. Threatening notes are also left on his van's windscreen, and the tyres are slashed. Has someone else got it in for him?

The brothers the put more pressure on Zaq by insisting he lets them know first when he finds Rita. They need to find her before things hot up even more.

Then things go from bad to worse when back at the warehouse, Zaq witnesses a brutal murder which really shakes him up. He wonders what else he is getting himself mixed up in. This is more than just finding a runaway daughter. He really starts to fear for his life.

This is a great story and the main character, Zaq is a likeable person but he does have a tendency to keep getting beaten up! I have never been to Southall but Amer Anwar's description is so good that I feel as though I have.

It is well written and has a clever plot which twists and turns right up to the exciting finish. A well-deserved winner of the C.W.A. Debut Dagger Award.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Amer Anwar grew up in West London. After leaving college he had a variety of jobs, including; warehouse assistant, comic book lettering artist, a driver for emergency doctors and chalet rep in the French Alps. He eventually landed a job as a creative artworker/graphic designer and spent a decade and a half producing artwork, mainly for the home entertainment industry. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London and is a winner of the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award. Western Fringes is his first novel.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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