I’m late to the party with Brothers in Blood by Amer Anwar but sometimes a party is just well worth the wait!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
THEY’RE NOT BOUND BY FAMILY. BUT A FAMILY COULD TEAR THEM APART.
Southall, West London. After being 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 the past behind him.
But when Zaq is forced to search for his boss’s runaway daughter, he quickly 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?
Brothers in Blood, debut novel from Amer Anwar features Zak Khan who is not long out of prison following a five year sentence for manslaughter. Trying hard to throw off the reputation his sentence left him with he soon finds himself caught up in a situation with his boss that’s about to bring him a whole lot of trouble!
Zak is one of those characters who gets under your skin, he’s a bit cocky at times but there is a real sense of vulnerability and something very engaging about him. The initial feeling is that he must be a bit of a bad boy, after all he was in jail for killing someone. But as his story unravels, it makes you stop and think, how easy it might be for your whole life to change in the blink of an eye; to make one mistake that changes your life forever. Things are never always quite as clear cut as we might initially think they are. I think Zak stole a little bit of my heart!
I loved his relationship with his best friend, Jag, the friendship and the banter between them felt comfortable and authentic and it added a touch of humour throughout. And I have to say, the mention of the food that the two of them ate, with the vivid descriptions had my mouth watering all the way through the book! I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite as hungry reading a book!
Brothers in Blood captures perfectly the diversity of the city, it explores the tensions between religions and lifestyles but also demonstrates the lifestyles of new generations who are throwing off those tensions and long held beliefs and living side by side. It explores the complexity that is exists and that is real but it does so with truth and with compassion. A contemporary, edgy and street smart narrative places the reader firmly in the heart of the story.
Zak has been tasked with tracking down his boss’s daughter, Rita Brar, and returning her to the fold. But it soon becomes clear to Zak there are very good reasons for her going into hiding. Her brothers, Parminder and Rajinder, are not what you would call the most loving siblings and her father is just anxious to have her married to the man he has chosen to be her husband. Zak suspects there might be something more going on but is left with little choice but to carry out her father’s wishes because if he doesn’t, Mr Brar makes it clear he will ensure he is returned to prison.
He soon realises that the Brar’s haven’t given him the whole truth suddenly he is thrown into a situation where his own life is at risk and it seems Rita’s family are not the only ones looking to cause him harm. Through the plot the themes of revenge and honour killings are married up with drug dealing and robbery and culminate in some intense and realistic fight scenes. The tension ramps up all the way through this book dragging you into the action screaming before throwing you back out to get your wind before it starts all over again!
Fast paced, full of tension and intrigue, Brothers in Blood, was a cracking read!
Brothers in Blood is available to purchase from: