Jahangir is a kid who knows how to make nitroglycerine. Lorelei's mother is a high-class hostess. A true grime tale set around Lyme Road School, where everyone except their friend Frank is totally weird. More
Lyme Road Community School is no ordinary school, servicing a sprawling South London estate. Some of the students are in gangs, some the children of drug addicts, and some are drug dealers themselves. Others are refugees from war-torn countries, and a few were even soldiers.
Jahangir's brother was a Taliban suicide bomber. Already a 'person of interest' to the police, Jahangir becomes the target of local Estate gangstas but, when Lorelei is kidnapped, he and his new friend Frank vow to find her.
A former teenage surf rat who hitch-hiked across the Sahara, finished a PhD on 'Finnegans Wake', later served his country as an intelligence officer, and competed as a Veterans' World Championship fencer. Now he writes unusual novels.
on April 11, 2016 :
Shaheed! conjures expectations of terrorism, which is perfect for a novel that is honestly about gang violence, broken law enforcement structures, and inescapable family relationships, set against the backdrop of a frightened world that expects every act to be driven by religious terrorism.
The characters felt so vivid and real I expect if I turned the right corner in London I could find Jahangir and Lorelei. And I would still want to stand between them and the world, take on all comers and defend the two of them.
The story isn't headed where you expect, but the title is not misleading; look for the martyr, or the witness, or both. Jahangir is the British-Pakistani Ender Wiggin, and one of my favorite protagonists in any book.