Book Review | City of Spies

‘God was everywhere, but so was the general.’

It is the summer of 1977 and Pakistan swelters in the unrelenting heat. Weeks after her eleventh birthday, Aliya Shah wakes up to the news that there has been a coup d’état, General Zia has taken over the country and Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is in jail. Although the shadow of the general and his increasingly puritanical edicts threaten to disrupt their comfortable existence, life goes on for Aliya much as before as she attends the American School in Islamabad. However, when a much loved young boy, the son of the family retainer, dies tragically in a hit-and-run accident, her world is turned upside down, especially when she discovers the terrible secret of the murderer’s identity.

City of Spies is coming-of-age story that explores Aliya’s conflicting loyalties and her on-going struggle to make sense of her world. Set in late 1970’s Islamabad and Lahore, City of Spies is a gripping novel that unfolds over thirty months in Pakistan’s tumultuous history. Continue reading

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Book Review | The Party Worker

A burnt out New York cop; an eighty-year-old Parsi sitting in a decaying Karachi mansion; a hitman whose days are numbered; a journalist who dreams of the big time.

When a Jewish woman is killed on the steps of the Natural History Museum in New York, disparate lives are thrown together for one purpose: to bring about the downfall of the Don, the uncrowned king of Karachi.

The Party Worker explores the Machiavellian politics of Pakistan’s busiest city, where friends come bearing bullets, and enemies can wait patiently for decades before striking. Continue reading