I’m trying to read a wider range of books this year, because, honestly, my reading habits are a bit whiter than white. So I asked for some recommendations, got loads! And the first one I picked up was “East of Hounslow” by Khurrum Rahman.
I had no real idea what to expect with this book, it’s a debut, but the fact that on the front of the copy I have it’s recommended by Ben Aaronovitch helped – am a bit of a fan of the Rivers of London books.
Jay leaps off the page as a real person, some of his exploits and the vision he gives of daily life were surprising and beautiful. What he gets put through in the narrative kept me as a reader hooked and off-balance in the best way possible. All the characters come across as three-dimensional, even the ones you aren’t supposed to like much, yet in many ways, there are no real villains either. Rahman achieves that rarity of helping the reader understand the motivations behind some heinous acts, it doesn’t improve the behaviour, but it makes the reason people would behave that way make more sense.
Jay – or more officially, Javid – walks places in London I do know and they were painted realistically, as were the locations I’m never likely to visit. It was engaging and absorbing.
And oh my God – that ending! Wow.
Have already purchased the second book by this author.
One word of warning through – the print is so small I struggled to read for an length of time in one sitting, I was getting eye strain even with my glasses on (without them I couldn’t read a word).