Book Review – The Motive by Khurram Rahman


A Jay Qasim short story and prequel to EAST OF HOUNSLOW written for Quick Reads 2021

Business has been slow for Hounslow’s small time dope-dealer, Jay Qasim. A student house party means quick easy cash but it also means breaking his own rules. But desperate times lead him there – and Jay finds himself in the middle of a crime scene.

Idris Zaidi, a Police Constable and Jay’s best friend, is having a quiet night when he gets a call out following a noise complaint at a house party. Fed up with the lack of excitement in his job, he visits the scene and quickly realises that people are in danger after a stabbing.

Someone will stop at nothing to get revenge . . .

My Review

I wanted to read this as I really like Khurrum Rahman’s writing style. I’ve already read “East of Hounslow” and was impressed, so I was interested in knowing what came before.

This quick read (and it is quick at only 116 pages of larger print), really packed a punch. The writing was tight, and the plot controlled.

The story started with a third person set up of the situation of the victim, but the rest is told in first person, swapping between Jay the drug dealer, and Idris the police constable. The strength of their friendship is important in “East of Hounslow”, but here it really shines through, the characters are clearly best friends even when they know they shouldn’t be any longer.

The story itself is about family and loyalty, but because it’s set to the backdrop of the Brexit vote, there’s a strong tinge of politics and some very strong racism. It shows, as the vote did, the best and worst of what life is like in the UK.

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