Barbara Nadel

Bright Shiny Things

""I love this series and would recommend it to any reader in a heartbeat!" "


Lee Arnold, ex-army, ex Metropolitan police and currently independent private investigator, has a problem. One of his best mates from his army days in the First Iraq War has called in a favour. Abbas al'Barri, former translator for the British Army, has been resettled in Britain and is living in East Ham with his family. To his great distress, his oldest son has gone to Syria to fight for ISIS. When they receive a parcel from him containing an ancient relic, the tooth of the whale that protected Jonah, Abbas is convinced that their son, Fayyad, is trying to return home. Not wanting to involve the police, Abbas turns to Lee and his partner in the detective agency, Mumtaz Hakim, to trace him.

This involves Mumtaz, a Muslim woman, going undercover as a potential bride for Fayyad in order to lure him back to Britain. This leads both Mumtaz and Lee into extreme danger, involving not only ISIS fanatics but counter terrorist officers pursuing suspect terrorists.

The background to this is the vibrant, constantly changing kaleidoscope of peoples and religion that is the East End.

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Barbara Nadel, product of the East End with a close knowledge of Turkey and its border with Syria, is in a perfect place to deliver this stunning story of modern day Islam in London and its impact on the surrounding community. It is both scary and human at the same time. The hate and violence that is driving terrorism, alongside the very ordinary human lives that it impacts on, make for a gripping story. Mumtaz, troubled by family, and debts incurred through no fault of her own, is amazingly brave both in her job and in her private life. Her daughter is a strong and developing character who shares more than she realises with her mother. The insight this book provides into the pressures and difficulties of a Muslim family in today's London is brilliant. The reasons for Islamisation are explored sympathetically whilst not detracting in any way from the horrors of fanatical belief. Mumtaz and Lee are a great combination as private investigators and Mumtaz in particular is a wonderful creation who is both utterly original and entirely sympathetic. I love this series and would recommend it to any reader in a heartbeat!

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