Friday, 2 April 2021

#BlogTour The Khan by Saima Mir

 

I really enjoyed this read, so it's a pleasure to take part in tthe BlogTour The Khan by Saima Mir.

About the Author

Saima Mir is a British Pakistani journalist who grew up in Bradford. She has written for The Times, the Guardian and Independent. Her essay for It's Not About The Burqa (Picador) appeared in the Guardian and received over 250,000 hits online in two days. Saima has also contributed to the anthology The Best, Most Awful Job: Twenty Mothers Talk Honestly About Motherhood. Saima lives in London. 

Follow @SaimaMir on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit saimamir.com

About the book

A successful lawyer, Jia Khan’s London life is a long way from the Northern streets she knew as a child, where her father, Akbar Khan, was head of the Pakistani community and ran the local organised crime syndicate. His Jirga rule – the old way – was violent and bloody, but it was also justice of a kind.

When her father is murdered, Jia must return to his community. In the past, the police relied on Akbar Khan to maintain the fragile order of the streets. But a bloody power struggle has broken out among the various communities and now, nobody is safe.

Justice needs to be restored, and Jia is about to discover that justice always comes at a price. Against a backdrop of racial divides, misogyny and prejudice, THE KHAN is a thrilling crime debut, set in a world rarely explored in fiction.

Review

Jia is a woman with strength born from an upbringing that had the intention to insert her at the top of the food chain, but she had the audacity to turn away from a pre-determined life. In fact the only reason she was able to was the fact she is like her father - a man who rules his criminal empire with an iron fist.

Her sister has asked her to return, which means she will be confronted with residual anger and sorrow at both her behaviour and the actions that caused her departure. An unexpected death changes everything, including taking steps on a path she thought was closed to her - she hoped it was. She is her father's daughter though and always will be.

It has a Gangs of London meets the Sicilian roots of the Godfather vibe. Very urban gritty and brutal, however that modern aspect is almost secondary to the main vein that flows through the story - the ancient bloodline, the cultural importance of actions and choices, and the division between the two.

Then there is the juxtaposition of Jia and her position, which is more contradiction in itself or rather her gender in a male dominated society and culture. 

I loved this read. It's an excellent debut novel. Mir balances truth and misconceptions with systemic racism, societal expectations and the way culture of old shapes and divides generations. Generations who have adapted to their environment and become part of Western culture, whilst abiding by the rule of old. Not an easy place to be for either generation.

I also loved the title and the essence of tribe it contains, which is what drives this story like a silent force pushing from every corner. They are the people - they are The Khan and simultaneously in the hierarchy of this family there is also The Khan. It's extremely clever, succinct and most importantly the kind of read I love to recommend. 

Buy the Khan at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Point Blank; pub date 1 April 2021 - Hardback £14.99. Buy at Waterstones.

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