REVIEW: Western Fringes by Amer Anwar

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Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: fights and fisticuffs, missing person search, shifting motivations, spiraling plot, twists and turns, clever characters

Quick Review: A violent yet smart mystery with enough table-turning to keep any thriller fan happy – you should definitely check this out.


Southall, West London. After being released from prison, Zaq Khan is lucky to land a dead-end job at a builders’ yard. All he wants to do is keep his head down and put the past behind him. But when he’s forced to search for his boss’s runaway daughter it quickly becomes apparent things aren’t all to do with family arguments and arranged marriages as he finds himself caught up in a deadly web of deception, murder and revenge. With time running out and pressure mounting, can he find the missing girl before it’s too late? And if he does, can he keep her – and himself – alive long enough to deal with the people who want them both dead?

WESTERN FRINGES is Amer Anwar’s debut novel, and a winner of the CWA Debut Dagger Award. A rough-and-tumble adventure through the heart of London’s West Asian community, it brings both a different perspective and a some clever twists and turns to a solid story.

One of the first things you’ll notice is this refreshing take on your standard crime novel. This isn’t a straightforward murder or kidnapping or missing person. Zaq is not an investigator by trade or training, and doesn’t have any interest in getting involved in the search for his boss’s daughter. He’s threatened into looking for her… and she’s missing because she has run away from an arranged marriage. The family’s honour has been called into question. These are elements you don’t often see in English crime fiction, and it makes for a novel that feels fresh and more exciting.

Not only do these elements make the plot more interesting, but the plot itself spirals out from its initial core premise of the missing daughter, drawing in more and more interesting elements, and keeping you turning the pages. Anwar does an excellent job of adding new information, plot points and twists and turns, and yet keeping the plot tightly paced.

A warning for those who are a bit squeamish: there’s quite a bit of physical violence that is interspersed with the plot – at times it reads a bit like an action film. However, that’s not all it is – the ending is clever enough to please any thriller fan, and it was absolutely satisfying when it all came together.

If you’re looking for something fresh in thrillers, I would absolutely recommend reading WESTERN FRINGES! You can pick up the ebook right now (, and the paperback is due out on May 31.

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