A gripping read - everything beautifully evoked, from the alleys of the Old City to the atmosphere of corruption and secrets
Aamina Ahmad has done the impossible: made her literary debut with an enduring classic. Essential and compelling.
A rich and deeply moving novel about confronting histories both personal and political . . . Marvellous
In The Return of Faraz Ali, Aamina Ahmad moves across borders and through decades to create a mesmerizing portrayal of crimes and coverups in the walled-off world of Lahore's red-light district. That a novel so epic in scope can remain so intimate at heart is nothing short of astonishing.
The Return of Faraz Ali heralds the arrival of a strikingly accomplished and mature talent. Aamina Ahmad has managed to meld fast-paced, intelligent noir with a devastating portrait of the true costs of ambition and desire. A gripping read that does not let you go, even after the end.
This novel has everything a reader could ask for: a sizzling, noirlike plot; political intrigue juxtaposed with a rich intergenerational family saga; capacious, conflicted characters, including women who may be marginalized by society but are masters of their own narratives; and sublime sentences. A debut novelist, Ahmad manages this complexity seamlessly. A feat of storytelling not to be missed.
A layered, fascinating portrait of a fractured family and of Pakistan. An impressive, gripping debut
Stunning, not only on account of the author's talent, of which there is clearly plenty, but also in its humanity, in how a book this unflinching in its depiction of class and institutional injustice can still feel so tender . . . The fullness of the characters and their intersecting lives make this far more than a murder mystery . . . Ahmad's compassion, her deep care for the psychological and emotional nuances of her characters, never wavers . . . It extends through generations and transformations of place, all the way to a devastating final chapter, fully human, fully engaged with what makes us human
A stunning debut novel - a noir-inspired thriller that weaves in politics, family ties, corruption and murder, while also being sharp about different kinds of power, particularly as it relates to women.
A riveting exploration of the dangers of patriarchy, politics and power.
Extraordinarily accomplished . . . . This is a great novel, rich in setting, shocking in its depiction of brute, inexorable power, but unexpectedly sweet in conclusion.
The Return of Faraz Ali is a masterpiece. An intricately woven, deeply affecting labyrinth of history, hope, and longing that fulfils its every great ambition. I'm stunned by the gentle grace and spellbinding storytelling of Aamina, a writer I will return to for years to come.
It starts out as a crime novel . . . and then evolves into so much more . . . come for the evocative writing, the subtle characters, and plot - some of which veered in completely unexpected territory.
Dark and compelling, this debut novel is one of secrets, murder and loyalty. It's one that will stay with you.