About The Book
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 . . .
About The Book
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have never read any of this series of books but have heard a lot about it. This prequel, published as part of the brilliant Quick Reads initiative worked perfectly. I will definitely be reading more of this year’s selection.
It introduces you to Jay, a small time drug dealer and his friend Idris who is a police constable. You wouldn’t expect this friendship to survive their career choices but it does. It is brought under strain though when they both attend a house party, Jay dealing in drugs and Idris dealing with a noise complaint which then becomes much more serious.
The storyline is believable. I can imagine situations like the one described but it isn’t over powering, there is plenty of opportunities to get to know the characters as well. I would like to know if any apart from Jay and Idris appear in the series. One in particular, who did make me cringe a little, is a character I can see huge potential for.
For such a short novel, a little over 100 pages it certainly packs a lot in and has definitely inspired me to read East of Hounslow, the first full length novel in the series.
About Quick Reads
Quick Reads, a programme by The Reading Agency, aims to bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone, including the one in three adults in the UK who do not regularly read for pleasure, and the one in six adults in the UK who find reading difficult. The scheme changes lives and plays a vital role in addressing the national crisis around adult literacy in the UK. Each year, Quick Reads commissioning editor Fanny Blake works with UK publishers to commission high profile authors to write short, engaging books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. Since 2006, over 5 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 5 million library loans (PLR) have been registered and through outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading. From 2020 – 2022, the initiative is supported by a philanthropic gift from bestselling author Jojo Moyes.
This year’s short books include
– a dark domestic thriller from British Book Award winner Loiuse Candlish ( The Skylight) who thanks readers for setting her on the right path when she was ‘young and adrift’
– an uplifting romance by the much-loved Katie Fforde (Saving the Day), who never thought she would be able to be an author because of her struggle with dyslexia
– the holiday from hell for Detective Roy Grace courtesy of long-time literacy campaigner and crime fiction maestro Peter James (Wish You Were Dead)
– a specially abridged version of the feminist manifesto (How to Be a Woman) by Caitlin Moran: ‘everyone deserves to have the concept of female equality in a book they can turn to as a chatty friend.’
– an introduction to Khurrum Rahman’s dope dealer Javid Qasim (The Motive), who previously found the idea of reading a book overwhelming and so started reading late in life, to find ‘joy, comfort and an escape’
– Oyinkan Braithwaite’s follow-up to her Booker nominated debut sensation My Sister, the Serial Killer – a family drama set in lockdown Lagos (The Baby is Mine)