Book Review: The Prisoner by Omar Shahid Hamid
The former head of Karachi’s CID has come up with a bone-chilling debut crime fiction about Karachi’s criminal underground, The Prisoner. Omar Shahid Hamid takes one through the streets of Karachi, the dirty underground and more importantly – inside the prison. An unputdownable thriller, the book moves between past and present as an American journalist Jon Friedland is kidnapped from Zamzama, a posh Karachi locality.
I have always wanted to visit Pakistan once in my life for the sheer joy of discovering that part of undivided India which was separated from us in 1947. Lahore street food, beaches of Karachi and the mountains of Moorie always featured on my bucketlist. Through Omar’s crisp narrative, one can virtually take a tour of Karachi – although in this case the dark underbelly of crime.
Omar has brilliantly described the city of Karachi, in all its beauty and ugliness; not only the by-lanes, crowded markets, road-side kebabs, but also the corruption, politics, mafia, kidnappings and prostitution. In more ways than one, the reader can relate to the crime and corruption – the events described in the book have a stark resemblance to incidents in real life. The murder of Daniel Pearl for instance. The boos is also a good essay on the recent history of Pakistan and how corruption seeped into the system.
Over all, The Prisoner is a good start to Omar Shahid Hamid’s writing career. Would love to read more of his works in the days to come.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
P.S. This review was written as a part of the Flipkart Bloggers Affiliate Programme. Thanks Vivek for the books 🙂
About the book
On an unusually cold December evening in Karachi, American journalist Jon Friedland is kidnapped from one of the city’s poshest neighbourhoods. His captors plan to post a video of his execution on Christmas Day. The kidnapping has come at a bad time, embarrassing the Pakistani government in front of their US allies. The clock is ticking. Will the police and Intelligence Agencies recover Friedland alive? The story careens through the streets of Karachi, taking the reader into an all too real world of jihadis, corrupt police officers and bloodthirsty political henchmen – all placed together in a city where no one is quite what they seem.
N.B.: I am thankful to Flipkart for giving the opportunity to review the book.
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