11 February, 2012

#BookReview :: An Untimely Love by Tendai Huchu #Contemporary

Plot Summary of An Untimely Love:

Khalid Patel is a first-generation Pakistani living in Britain. 'An Untimely Love' tells us the story of how he becomes a suicide bomber for the cause of Islam. His path takes an unexpected turn when falls in love with Selina Ashraf, also known as Smokey. Ironically he finds Selina on the day he is supposed to carry out his mission.

The story is narrated from Khalid's perspective, and the reader is taken on a journey through his life to show how Khalid Patel is brainwashed and transformed into 'Lab Boy', the suicide bomber.

After returning from a training camp in Pakistan, Khalid is prepared to carry out his mission which he believes will bring about a greater good, even if it means sacrificing his own life. However, when he meets Selina he starts to question everything he has been taught so far.

As the story unfolds, the reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions and events, as Khalid and Selina's relationship develops amidst the looming threat of Khalid's mission. 

My take of An Untimely Love:

Khalid Patel is portrayed as a typical first generation Asian in Britain. Son of a man, who had come to Britain to make his fortune only to end up as a taxi driver, Khalid is used to be in the back ground of everything.

Though the author hasn't spent much time on exploring the family ties of Khalid, from what ever glimpses we get, we know that he loved and respected his family. His relationship with his friends, Bishnu and David, is like that of anyone else of his age.

Overall, he comes off as an average guy off the street.

Selina Ashraf on the other hand comes off like a rebelling Asian teenager. A medical student, who wears tight western clothes that compliment her figure, refuses to wear Burqa/Hijab and is a chain smoker. She is a perky-vibrant girl whose reason for taking up this mission is a bit obscure.

The one character that surprised me really was Khalid's friend David. At first impression, it seemed like he was someone who was too caught in the web of drugs. Ironically, he turns out to be Khalid's only lifeline as the story progresses.

What I like about this book is that the author has given us a peek into Khalid's mind - a mind that belongs to an average guy and also that of a suicide bomber.  The psyche of the same person at two different stages/situation - one that of a brainwashed youth and one that of the same youth who was beginning to see beyond.

We also get a glimpse of what life at a terrorist training camp might be like. The action and thrills in the story are good - unless you are expecting James Bond to materialize. The description of the landscapes are also good.

Without giving away any spoilers, the book takes unexpected turns, challenging the reader's perceptions and beliefs, and keeping them engaged until the very end.

The novel explores themes of identity, love, faith, and extremism, and delves into the complexities of human nature and the choices we make. It is a powerful and thought-provoking read that challenges readers to reflect on their own beliefs and values, while keeping them on the edge of their seat until the final page.

What I would have loved to read as a part of the story is how Khalid got into the clutches of Imran & Tony in the first place. It would have been great to be able to understand how the youth are brainwashed. Also, I thought that Selina's reason to join the Jihad group and become a suicide bomber was really dumb.

Overall, it has a little bit of everything - Action, Drama, Romance & Suspense. I liked it and would like to recommend you to read it.

Review Copy received from the Author


  1. Glad to learn about your new blog! I found you at Book Blogs and left a comment on the Thriller group!

  2. Sorry--that was me, who found you at Book Blogs. I commented anonymously by accident. Anyway, I am a suspense writer, and very glad to have found you!

  3. This sounds like a good book. I always love suspenseful books with great mysteries. :)

  4. Thanks for adding my blog and I have added your button to my blog.

  5. Great review! It sounds like this is a good read. I love the cover too! :)

    Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page
    Remember to drop by my International Giveaway!

  6. I was looking at your reviews and this one stood out for me. I heard about the book but hesistated as it may include too much violence. I tend to stay away from those types of books. What was your opinion on that?