Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Review : Riz (The Rizwan Sabir Mysteries) - Charlie Flowers 7*

Riz is the début e-novel from Fighting Cocks band leader Charlie Flowers.  It tells the story of Riz, a former wannabe Al-Qaeda terrorist now working for a shadowy and violent branch of British security.

Riz is a fast paced novella and liberally peppered with guns, bombs and blood.  It takes place in contemporary London at the time of the 2012 Olympic Games, Riz is employed to get inside a terrorist cell and nullify them, to this end he associates himself with a group of cyber-hacking, gun-toting, helicopter flying girls known as the Hur al-hyn, Cheerleaders or Black Eyed Maidens.  This then is where life imitates art imitates life.  Flowers heads up a pro-Muslim / anti extremism group called the Cheerleaders who are variously a group armed with the cultural weapons of mass destruction - according to themselves, or possibly a group of lunatic fringe internet trolls and bullies - according to a handful of right wing bloggers. Is Flower's vision of  heavily armed babes taking on Islamic terrorists just fantasy then, or does it cross over into the real world, it certainly adds a level of intrigue to a fairly strait-forward narrative.

Flowers mixes a fast paced spook story with gore in abundance as the Hur al-Hyn ladies launch themselves against their nominated foes in a visceral frenzy, look away if the thought of teenage girls playing football with severed heads is likely to upset or offend.  The plot builds in a vivid cinematic style to an apocalyptic fire-fight and leaves a plot thread hanging for the follow up novel.

Mostly I really enjoyed Riz, but where it could do with a little more work was a broader look at the both the moral reasoning and background of both Riz and the Hur al-Hyn girls, their motives seemed slightly glib and glossed over.  The blur of acronyms didn't help clarity at a couple of points. Amidst the general carnage and welter of gunfire and explosions though these are only minor criticisms. Riz, despite the title, isn't a mystery, it's a fast paced action adventure novel, a sort of boys own rush crossed with Die Hard and the opening ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan. Gun filled, blood drenched, high octane mayhem. The Kindle edition from Amazon can be bought at the bargain price of 77p!

1 comment:

  1. To highlight next month's release of the second Riz novel, THE FOX PRINCESS, we are delighted to announce that for a limited period, Riz Book One, "Riz", is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on the Amazon Kindle store! Click this link and get downloading! It's FREE!