Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book Review: The Party Worker by Omar Shahid Hamid

Title: The Party Worker
Author: Omar Shahid Hamid
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India


Pakistani police officer-cum-novelist Omar Shahid Hamid delivers yet another gritty account of politics and its associated evils. ‘The Party Worker’ as such focuses on corruption and duplicity along with some sordid but keen insights into winning and maintaining power in the big bad world of politics.

It all begins with the murder of a Jewish woman on the steps of the Natural History Museum in New York. A committed NYPD detective picks up the case with the intention of solving it. He sets his eyes on a self-exiled Pakistani politician by the name of Mohammad Ali Pichkari. Disparate lives are thrown together for the purpose of bringing about the downfall of this man who, as it turns out, is the uncrowned king of Karachi. A burnt out New York cop; an octogenarian Parsi businessman sitting in a decaying Karachi mansion; an unconscionable hatchet-man whose days are numbered; a journalist who dreams of the big time — who brings about the downfall of Pichkari and how, forms the crux of this maelstrom of a novel.

The writing is easy to follow. Hamid’s characterizations call for rounds of applauds. His are not two-dimensional figures devoid of nuance; rather these are believable characters and seem to be drawn closely from real-life people. The pace is wonderfully set and is sure to keep readers glued to the pages.

An astutely written and well-crafted work. Just the thing for politics junkies and journalism buffs.

About the Author:

Omar Shahid Hamid has been a police officer in Pakistan for sixteen years and is a senior member of the Karachi Police's Counter Terrorism Department. In 2011, following an attack on his offices by the Pakistani Taliban, he took a five-year sabbatical to write books and worked as a political risk consultant. He has been widely quoted and regularly featured in major news outlets like The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Times, Le Monde, DW, Bloomberg, Reuters, CNN, BBC, France24, Radio France and NPR. His first novel, The Prisoner (2013), was long listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 and is now being adapted for a feature film. His second novel is The Spinner’s Tale (2015). In 2016, Omar returned to active duty as a Counter Terrorism Officer.

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I'd like to thank the author for letting me review his novel. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 

* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy:

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