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Homegrown Hero

(Jay Qasim #2)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  195 ratings  ·  40 reviews

After preventing the most devastating terrorist attack in recent history, Jay Qasim is back home in West London. And, despite invitations to go back undercover, all he wants is a quiet life.

He’s got a job in a call centre, has blocked MI5’s number, and has put his brief career as an under-cover jihadist behind him.

But the game is far from over. And Jay’s about to learn

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published November 29th 2018 by HQ
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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  195 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fighting your Destiny

A great sequel, I enjoyed this book every bit as the first book. In the last book Jay was forced into a into a world hatred. Learning family secrets playing the cards life dealt him. In this book Jay has a much smaller role, but this is an opportunity to meet new characters. All damaged from their past and either trying to escape or find their future.

This books starts a couple of days before the epilogue of the last book. Some great twistsin this story, the darkness is
K.J. Charles
Oh my God, I need a cup of tea and a lie down.

Second Jay Qasim thriller, set in Hounslow, west London, in a milieu of white terrorists, EDL type racists, Muslim extremists, and the poor bastards who just want a normal life but are caught in the middle of the hell we're so busily creating for one another. The tagline for this book could be "Violence begets violence", as rage and resentment lead to escalating extremism. Jay is a lovely character, a small time drug dealer with a huge heart and
Roman Clodia
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Rahman's first book East of Hounslow but for me this wasn't quite as strong. The good stuff is still there: energetic voices, authentic insights into the lives of young Muslims, primarily men, both recent migrants and second generationers, an up-to-the-moment contemporary plot. I liked that this book did more than the first to show at least some mixed-race relationships, both romantic, and social in the case of Imy's wonderful aunt - this is London, after all: surely we all grew up ...more
Sid Nuncius
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought that Khurrum Rahman’s first novel, East Of Hounslow, was very good. Home Grown Hero, its sequel, is even better. (Although you can read Home Grown Hero as a stand-alone novel, I would strongly recommend that you read East Of Hounslow first – things will mean far more to you.)

We don’t actually catch up with the shocking ending of East Of Hounslow until almost a third of the way through the novel, as we see Jay reorientating his life. He is a cooler, rather more mature character after
Elaine Tomasso
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and HQ for an advance copy of Homegrown Hero, the second novel to feature drug dealer turned IT help desk operator Javid “Jay” Qasim.

Fresh from saving London Jay has adopted a lower profile, working for Hownslow council, socialising at a Muslim self help group and renouncing drugs and alcohol. It doesn’t stop MI5 from trying to re-recruit him but it does give the strength to say no. In the meantime Imran “Imy” Saddiqui, a sleeper doing his best to forget his
Liz Barnsley
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This was epic. Brilliantly epic.
So we met Jay in last year’s“East of Hounslow “a novel I devoured with it’s heady mix of action, social issues,thrills and thought provoking realities. Jay, after reading Home Grown Hero, is now definitely one of my favourite fictional characters ever. Rightly so too I think given his ability make me giggle into my cup of tea whilst learning something very important.
In this most excellent of sequels, Jay longs for the quiet life after his previous adventures.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Khurrum Rahman burst onto the crime fiction scene in 2017 with his brilliant debut East of Hounslow (which I reviewed here: Homegrown Hero is his hotly anticipated sequel and once again we’re with Jay Qasim, a British born Muslim reluctantly recruited by MI5 as an agent (an informant in the police’s parlance). After the events of the first book he’s been dropped by MI5, much to his relief, and is trying to reestablish some sense of normality. But The Teacher, the head of ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow what a great follow up to East Of Hounslow which I read and thoroughly enjoyed last year. Homegrown Hero follows Javid Qasim’s adventures after he returns from his work with MI5. They no longer want him although he’s a trained operative, so now he’s keen to get his life back on track and has even taken a 9-5 job working in a council office in the IT department.
However, despite this peaceful existence, life has a habit of sucking him into dangerous situations and when he makes some new
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved East of Hounslow, book one of this series, when I read it last year. The action in this book follows on from that and although there is a bit of a catch-up to be found in this book, Jay is a bit complex so to get the very best from this one, I really would recommend reading that one first. And it's great so no real reason not to!
So, Jay has returned home after saving the world. Well, preventing a major terrorist attack. He's put that side of things behind him and now works in a
Gary Maginnis
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A little bit more heart that than the first one but just as addictive, funny and thrilling. I hope there is another one in the works.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Back, bigger and better

The ending of East of Hounslow may have seemed conclusive but the sequel is just as convincing, terrifying and human as before.
Kate Mckenzie
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As brilliant as the first. The third is in the post. Whatcha up to Jay?
Surjit Parekh
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After preventing the most devastating terrorist attack in recent history, Jay Qasim is back home in West London. And, despite invitations to go back undercover, all he wants is a quiet life.

He’s got a job in a call centre, has blocked MI5’s number, and has put his brief career as an under-cover jihadist behind him.

But the game is far from over. And Jay’s about to learn that – no matter how hard he tries – it’s going to be hard to keep his head down now there’s a price on it.

My thoughts about
Craig Sisterson
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, british
Pakistan-born, West London-raised crime writer Khurrum Rahman takes us deep into his characters’ family lives and leavens violence with humour in HOMEGROWN HERO, an action-packed tale about spies and terrorists that merges global concerns with household and everyday issues.

There's a real fizz to Rahman's storytelling that makes it a little different to much of what else is out there, and definitely well worth a read. In a way, it reminds me of films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I waited impatiently for the delivery of book two and was not disappointed.
It is quite nerve-wracking as a reader to tackle the second in a series, often to not feel the same engagement. Thankfully I can say that, z zhaving just finished the last lines, I am already sorry to have finished it.
Loved the introduction of Imran, not expecting such a great new character and plot.
‘Homegrown hero’ played some predictable tricks, but then also took me by surprise many times. On the whole I loved it. It
Francis Dutton
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another fascinating read...

Great ‘follow up’ to East of Hounslow and the characters so believable. I have read both books in less than a week and thoroughly enjoyed them both. Unputdownable is sometimes a phrase that is a tad overused but definitely applicable in this instance.

This series is crying out to be televised or made into a film and I sincerely hope that some producer somewhere has it on their radar.

Any book that makes you think about what you are reading has to be a good book and
Louise Hare
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After devouring the first in this series, I moved straight onto Homegrown Hero. It took me a little while to get into but I was soon hooked.

Whereas the first book was mostly focused on Jay with only a few deviations, this novel is more wide ranging. As well as Jay, the story follows Imy, a fellow Hounslow resident, and Daniel, a teenage high school student who's fallen in with the wrong crowd after the death of his mum. It took a while to get used to the chopping and changing but it did add
Once again Jay tries to navigate complex issues of identity, whilst trying not to get killed by those he really annoyed in the first book of the series. His internal selfexamination dialogue is brilliant, and gave me much to think about. The other major character Imran also have a rich internal dialogue which adds much to the story which is about working out what the 'right thing' is, in situations where most outcomes are varying degrees of undesired. I liked the fact that Daniel backs out of ...more
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Homegrown Hero is an entertaining and frequently funny thriller set in West London
Jay used to be a drug dealer and an MI5 agent. Now he is trying for a quieter life with an office job. He has a new circle of friends. Unfortunately, his father is a terrorist, and their organisation has put a fatwa on Jay's head. MI5 are still pulling Jay's strings.
The other main character is Imy. Imy was trained in Afghanistan to be a killer. Imy is also trying to live a quiet life as an estate agent with a
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Homegrown Hero is set in West London and is the second book in this series. This read well as a standalone, however I felt I should have read the first book East of Hounslow, first.
Jay Qasim, a BMW driving small time drug dealer is recruited as an undercover jihadist by MI5 and prevents a major terrorist attack. Jay want to forget all that now and just wants a quiet life. He has even got himself a proper job in a call centre but Jay does not have to go looking for trouble, trouble finds him.
Rob Burton
Oct 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
They always say the follow up album is the hardest for a musician after a smash hit. Seems it must be the same for writers. I only managed 22% of this book. I've left it open on my kindle just in case I would go back to it. But that's obviously not going to happen as I've continued to read other books. This one hasn't enticed me back. Shame because I enjoyed the first book, it was different. This just hasn't grabbed me. It's been a couple of months so I cannot even remember why I stopped reading ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Home Grown Hero, the second in the series, repercussions are occurring after Jay’s involvement in a terrorist plot. Jay’s trying to get back to normal but life isn’t letting that happen, with tragic events happening to his new friends. Meanwhile Immy, a sleeper jihadi who is very comfortable in his Western life, has been activated. I love the first person narration with this series. I also love how, with whichever side, you see the characters getting into situations where they’ ...more
David Nugent
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed East of Hounslow on so many levels, great story with super and believable characters while also enabling me to understand rather more about Islam and Muslims than I did. Quite something for a first novel, I determined that this is an author whom I will follow.
Homegrown Hero was a great book; there is not one character who does not deserve to be there, each one believable in their own right and necessary to the story and what an ending; 2 books with a punch in the face at the
Pankaj Katyal
It had great rating so thought of reading this book. Let me tell it was such a slow start and I had to pull myself to go and read the next page and the next page and the next page hoping that it might becoming interesting. It did pickup but after reading 300 pages. Narration is a bit different but if you are looking for an easy free flowing narration then this is not the book for you. There is no creativity in the plot. Please don't by the rating it has got, its very very ordinary book, you can ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The shifting points of view is a bit of a chore, but otherwise very engaging writing and I'm dragged along in the story, sympathising with the characters (well, most of them). I see there's a third book coming (according to zon), which I will also most likely read.

Oh, but you know, cw for many, many types of violence (including sexual, after the fact), threats of violence, suicide.
Dave Bate
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh Mr Rahman knows how to write a book, this the second in the JQ series. Thoroughly good read if you don't mind the frequent use of the 'f' word. Will there be more I ask? I sincerely hope so as this author has started off at 100mph and hopefully will get faster! Not sure of the title but that is really irrelevant looking at the bigger picture, well recommended.
Katy Wheatley
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I got this as a review copy from Netgalley. I picked it largely because I had read a recommendation by Ben Aaranovitch, who I love. I have to say that I really struggled with this. It's very well written and extremely tense, but I found it incredibly bleak.
Wendy Greenberg
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Another chapter for Jay, unwilling hero of East of Hounslow. Gritty and compelling it balances the dual draws for a British Muslim of the fealty of religion with living in a secular society. Less laughs and an upping of the stakes makes for a compulsive read.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant book, I was completely hooked on this throughput the second half. Jay is just such an unlikely but wonderful hero. Looking forward to the next installment.
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Other books in the series

Jay Qasim (3 books)
  • East of Hounslow (Jay Qasim #1)
  • Ride or Die (Jay Qasim #3)