‘Thrilling... This is a terrific series’ Sunday Times
by Ajay Chowdhury
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Pub Date 5 May 2022 | Archive Date 4 Jun 2022
Random House UK, Vintage, Harvill Secker
'A refreshing and welcome addition to the world of detective fiction' Abir Mukherjee
'A real surprise... It is not just the descriptions of food that leave you hungry for more' The Times
'Marvellous' Alex Marwood
Kamil Rahman is a cook in a Brick Lane restaurant. But he used to be a detective back in Kolkata.
And somehow trouble still knows how to find him.
When a young woman Kamil knows is murdered the police are convinced her boyfriend is the culprit. Kamil isn't so sure and feels he has no choice but to start his own investigation. Meanwhile, his friend and restaurant manager, Anjoli, is troubled by a rise in the number of homeless deaths in their local area.
Initially the cases seem unrelated, but as the duo dig deeper, they discover connections that stretch from London to Lahore.
Together they take on the indifference of the authorities to the homeless and the casual racism that pervades the investigation of killings of Muslims - all while trying to stop a supremely intelligent murderer who always seems to be several steps ahead of them.
From the award-winning author of The Waiter comes the second page-turning mystery starring detective-turned-cook Kamil Rahman. For readers of Anthony Horowitz, Robert Galbraith and Elly Griffiths.
Praise for The Waiter:
'A hugely entertaining first novel, taking us from Kolkata to Brick Lane' ANN CLEEVES
'[An] outstanding debut' SUNDAY TIMES
'A rip-roaring mystery that's engrossing from start to finish... a refreshing and welcome addition to the world of detective fiction. One of my favourite reads of the year' ABIR MUKHERJEE
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 78 members
I will start by saying I have not read Chowdhury’s first novel starring detective-turned-cook Kamil Rahman, The Waiter. However, after finishing The Cook, it is most definitely going onto my ‘To Read’ list!
Kamil Rahman is a cook in an Indian restaurant in London. He has left his old life behind, in Kolkata, India. No longer a detective, he has fully immersed himself into the simple joys of cooking excellent food. His friend and the restaurant manager Anjoli is trying to build the reputation of the restaurant, and Kamil is doing his part by making the food shine. Kamil is happy with how life is going, and has an almost girlfriend in Naila, which he is still trying to figure out.
But then a friend of Naila’s is found murdered. Unfortunately found by Kamil. It should be easy enough to let the police get to the bottom of it. But there are complications. So with Anjoli encouraging him, and Naila and Anjoli as his sidekicks, Kamil gets pulled into investigating the death. Meanwhile Anjoli is trying to convince Kamil and the London Detectives that there is something suspicious happening with the rise in deaths of homeless men in the area. As Kamil starts to uncover more in his investigation the threads become more tangled and finding the killer is not quite as simple as it seems.
I really enjoyed this read, it is unique in what it offers. It really paints a picture with words of the areas the action takes place in, and the characters are beautifully developed. Then the food - do not read if you are hungry! The attention to detail in all aspects is wonderful. It was brilliant to read a crime drama where there were so many multicultural elements, such a diverse cast of characters, seeing a mosque and Imam framed in such a positive community support manner, and working with the Catholic church to help those less fortunate.
Overall it was a wonderful read, and I look forward to seeing the next steps in Kamil's career. Perhaps an accompanying cook book would be great?
*I received this book from NetGalley for review, but all opinions are my own.
The Waiter was one of my favourite crime novels of last year and I was really excited to see that Ajay Chowdhury had written a new story about the ex-detective Kamil Rahman. Kamil is now a cook in The Tandoori Knights restaurant on Brick Lane in London and is feeling almost content with his new life. Then he discovers a customer of the restaurant murdered in her flat. The girl was a fellow student with his girl friend and he is persuaded to begin his own investigation into her death. At the same time, there is a mysterious spike in deaths among the homeless men in their area. The two things seem to be completely unconnected but things are definitely not as they seem.
The previous novel was set both in Pakistan and London but this one is very firmly based in London and we get a vivid picture of the area around Brick Lane and the other parts of the city that Kamil visits as part of his investigation. I loved the attention to detail in the settings and the double plot works brilliantly. The depiction of the homeless men really brings home their situation although it doesn’t overpower the narrative. It’s also great to have such a positive role for the mosque and the Imam and to see the part that these play in the lives of many people.
Kamil is a really likeable character who wants to do the right thing and is unsure what his path in life is. Anjoli, his friend and manager of the restaurant is also a brilliantly vivid character who definitely knows her own mind and will not let the issue of the homeless deaths be ignored.
Amateur detectives who get members of the public to talk to them are always a bit dubious but the author deals with this well by Kamil using his status as a detective and also his friendship with one of the police officers actually investigating the crime.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to find out what happens to Kamil next.
Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Meticulously Drawn Once Again....
A disgraced detective, a tumultuous past and crimes new and old combine in this outstanding follow up novel to ‘The Waiter’ and the second of the Detective Kamil Rahman series. With a meticulously well drawn cast of characters, a refreshing protagonist, perfectly placed atmospherics and an utterly compelling storyline with twists and turns aplenty, deftly managed, this is a page turner from the first to last page. Superlative.
This is the second book by Ajay Chowdhury and just as enjoyable as the first. A great plot with twists and turns and a surprising conclusion.
This is an exceedingly well devised story, superbly delivered. It is an intriguing and very satisfying read. Set in London, its characters are mainly immigrants from India and Pakistan. They have various reasons for being here, Naila escaping a controlling husband in an arranged marriage and training as a nurse. Kamir from India was a detective, now a chef ,thus the title of the book. He is the lead character and events where he now lives make him wonder if what he would really like to do is return to police work. The story is triggered by the murder of a nurse friend of Naila. Kamir, Naila and the person he works for in the restaurant form a trio trying to solve the crime. Then there is an apparently unrelated series of deaths, or are they murders, of homeless people near their restaurant. Then there is a completely unexpected conclusion to the story. This is a rewarding read strengthened by the cultural background of its main characters. I recommend it strongly.
I’ve not read any of this author’s books before, but have to say it was brilliant. The characters were likeable and the storyline was entertaining and did make me laugh a few times with Kamil’s dogged attitude. I think if I’d been Anjoli I’d have sacked him ages ago, he was never there!
He really is a latter day Miss Marple, and I think the police were quite complacent to his interference!
I must admit, the ending left me gobsmacked, I just didn’t see that coming at all. Wonderful.
My thanks to the author and Netgalley for the ARC.
The second page-turning mystery starring detective-turned-cook Kamil Rahman. I can’t wait for the next instalment I was breathless with anticipation… heart-stopping… gut-wrenching… I was on the edge of my seat…
After enjoying his first novel, I knew I had to read the second. Liked to story from the outset along with the characters. I hope there is another instalment in the series.
The Waiter was one of my favourite debuts of the year so was interested to see how the next in the series would measure up and am pleased to say I enjoyed it just as much as its predecessor.
Kamil, the disgraced ex-detecitve from Kolkata is still working at Tandoori Knights in London even if he's moved up ever so slightly and is now cooking there. When a young student nurse is murdered Kamil and his 'dynamic duo' partner Anjoli, and Kamil's 'sortofkindof girlfriend' (as he puts it), Naila are drawn into the case. Meanwhile, the homeless appear to be possible victims of a serial killer.
Like the first book, The Cook is a mixture of its' part - as much of interest in its characters and views of England/ what it means to be a (now relatively) new arrival in the country, as it is twisty turny mystery (which, it should be said, it does very well).
There can be a risk in the 'amateur sleuth' style of mystery that you begin to question just how often an individual can happen across the incidents they have to investigate and Ajay plays it well: the 'real' police officer in the case has an apparently never-ending list of names to drop mocking Kamil and the gang's involvement. But the way it's written lends itself to a more naturalistic means of continuing the series, or...just go with it and enjoy it for the fun ride that it is.
Delighted to be back with this dynamic duo and their sleuthing ways. For a while that duo becomes a trio while they try to solve a trio of crimes that all collide right on their doorstep. I really enjoy watching these characters as they navigate some of the bigger decisions in life at the same time as using their skills and talents to make the world a better place. This book is also a wonderful melting pot of cultures on top of everything else. Hopefully there will be several more books in this series and thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read an advance copy of this one.
Never read this author before. Didn’t think this book was to me before I started it. I loved it. Come on author get your head down I need another !
Having read The Waiter, I certainly wasn’t going to let this one pass me by.
I enjoyed The Waiter, as it offered something different in crime fiction, different characters in totally different surroundings and this was simply a continuation..
To be honest, I cannot wait for book three. Is Ajay going to go for The Detective? Who knows?
If you haven’t read The Waiter, look it out, then follow on with this one. You won’t be disappointed.
My thoughts about Ajay Chowdhury’s The Cook the story is very well-crafted, very cleverly written with unpredictable intelligent and shocking twists and surprises. It is completely unputdownable from the front cover to the back one. The author has maintained a fixed kind of pattern for storytelling. The story and suspense chug ahead with amazing twists and turns, keeping the predictability at bay. Ajay Chowdhury’s The Cook will keep you at the edge of your seat till the end. Writer Ajay Chowdhury yet again delivers an outstanding follow up to the excellent The Waiter, Ajay Chowdhury’s The Cook’s story begins with when a young woman Kamil knows is murdered the police are convinced her boyfriend is the culprit. Kamil isn’t so sure and feels he has no choice but to start his own investigation. Meanwhile, his friend and restaurant manager, Anjoli, is troubled by a rise in the number of homeless deaths in their local area. The cases seem unrelated and as the duo dig deeper, discovering tentacles that stretch from Lahore to London, they find themselves in grave danger. Together they take on the indifference of the authorities to the homeless and the casual racism that pervades the investigation of killings of Muslims – all while a supremely intelligent murderer is manipulating events to stay several steps ahead of them. Ajay Chowdhury’s The Cook Is a modern suspense drama with a relatable plot and characters. The narrative is fast-paced and will keep you on the edge the entire time. I would like to say thank you to Author Ajay Chowdhury, Publishers Vintage Books and Netgally for kindly letting me read and review this spectacular thriller, I’ve enjoyed reading. The Cook is already one of my favourite thriller’s of this year. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐💥💥💥💥💥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
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