The Prisoner

The Prisoner On an unusually cold December evening in Karachi American journalist Jon Friedland is kidnapped from one of the city s poshest neighbourhoods His captors plan to post a video of his execution on Chri

  • Title: The Prisoner
  • Author: Omar Shahid Hamid
  • ISBN: 9789382616146
  • Page: 265
  • Format: Paperback
  • On an unusually cold December evening in Karachi, American journalist Jon Friedland is kidnapped from one of the city s poshest neighbourhoods His captors plan to post a video of his execution on Christmas Day The kidnapping has come at a bad time, embarrassing the Pakistani government in front of their US allies The clock is ticking Will the police and Intelligence AgOn an unusually cold December evening in Karachi, American journalist Jon Friedland is kidnapped from one of the city s poshest neighbourhoods His captors plan to post a video of his execution on Christmas Day The kidnapping has come at a bad time, embarrassing the Pakistani government in front of their US allies The clock is ticking Will the police and Intelligence Agencies recover Friedman alive The story careens through the streets of Karachi, taking the reader into an all too real world of jihadis, corrupt police officers, and bloodthirsty political henchmen all placed together in a city where no one is quite what they seem.

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      Omar Shahid Hamid

    About Author

    1. Omar Shahid Hamid served with Pakistan s Karachi police for 12 years, during which time he was targeted by various terrorist groups and criminal outfits He received his Masters in Criminal Justice Policy from the London School of Economics, and his Masters in Law from University College London.

    One thought on “The Prisoner

    1. Finally a book by a Pakistani author which wasn t about booze, partying and how the fictional affluent in posh localities allegedly spend their lives in one long party with first world problems This one really went down to the underbelly of the city and tried to connect with the real stuff which happens here Of course it is fiction and when you get beyond of how you feel connected to the story since it s set in the city you live in it s a incredibly gripping thriller Loved every moment of us and [...]


    2. Omer Shahid has penned a brilliant novel It s a first, in depth, look at the lives of police officers that have been an integral part of Karachi s volatile political, ethnic, cultural and religious environment The narrative is matter of fact, with liberal use of curses that give a touch of reality to the police characters The relations of police with religious groups, ethnic and militant elements, government functionaries, agencies, common criminals and thugs, encroachers and boot licking office [...]


    3. The author has penned down a fantastic book with a balanced blend of facts and fiction The story is a matter of fact and has liberal use of curses that definitely give a touch of reality to the police characters of the book The author has brilliantly and thoroughly covered the relationship that police share with religious, ethnic, and militant groups, political parties, criminals, local thugs, various intelligence agencies, and other government bodies.The narration and the style of author is so [...]


    4. Thank you Liberty Books salesman for recommending me this book I am so glad I bought it because last time one of your guys suggested Homeboy and we know now THAT was a disaster Anyhoo, obviously it was a brilliant read I mean my first proper English novel by a Pakistani author and it was AMAZING I kind of feel for the police walas now things are not as black and white as we would like them to be If this is the level of corruption and under the table deals they have to endure from higher authorit [...]


    5. A stupendous debut a credible plot full of twists, well delineated characters and a cracking pace makes this a book any aficionado of the thriller genre should get their hands on and not relinquish till the last page has been turned over Mr Hamid very skillfully weaves in contemporary events into his narrative to give an unforgettable view of Pakistani politics and life and law and order in Pakistan s biggest metrapolis Deserves stars, and I wish Mr Hamid will keep on writing he has a unique fl [...]


    6. What a book, after a long time I have finally read a thriller which got my blood pumping Omar has certainly produced a scintillating and absorbing crime thriller based on Karachi filled with very interesting characters of all the main players We have the wardias MQM , jihadis, Karachi police, Bhuttos, and the Agencies I loved the captivating and stimulating dialogue coming out of various confrontations in the novel with some pertinent and astute observations made Without spoiling the plot I woul [...]


    7. Violence and gore aside, the dark underbelly of Karachi is a complicated mix of criminal codes, law enforcers greed, dirty politics and religious fanaticism Each element operates as an independent, systematic unit but tip the scale of one and all others react In his debut novel, The Prisoner Omar Shahid Hamid combines all these elements to come up with a crime thriller masterpiece.The author has intricately woven all the scenes with such minute details that it mesmerizes the reader and engulfs h [...]


    8. Read full review on samramuslim book review thFor me what makes this book stand out is the fact that it makes me see the trials and tribulations that the police force in Pakistan go through which we living in this country never tend to notice Story itself was a great narrative on the ongoing war of terror but still a weak plot line for a crime thriller genre Writer has spent too much time focusing on descriptions of the environment and less on the plot itself I guess he was confused between penn [...]


    9. You think I didn t feel bad for that old man that day Of course I did We all have daughters, sisters and wives But we stay quiet because we don t want what happened to his daughter to happen to our loved ones This book makes it clear from the get go that there is no good or bad in this world Certainly not in Karachi, where the majority of this book is set In terms of outlining the gray areas of a city s moral code, Omar Shahid Hamid s debut novel is in a class of its own To be fair, the blurb is [...]


    10. Absolutely brilliant I had always wanted to get my hands on this book since it got published and I m glad I did.The Prisoner by Omar Shahid Hamid is a gripping tale in the life of a Karachi Police Officer from beginning to the end and would certainly exceed your expectations for a debut novel.What I loved most about the book was how it related to most of the characters of the book to all the real life characters, from police officers to politicians from time to time in the political history of K [...]


    11. Based on the abduction and murder of Wall Street Journal s Daniel Pearl in Karachi, it s a frank assessment of the corruption and politics rife in Pakistan s police, especially in a metropolis like Karachi The fate of the fictional double of the American journalist is not the same as Pearl s you guessed it So the novel ends with a formulaic and filmic twist of Bollywoodian proportions.The novel suffers from the pitfalls of first time writers Dialogue is spectacularly artificial Characters explai [...]


    12. A fast paced action packed ride Unfortunately in the Sub continent English literature, thriller writers let alone good thriller writers are a rare breed However, for the first time, I found a writer who can try his hands on thrillers making use of his experience in the police department and write in fluid prose and an accessible English Prisoner also shows that Pakistani writers do have a talent to think beyond tasteless contemporary fiction one can hardly relate to Examples How to Get Filthy Ri [...]


    13. In the end, we are all prisoners of our own destiny And so it was The Prisoner is one book which takes you on a journey in the microcosm of Pakistan, Karachi, where things are not what they seem Violence, criminals and thugs thrive Religious, Political workers and followers devour each other All is stemmed from Power and Money In midst of all this realistic backdrop of the daily battle of Cops and Criminals there is a kidnapping The stories unfold bringing back each character s own demons A plac [...]


    14. The Prisoner by Omar Shahid Hamid is probably the quickest read I have had in many months It took me less than 2 Days to finish off this amazing well plotted book Plot is simple but could not be any better Aside from Hunting of kidnapped American we get to know about the inside of Law and Enforcement of Pakistan Where there are good cops with heart of steel there is also muddy corruption Author has hidden identity of many factions and characters pretty well, one such example is NEWYORK DON UNITE [...]


    15. An absolute gem Picked this up while on the move, with no clue as to how it might turn out to be And I must say, I was mighty impressed by the pace and the connect of the story Contrary to the title, it has very little to do with the prisoner an American journalist who is kidnapped in Pakistan It is about the entities that dominate the city of Karachi, and the interplay between them the agencies armed forces , the government the United Front , the underworld and the police force As each entity t [...]


    16. Loved every word of it The best Pakistani novel I ve read so far Every action scene imaginable The city seen for its reality beauty and beastliness inside out, described beautifully Scenes etched into amazing passages that make the words play into action right before your eyes Karachi at its lowest and at its real Omar Shahid has painted the best verbal masterpiece for readers who love a ride no matter how brutal, real and bumpy.



    17. I just finished The Prisoner and I am overwhelmed by all the emotions that hit me in last chapters I feel lightheaded as if I just got off from a roller coaster and have yet to balance myself I am grateful that it ended on a note that is unlike the life in general But above all, it changed my views regarding police Everyone I know who got a chance to interact with police is heavily inclined to not repeat the experience again Amidst all the dreadful stories, it was refreshing to hear the stories [...]


    18. 3.5 STARS This book started quite well but then it became too much detail oriented and less action, suspense, thrill which I was looking for when I bought this The details about Karachi areas, Police, Corruption, Politics, Agencies were very well written and explained but I think it got the real story to drift away.It ended well which I think is a plus.For a debut novel I think it s a job well done by the author.


    19. Cracking read Doesn t feel like that this is authors first foray into mass marek fiction writing Recommended especially if you are a Karachiite as gives splendid descriptions of dark underbelly of Karachi.



    20. In recent years, Pakistani writers like Mohsin Hamid and Kamila Shamsie have been making headlines for their recent works which have been praised by critics and readers alike.Omar Shaid Hamid, a former policeman, is a welcome addition.He has served the Karachi Police for 12 years during which he was targeted by various criminal outfits.Who else would one expect to tell the story of Karachi in a brilliant manner other than a former policeman Karachi is a hub of power inhabited by millions of peop [...]


    21. Thrilling, un put down able to say the least The story takes the reader through the politics of Pakistan in a very vivid sense Where every character is a public figure you know, yet there is to discover Fiction and reality has been combined so beautifully Just when I start thinking I know how the story would move ahead from here, there is a twist that changes everything.Police, Politics and Extremism The role of the prisoner remains a mystery till the end of the book.Though the ending seemed to [...]


    22. many people who regularly read or have read a lot of mystery books feel that they can predict whats going to happen in the end I challenge that you try predicting the outcome of this book I finished this book in one night, something which i have not done since my college days Nail biting and for people in Pakistan esp Karachi people can clearly relate and visualize, best english novel written by a Pakistani authour






    23. Amazing read, taking you through Karachi and what goes around in the city from the perspective of a policeman A very different book showing the good and the bad side of police.



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