The story is narrated by Khalid Patel, a first generation Pakistani in Britain, who turns into a suicide bomber only to fall in love with Selina Ashraf on the last day of his life. Khalid a.k.a Lab Boy is a 20 year old who is brainwashed and turned into a suicide bomber for the cause of Islam. Fresh back from a training camp in Pakistan, he is ready to fight for the cause that now drives him - even if that means sacrificing his own life for the 'greater good'. But what he was not prepared for was 'falling in love'. On the day he was scheduled to perform his 'task' he unexpectedly falls in love with Selina Ashraf a.k.a Smokey. On an impulse, they even get married. What happens next? You have to pick up the book to know it. Without giving out any spoilers, all I can say is that what they thought was going to be their last day, turns out to be only the beginning of a roller coaster ride.
Khalid Patel is portrayed as a typical first generation Asian in Britain. Son of a man, who had come to Britain to make his fortune only to end up as a taxi driver, Khalid is used to be in the back ground of everything. Though the author hasn't spent much time on exploring the family ties of Khalid, from what ever glimpses we get, we know that he loved and respected his family. His relationship with his friends, Bishnu and David, is like that of anyone else of his age. Overall, he comes off as an average guy off the street. Selina Ashraf on the other hand comes off like a rebelling Asian teenager. A medical student, who wears tight western clothes that compliment her figure, refuses to wear Burqa/Hijab and is a chain smoker. She is a perky-vibrant girl whose reason for taking up this mission is a bit obscure. The one character that surprised me really was Khalid's friend David. At first impression, it seemed like he was someone who was too caught in the web of drugs. Ironically, he turns out to be Khalid's only lifeline as the story progresses.
What I like about this book is that the author has given us a peek into Khalid's mind - a mind that belongs to an average guy and also that of a suicide bomber. The psyche of the same person at two different stages/situation - one that of a brainwashed youth and one that of the same youth who was beginning to see beyond. We also get a glimpse of what life at a terrorist training camp might be like. The action and thrills in the story are good - unless you are expecting James Bond to materialize. The description of the landscapes are also good.
What I would have loved to read as a part of the story is how Khalid got into the clutches of Imran & Tony in the first place. It would have been great to be able to understand how the youth are brainwashed. Also, I thought that Selina's reason to join the Jihad group and become a suicide bomber was simply dumb.
Overall, it has a little bit of everything - Action, Drama, Romance & Suspense. I would rate it a 3.5 out of 5 Stars.