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Stone Cold Trouble

UK Publisher: Dialogue Books (Little, Brown)

Still trying to keep his head down and stay out of trouble, ex-con Zaq Khan reluctantly agrees to help his best friend, Jags, recover a family heirloom now in the possession of a wealthy businessman.

Then Zaq’s brother is viciously assaulted and he’s left wondering if it could have been somebody from Zaq’s own past looking for revenge. Wanting answers and retribution, Zaq and Jags set out to track down those responsible. Meanwhile, their dealings with the businessman take a turn for the worse and Zaq and Jags find themselves suspected of murder.

It’ll take both brains and brawn to get themselves out of the trouble they’re in and, no matter what happens, the result will likely be deadly. The only question is, whether it will prove deadly for them – or someone else?

Brothers in Blood was Zaq and Jags’s critically acclaimed first outing, and this follow up is brimming with Amer Anwar’s energy, wit and a rollercoaster adventure.


Stone Cold Trouble is a frantic tale of family, food and fighting — a song to the sensual delights of Southall, west London.’ – The Times

‘Amer Anwar’s Stone Cold Trouble, the follow-up to Brothers in Blood, is, if anything, even better than that notable 2018 debut… Anwar is a skilled enough storyteller and creator of characters that in time he could end up with the same kind of authorial ownership of Asian west London that Ian Rankin has of Edinburgh.’ The Morning Star

‘I loved it. Stone Cold Trouble is a stone cold hit. I loved this captivating journey into West London’s underbelly in the company of characters so authentic they feel like old friends. Thrilling, funny, charming, Stone Cold Trouble is a rich, immersive read. Amer Anwar has a deftness of touch that will keep you coming back for more. Highly recommended.’ – Adam Hamdy, author of Pendulum

Stone Cold Trouble should push Amer Anwar to the forefront of British crime fiction. It’s a superb book – brutal and uncompromising, shocking and funny, heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Zaq and Jags, two ordinary men, once again forced to do the extraordinary, just roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done, making fun of each other every step of the way. They may not always make the smart choice, but because of their touching friendship, we cheer them on every step of the way regardless. Simply brilliant.’ – M.W. Craven, author of The Curator

‘Raced through the book. Great job! Stone Cold Trouble is another terrific slice of noir set in West London’s British Asian community. Anwar excels in framing his subject matter with a nuanced eye – the details of his characters’ lives ring with authenticity. In this fast-paced mystery adventure, Zaq and Jags are back, slaloming from one crisis to another, until they find themselves neck deep in… trouble. Darkly comic, fierce, and engaging.’ – Vaseem Khan, author of Bad Day at the Vulture Club

‘Just finished Stone Cold Trouble by Amer Anwar. A fast-paced and irreverent Zaq & Jags story (set in the heart of West London’s Asian community). Fresh, authentic and totally compelling. I think fans of Mark Billingham’s books would love this. EXCELLENT.’ –Will Dean, author of Dark Pines

‘The original Brothers in Blood are back! There are very few guaranteed pleasures in life but spending time with Zaq and Jags is one of them. I blazed through Stone Cold Trouble at the same velocity as the wise-cracking pair blast their way through Southall’s criminal underworld in this gritty slice of West London noir.’ – Trevor Wood, author of The Man on the Street 

‘So worth the wait! I have a major man-crush on Zaq and Jags – one of the best British crime fiction duos to emerge in recent years. Gritty action, a rollicking plot and a brilliant cast of fantastic characters. The setting is perfect too; these pubs and backstreets are the kind of London I can believe in.’ – William Shaw, author of Deadland

‘Anwar scores again with a confident, authentic and bone-crunching crime thriller.’ – James Swallow, author of Nomad

‘Edgy and street-smart, exceptional.’ – C.J. Carver, author of Deep Black Lies

‘A riotous belter of a book, Stone Cold Trouble is that most wonderful of things, a brilliant sequel which is even better than its predecessor. The continuing misadventures of Zaq and Jags in the wild western suburbs of London will in turn have you smiling with delight and on the edge of your seat. You won’t want to put this book down.’ – Abir Mukherjee, author of Death in the East

‘Capers, violence, a macho sense of brotherhood and quips follow, as even in the darkest hours our hardy characters somehow manage to keep a twisted smile on their face.’ – Crime Time

Amer Anwar grew up in West London. After leaving college he had a variety of jobs, including warehouse assistant, comic...