MJ’s Book Reviews: Black Sparrow by A. J. Griffiths-Jones, @authoraj66 #book #review #thriller


At Heathrow airport, a hired assassin is boarding a plane to Paris. On the same plane is young Uzma Rafiq, heading for a new life with her French lover.

The passengers carry identical suitcases, but their motives for traveling to the European city couldn’t be further apart.  When they accidentally pick up the wrong luggage on arrival, a deadly series of events is set in motion.

As a sinister twist brings them together, they will dictate each other’s destinies. Against a backdrop of The City of Lights, who will survive?

A thriller full of twists and turns, A.J. Griffiths’s ‘Black Sparrow’ is a riveting story of love, murder and deadly secrets.

My Review – 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read from A. J Griffith-Jones and I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly plotted thriller which empasses so many differing elements to keep you engrossed throughout. The characters are brilliant, the naivety of the young muslim girl is well portrayed as she sets out to find her French boyfriend, her art teacher, after a summer romance.

At the guest house where she stays two more characters, the exuberant French guesthouse owner and English gent with OCD enrich the storyline intriguing us with their conversations, musings, and contemplative flirtitiousness.

Expect to discover a hitman at work on his last mission who longs to retire! Elements of humour sneak into the narrative and made me chuckle! Who is this person and why are they at the same French guesthouse for many years?

I particularly loved the exploration of culture in this book, and muslim extremism as it effects young vulnerable women and elderly married women alike. Many aspects are considered, including discussion on honour killing, infidelity and betrayal. It explores how far extremists will go to protect their way of life, beliefs and their family honour.

The young girl’s father is insufferable and his behaviour and his family’s turning a blind eye is shocking. The younger generation are portrayed in a softer light but seem unable to stand up to the extremist beliefs of their elders.

I felt so sad for the young girl’s mother and her desperation and anger were conveyed exceptionally well. So poignant and sad.

In fact this human interest aspect is the thread of the story which I enjoyed the most.

Towards the end there were missing suitcase and other discoveries and twists to keep the reader wondering what now and I was surprised by some aspects of the conclusion.

Highly recommended read. Listened on Audible.

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