Ajay Chowdhury

The Detective

Sunday Times Top Crime Novels of 2023

The Times’ Best Summer Audiobook

The Detective

Out of the kitchen. Back on the force. Can Kamil take the heat?

On the verge of a four-billion-dollar deal, a tech entrepreneur from Shoreditch is found dead in a construction site, which leads to the discovery of three skeletons over a hundred years old.

But as fresh bodies turn up, can Detective Kamil – along with his friend Anjoli – prevent another murder?

Desperate to solve his first case for the Met, will Kamil put his reputation on the line… then cross it?


Ajay Chowdhury’s crime novels, set in the East End of London, keep getting better. Kamil Rahman arrived from India in disgrace several years ago and began working shifts at a tandoori restaurant in Brick Lane. He has returned to the job he loves in Chowdhury’s enthralling new novel, The Detective. In his very first week at the Met, Rahman is thrown in at the deep end, investigating the murder of the boss of a controversial tech company in Shoreditch. Forensic work on the building site where the body was found exposes another murder scene that’s a century old, a time when newly arrived Jewish immigrants lived in the area. Chowdhury’s dazzlingly clever plot brings together the East End’s history and its present incarnation as home to some of the country’s most innovative technology.’
Joan Smith. The Sunday Times

An entertaining story that ranges across love, murder and an intriguing family tree’ The Sun

A rip roaring crime novel’ The New Zealand Listener

The Detective continues Chowdhury’s tale of transplanted Indian-cop-turned-chef Kamil Rahman as he joins the Metropolitan Police Force. But Rahman’s exhilaration at returning to uniform is short-lived. Facing prejudice, incompetence, and a case that ties his team into knots, Rahman soon finds himself sidelined. Chowdhury brings his own expertise in modern tech to the plot, combining it with hot button history, and a biting wit. The series goes from strength to strength.’ Vaseem Khan

Sunday Crime Book of the Month April 2023

Sunday Times top crime books 2023


Steven Capel


Topical Crime

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 July 2023

The third book in this excellent series and for me the best.It could easily be read as a stand alone but probably better to read the series in order so that the background is is built up. The storyline is very topical and is built around a software company owned by Israelis whose programme can monitor the movements of any person through their use of modern technology and the traces that leaves behind.. The senior members of the company are being murdered one by one for no apparent reason..there is also a sub plot concerning the unearthing of three bodies of victims murdered at the beginning of the 20th century. Intertwined in all this is the Palestinian conflict and the private life Kamil, the detective of the title. A very modern crime thriller which I can heartily recommend.





Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 July 2023

I’m not sure how, but I read this a while back and overlooked a review. This should have been submitted at time of publication…That aside, Chiwdhury really has hit a niche spot in the market with this series. This is the third and it works as a standalone, but it’s even better if you’ve read the first two as there’s character development and it’s a real time series.

This is set post pandemic and Chowdhury is clever at giving a real sense of time and place. He also touches on political issues as part of the background to the story and explores themes of racism, abuse and other issues, but not in a way that’s in your face. There’s some humour, particularly in the dialogue and the central character is evolving personally and professionally.

At the heart there is a murder mystery, but I think this series is a cut above many and there’s a totally new angle being brought to the genre. It feels up to date and relevant rather than a little cliched and tired. I’m enjoying these stories and look forward to more.



one of years standout reads

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 June 2023

This is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring Kamil Rahman, however, it is my first read by the author (though after reading this I will be rectyfying this), I can say though that it easily reads as a stand alone.

I found this to be a compelling read, wonderfully written and very relevant for today, more of a Police thriller, I loved the way the characters came across, Rahman is different to the norm, for me his character made the book, he seems to be someone definately with a past (that may be more apparant in the first two books), this, played out a little with reminders of his time in India. Now out to prove himself in the Met, he has tenacity and determination to suceed and looks at things in a more logical way. I found the interplay with Anjoli, his not quite girlfriend to be some of the best scenes in terms of human relationships.

On the whole I found the characters written in a way that gave them an air of believeability, you got a real sense of who each were and their role within the story, Anjoli was a definite standout though

The plot for me was superbly constructed, slick in its build up, there was plenty of scope for red herrings and the author does not dissapoint, there are plenty of twists along the way, the final denoument was outstanding in its reveal. You get two plots for the price of one, though both relevant. You can also see the authors background in bringing the plot to life on the page

The writing gives you a real sense of place within the community around Brick Lane and a feel for the area, in fact this is a strongly written book full of murder and mystery

It is a book which tackles racism within the Police and doesn’t shirk this in any way, for me that just added to the story in terms of realism sadly prevalent in certain circles. By the end though I felt that there was a certain respect building if not one of friendship, though this has along way to go

I was drawn into the story from the opening prologue which at first had me intrigued but is central to the plot line, definitely engaging, at times I found the book hard to put down, there is a real gritty down to earth feel about the book, a standout read, it plays on many themes

Overall this was highly enjoyable read, which will appeal to all who lover there crime fiction, one to recommend. 5*



A more-ish tale in a delicious series

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 June 2023

If you’re looking for a moreish detective series to add to your reading menu, then the tantalising books starring disgraced Kolkata detective Kamil Rahman could provide a tasty treat. The insidious threat of rampant technology adds extra spice in this excellent third helping, where Rahman is now a fresh new Detective Constable with the Met Police in London, after stints as a waiter then cook at an Indian restaurant in Brick Lane.

Ajay Chowdhury, who was himself a tech entrepreneur (the founder or CEO of some hugely successful startups, eg Shazam) before becoming a crime writer, spins an engrossing tale in The Detective where Rahman is part of a team investigating the murder of a tech CEO whose company was on the verge of a secret $4 billion sale. But why would a company that creates algorithms for a dating site be so valuable? As cloak and dagger events hamper the investigation, and Kamil’s friend-or-more Anjoli digs into the discovery of three century-old skeletons, another murder turns up the heat.

The Detective is rip-roaring crime novel that nicely balances humour and Kamil’s personal misadventures with serious issues including the tension between privacy and security, and prejudices modern and ancient. A flavourful and filling slice of crime


Sunday Times Best Crime Books of 2021

The Guardian Top Crime Books of the Year 2022 

Published April 2024

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