Ajay Chowdhury

The Spy

#1 Amazon bestseller

Longisted for The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Award 2024

The Spy


Kamil Rahman is working for the Metropolitan Police when he gets the call from MI5. They’ve received intelligence of a terrorist plot, and it’s Kamil they need. Posing as a disaffected cop, and working once again in Anjoli’s beloved restaurant, Kamil infiltrates the cell. From London he is sent to Kashmir, a place he visited with his parents when he was younger.

But his allegiance becomes blurred when he finds himself face to face with an old nemesis…

The spy

Published April 2024

READER reviews

Bew B

I’ve been a big fan of the Kamil Rahman series since the first in the series, ‘The Waiter’ came out in 2021. Now here we are in 2023 and the fourth in the series ‘The Spy’. I have to admit, I started to read this one with tiny bit of reservation; having enjoyed the first three books in the series as much as I have, would it start to lose steam like so many ongoing series I’ve read recently where the author has a strong premise but not one that necessarily has the legs to last and become either retreads of similar themes or devolve into parodies of themselves. I’m pleased to say there was no need to worry with ‘The Spy’. Kamil Rahman has had a busy and complicated life since book 1 – disgraced police officer in his Kolkata home he moved to London and took up a role as a waiter at his extended family’s restaurant in Brick Lane. Since then he’s solved *(with help from his friend and pseudo partner in several senses of the word, Anjoli) some twisty crimes that saw him join British law enforcement. Now, he’s asked to take on a new role as the titular spy for MI5 to infiltrate a terrorist plot. The book continues themes explored in the series – his personal relationship with his closest friend in the world Anjoli and his ex-fiance Maliha, his career, and the ‘displacement’ and confusion Kamil continues to feel – ramped up more in this book as he is forced to explore wrongs committed from those in power in his home country and atrocities going on he realises he is woefully unaware of in Kashmir, One of the real strengths of this book – apart from the continuingly endearing characters and strong story, is the political environment that sits behind it: a central part of the story that made me want to learn more about the subject ,but never became distractingly polemic. In a genre where an extended series can become unrealistic in order to keep them going (why DOES that person keep coming across crimes?) or the more traditional/ overdone police procedurals, the Kamil Rahman series continues to move along organically and, at the end of this one, suggests an exciting opportunity for book #5, whenever it might come.

Surjit P

My thoughts about Ajay Chowdhury’s The Spy writer Ajay Chowdhury has written a story which has so many twists and turns that it keeps the readers completely hooked. The pace is so phenomenal that the reader’s do not get any time to think. The drama is not just interesting but also pretty engaging and engrossing. Ajay Chowdhury’s writing is superb. His narration keeps the readers engrossed right from the word ‘go’. He deserves full marks for writing a book on this scale and for keeping the narration so tight. Ajay Chowdhury’s 4th book in the Detective Kamil Rahman series this time the book’s story revolves around the concept of terrorism that is set in Kashmir is spectacular. Ajay Chowdhury’s The Spy story begins with Kamil Rahman is working for the Metropolitan Police when he gets the call from MI5. They’ve received intelligence of a terrorist plot, and it’s Kamil they need. Posing as a disaffected cop, and working once again in Anjoli’s beloved restaurant, Kamil infiltrates the cell. From London he is sent to Kashmir, a place he visited with his parents when he was younger. But his allegiance becomes blurred when he finds himself face to face with an old nemesis. Overall Ajay Chowdhury’s The Spy is bloody smart. In its taut storyline, stylish mystery and good characters, it keeps you engaged, does not insult your intelligence and avoids getting preachy. I would like to say a big thank you to author Ajay Chowdhury and publishers Vintage books for kindly letting me read this breathtaking book on netgalley

Carol E


As always, this another triumph from a great writer who seemlessly marries the current political/social issues with the old characters we’ve come to love through previous books. However don’t be put off – this, like all previous books, can be read as a stand alone story but then you’d be missing out on Kamil’s journey both physically and emotionally to see how he’s ended up where he is at the start of The Spy. I really enjoy the dilemmas he faces, work wise and love interest. I found myself routing for him to just come to a decision. I also found the background of how Indian politics and current treatment of Kashmiris especially interesting, which has sparked a decision to investigate more about the situation to which hitherto I knew very little. I have raved about these books to many friends and family and genuinely can’t wait for the next one.



WOW! The Spy is the perfect mix of contemporary politics, humour, action and romance. It transported me from Brick Lane to Kashmir with love, empathy and a compelling narrative that explores themes around racism, prejudice, political subterfuge, terrorism and all of these are explored in a knowledgeable and accessible way.

Thought provoking and informative, The Spy is the best in a series that just keeps getting better and better with each installment. Chowdhury is the master of combining hard hitting themes with humour (sometimes dark) and romance. In Kamal and Anjoli he has created a modern day Holmes and Watson – the main difference being that the characters shift equally well between both roles, with neither always being the foil to the other’s superior wit (although IMO Anjoli perhaps carries the edge there).

I am so pleased that there is a new short story about to be released which will take me on moreadventures with this intrepid duo.


Dave B


The Spy is the latest book in Ajay Chowdhury’s excellent Kamil Rahman series. For those new to the series Rahman is a former Calcutta police officer forced to flee to London after refusing to ignore corruption that he unearths. Finding employment first as a waiter,then a Cook in a Brick Lane restaurant before finally joining the Met. In this book he’s approached by members of the security services and asked to go undercover in a mosque where extremists are thought to be hatching a deadly plot.
This is an excellent read that combines an intelligent story-line with plenty of humour and an insight into life in Britain for Muslims today. It’s quite political which might put off some but it’s informative rather than preachy. I had no idea of the current situation in Kashmir and through reading this I looked further into something that as so often the West decides not to speak about but really should.
There are some great characters in this series with Rahman torn between 2 women and my favourite,Chanson….the culinary equivalent of Derek Zoolander ,probably the only time I’ve laughed out loud over a menu of all things.
If this is the first book you’re read in this series I’d advise starting from the beginning, there is enough of the backstory given to make sense of Rahman’s situation in this one but you’ll be missing a real treat if you skip the first 3.
I don’t know where Rahman goes from here but I can’t wait to find out.



Kamil Rahman #4 Detective Kamil Rahman is now employed at the Met though, as per usual, he’s in a spot of bother at work and Anjoli is not happy with him. At all. When he receives a phone call from Imam Masroor expressing concern about extremism and terrorism linked to Kashmir, Kamil goes to meet him to learn more. When Kala Naag- The Black Cobra is mentioned, Kamil takes this information to his friend and boss, DI Tahir Ismael, who in turn informs SO 15 (Counter Terrorism) at New Scotland Yard. Kamil is asked to go undercover by MI5 to infiltrate a group of potential militants at a mosque in Loxford, East London. Initially Kamil refuses, but when things take a serious turn with the disappearance of the Imam, he agrees. His role is to pose as a disgraced and disaffected cop in order to infiltrate the cell. His quest takes him on a physical journey to Kashmir, but also an uncomfortable journey down memory lane as it’s clear his old nemesis in India is linked to the investigation. Meanwhile, Anjoli at the Tandoori Knights restaurant is wrestling with her feelings for Kamil and has a side investigation of her own. This is a bit drawn out at the start with the author starting to connect the plot dots but once it gets going we’re off and a fast paced, rapidly moving storyline keeps you glued to the pages. This is a complex plot and is very believable and I find the Kashmir angle fascinating. The descriptions when Kamil is there are excellent with its beauty jumping from the pages but its difficulties are clear to see. The plot has tension in abundance with the obvious dangers of undercover work with all its attendant possibility of discovery as Kamil discovers himself at the heart of the big puzzle. Kamil has to think on his feet on more than one occasion and you wonder if he can pull it off. He’s at great risk, who can you trust and what moves should I make to get the information MI5 want without endangering himself or others? As the plot develops it’s very good on how torn Kamil becomes and you can understand why. This is a very topical plot which the author handles well as there is a balance of views. You do require a little suspension of disbelief towards the end, but it makes for very exciting reading AJ Choudhury has created some marvellous characters here. This is a crowded genre, but Kamil and Anjoli stand out in my opinion. I love the will they/won’t they vibe between those two and the added confusion of the arrival in London of Kamil’s ex Maliha, who is also an interesting character. The scenes that take place in the restaurant always add colour and taste to the storytelling and they are excellent at relieving the tension of Kamil’s under cover task. The peppering of humour is welcome too though there’s less of Anjoli’s T- shirts this time. What a shame, I love those! Overall, this is another good addition to the series, there’s a different tone this time but it makes for a compelling reading. I’m looking forward to the next adventure or should that be venture? With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Random House UK, Vintage for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.


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