Edward F. Wilson, author of A VERY BRITISH ENDING, had this to say:
CrimeFictionLover gave the novel four stars and called it "a highly-original, engaging, and thought-provoking literary thriller."
Tony Hill gave the book a great review that made me wonder whether I was dreaming:
Victoria Goldman called the book "intriguing, addictive, brutal, gripping, tragic and brilliant." And a snarky cat weighs in, too.)
Although fictional, the experiences Toropov crafts are harrowingly realistic. As Liddell’s memoirs are contested by Firestone’s annotations, the truth becomes a fickle and morally ambiguous figure. Readers will find themselves gripped by this lack of clarity. Toropov seems to take pleasure in making his readers move between the mentalities of a diverse range of characters, forcing them to uncomfortably sympathise with characters that are, at their core, cruel and twisted as well as those who are victims of injustice.
It’s a scarring novel. Readers will be left constantly wondering and second-guessing both the reliability and veracity of the narrative, unsettled by an authorial voice that threatens to self-destruct at any moment. Populated by a range of characters from both the Islamic Republic and the USA, Toropov constantly flips alliances and questions the truth of what terrorism is within the novel. He plays with the emotions of his readers, taunting them with a lack of clarity before bombarding them with intricate detail. If you can keep up as the memoirs appear to unravel, and adjust to the complex and bold narrative innovations that Toropov manipulates, Jihadi is a novel that will haunt you.
Above all else, Toropov has created an incredibly original and engaging novel that offers a damning insight into the complex emotional and political situations that are currently building in the Middle East. Unsettlingly, his observations then look forward, revealing a glimpse into a future of terror that could be.
If you'd like a review copy, please reach out to my publisher Karen Sullivan.