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Tariq Ashkanani Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Welcome to Cooper (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Follow Me To the Edge (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Tariq Ashkanani
Tariq Ashkanani is a solicitor based in Edinburgh, where he also helps run Write Gear, a company which sells high-quality notebooks for writers. Having been inspired by his own writing journey, he is the co-host of Write Gear’s podcast called Page One, and he helped launch The Writer’s Notebook, a planning system for aspiring novelists

Tariq had no formal writing training or consultation before writing “Welcome to Cooper”. But he wanted to write a story that wasn’t about your typical New York or Los Angeles, so he made up a tiny town of Cooper.

He liked that he got to invent a place, since he could make the layout whatever he wanted. He picked the state of Nebraska, since it is somewhere remote enough that was easy to get to, yet somewhere still in the middle of nowhere. Almost like a purgatory type place. Despite never having visited the Midwest, it still seemed like the perfect place to set the novel.

It started as a short story that Tariq wrote almost ten years before the book got published for a writing group he was a part of. One of the weeks they were doing a detective story, and he wrote it and believed it had the makings for a good opening chapter for a proper novel.

Within four years, he had the bones of his novel, “Welcome to Cooper”. But the first few drafts were vomit on a page. He drafted and drafted over and over. He had learned this from experience and his podcast, but every writer struggles on the first draft. Realizing he wasn’t the only one that struggled with this, and knowing he wasn’t alone in it, was incredibly helpful. Tariq would write mornings and evenings as he commuted from Edinburgh to Glasgow, spend some more years redrafting, getting friends to offer feedback, and eventually find an agent.

Finding an agent took him eighteen months. He was getting knocked back the entire time, then when it was when he was number fifty-something of agent submissions, he finally made it. Together, they worked on the novel—adding a subplot, fifteen thousand words, and made it ten times better. Then they submitted it to publishers. By then, it only took six weeks before it got picked up, and he was signed to a two book deal.

One jarring aspect of writing his second novel is that he only had eight months to sit down to write it, not all time in the world he had with his first book.

From the time he was just a kid, he had wanted to be a writer. He loved writing. He got the writing Scouts badge. Most kids got adventure badges, for climbing or abseiling, however he turned up with a notebook filled with stories that he had written.

Tariq’s debut novel, called “Welcome to Cooper”, was released in the year 2021. His work is from the mystery genre.

“Welcome to Cooper” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. In an explosive thriller of dark crimes and bad decisions, Detective Levine knew that his transfer was a punishment, however he had no idea how bad it’d get.

Cooper, Nebraska, is forgotten and forgettable, a town that somebody would stumble into only if you had taken a serious wrong turn. Like Detective Thomas Levine’s career has. However when a young woman is discovered lying in the snow, having been choked to death and her eyes gouged out, the disgraced detective is Cooper’s one hope to restore justice and peace.

For Levine, who still grieves and feeling the guilt over his girlfriend’s death, his so-called “transfer” from the big city to this grubby backwater has always felt like a punishment. And when his irascible new partner shoots their prime suspect using Thomas’s own gun, all hope of redemption is ruined. With the case in chaos, and both a violent drug cartel and blackmail to contend with, he finds he’s in a world of trouble.

Things get worse. The real killer still is out there, and he has plans for Detective Levine. And Cooper might just be the perfect place to get away with murder.

This novel has a unique writing style, some good plot twists and turns, with a hero that is deeply flawed. Tariq delivers a brilliant noir thriller, that is disturbing and bleak with a cast of unforgettable characters that are both flawed and incredibly wrong. The book is rather clever, playing with perception and character the entire time, and this story moves along briskly and before you know it, you are in as deep as the lead character and feeling a bit complicit in it all. Readers found this to be beautiful yet rather disturbing.

“Follow Me to the Edge” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2022. Joe Finch, a rookie detective, knows better than most what tragedy really looks like. However solving the brutal murder of a whole family. Just another day in Cooper.

Even for the sleazy backwater that is Cooper, Nebraska, the multiple murder of a whole family, brutally bludgeoned to death while in their beds, is major news.

Detective Joe Finch, raw with guilt because of his partner’s traumatic shooting during one routine traffic stop, hopes the case is going to at least focus his mind. However then he learns that the crime scene is the house that he grew up in, and the ghosts from his own tragic childhood come rushing right back to confront him.

While Finch dredges the criminal and corrupt mires of Cooper to desperately hunt for the truth, the one certainty is that everybody there is lying. Caught between a violent cartel boss, some greedy politicians, one ambitious reporter, and the sinister cult that lurks in the cornfields right on the outskirts of town, Finch is out of his depth before too long.

In a town where the law just exists to be bent or broken, can he steel himself against the entrenched evil and the haunting spectre of his own past, and live to serve justice in the town of Cooper?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Tariq Ashkanani

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