Shahid, a young man from the provinces, comes to London after the death of his father. He finds himself embroiled in a battle between liberalism and fundamentalism in a London so noisily exuberant there is scarcely room for his arguments. Shahid is a clean-cut student, trying to make an impression on his college lecturer, Deedee Osgood, who gives his spirits a lift when she takes him to a naked rave party. Shahid's academic prospects are threatened by the intervention of his gangster brother Chili, who, with his Armani suits and Gucci loafers, moves into Shahid's bedsit as a hideout, bringing unnecessary danger and excitement with him. Set in London in 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin wall and the fatwah, "The Black Album" is a thriller with a characteristically lively background: raves, ecstasy, religious ferment and sexual passion in a dangerous time.

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