Adventures in storytelling by Bob Rector

AGENCY RULES by Khalid Muhammad

From the same battlegrounds that birthed the Mujahideen, a young Kamal Khan emerges as a different breed of warrior. Discarding his wealthy family comforts, Kamal becomes a precision sniper, an invincible commando and a clandestine operative bringing intimidation, dominance and death with him to the battlefield. Ending the plague is his prime directive.



Khalid Muhammad’s “Agency Rules” is a spy thriller that takes place in Pakistan’s spook center instead of the ones in London or Langley, or Tel Aviv. Like most Westerners, I know little to nothing about Pakistan’s political structure and infighting, so I tossed all that aside and concentrated on the story. Being a writer, that’s something I DO know about.

Khalid Muhammad is a gifted storyteller. His lead character, Kamal Khan, is a highly trained fearless fighter and ruthless interrogator, just as you would expect of a super intelligence agent. But Muhammad has also imbued Khan with a introspective sensitivity that makes him human. He doesn’t just act, he questions. And not just prisoners, but himself. Otherwise he would simply be a zealous monster. As it is, we find ourselves rooting for him, because there is a purity in his heart regarding his country. That’s something most of us can identify with.

This fast paced action/adventure has plenty of blood and guts. If this is made into a movie, they will have to order fake blood by the tanker full. But it is never gratuitous, rather it is realistic as can be verified by news reports from this part of the world. Muhammad is simply telling his story honestly. The fact that most of the bloodletting comes from internal power struggles, often spurred by foreign interests, is what gives the story its heft, it’s the engine that drives our hero to take life threatening risks.

Muhammad’s intimate knowledge of Pakistan, both physically and politically, is demonstrated on almost every page, drawing a clear and vivid picture of a troubled but proud country and its often fragmented culture. After reading “Agency Rules,” you’ll never think of Pakistan the same again. You’ll also be thinking that you’ve just been taken on one hell of a thrilling ride. Highly recommended.


Born in Pakistan’s troubled Swat Valley, educated and raised in the United States, Khalid returned to Pakistan almost 17 years ago and fell in love with his country. His debut novel, Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office, is a journey behind the headlines about Pakistan, the world’s most dangerous place, to deliver an intense story that will challenge the reader to question what they have been told.

Find out more about him at, @AgencyRulesPK ( or the Agency Rules Facebook page (

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