The Messenger

Shiv Malik

Every reporter knows the first rule of journalism: never betray your source. But what if your source turns out to be unworthy of your silence? What if it’s your source who betrays you?

Date Published
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Enthralling and important, an unforgettable journey.’ Mark Townsend, Observer

The Messenger tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two men looking to change the world ‚Äď a repentant jihadist and an idealistic journalist. This troubling real-life thriller takes us from their first meeting in a spartan flat in the rough suburbs of Manchester, to a bombing in Pakistan, a dramatic arrest and Malik‚Äôs reporting career on the brink of ruin.

Ten years later, Malik returns to this extraordinary tale. He asks where we can place our trust ‚Äď in reams of evidence, in a government we believe is on our side, in a terrorist who swears he‚Äôs changed, in a friend who has no one else to turn to. Malik explores the uncomfortable questions about why he, as well as the wider media and the nation, surrendered to fear so easily. And he reveals how the age of terror laid the groundwork for an era of fake news and demagogues.

This is investigative journalism and storytelling of the highest order.

Critic Reviews

Gripping and disquieting, this true story of homegrown terrorism and shifting allegiances is as thrilling as any spy novel. I devoured it in a single sitting.

Cal Flyn
Critic Reviews

This book has literally kept me up at night way past bedtime. Riveting and so moving. What a great book.

Kate Kilalea
Critic Reviews

Enthralling and important, an unforgettable journey through the dark corridor where truth collides with the chicanery of government and sources are never quite what they seem.

Mark Townsend, Observer

Shiv Malik is a reporter for the Guardian. He has written for New Statesman, the Sunday Times and the Independent on Sunday among others. He is a regular contributor in the UK media – Newsnight, Today, Channel 4 News – on issues of terrorism and economics. He is the author of Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth.

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