Zeenat Mahal, an accomplished romance writer and debut novelist, posted a fantastic 4 star review of Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office. Her comments included:
“There are many good things in this story. For me as a Pakistani reader, it was great to see a realistic view of the army and the ISI rather than a demonized, warped version where the ISI is a veritable Sauron’s Eye on all things terrorist. Khalid Muhammed has inscribed the history and the role of the ISI in an interesting tale about a young Pathan soldier. We see a lot through his eyes; his idealism, his disillusionment with the way things must be and his restoration of faith in the army and himself, are all delineated in a gripping narrative of espionage. The author packs a lot of punch in the two hundred odd pages.
I did think that the initial few pages about the Prime Minister was an information dump but the writer skillfully throws the reader into an alpha-headlock between the army and the politicians and I was too much at home with the power struggle to worry about anything else. The Taliban element though a bit expected, is also something that is expected to filter into any narrative Pakistani, especially in one such as this, entrenched in high-level good old soldier-spy patriotic games.
The humour is timely and varies from tongue in cheek to parody, which I enjoyed thoroughly, especially the bits about Kama’s flirtations. They were fewer than I’d have liked but were still both delightful and witty. This is a very masculine voice, and the few small parts dedicated to the female characters are not as well-developed as I’d have wished for but then, this is a thriller and that’s to be expected. A marvelous addition to the fast growing oeuvre of Pakistani popular literature.“