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Publisher's Summary

When investigative journalist Shiv Malik was betrayed by a source he considered a friend, he spent almost fifteen years tracking down the truth about what happened. The Messenger is an extraordinary audio tale of friendship, lies, betrayal, terrorism, the destruction of a marriage, and the insidiousness of fake news long before it went viral. In the wake of the 7/7 London bombings, Shiv Malik began working for the BBC to discover how young South Asian men like him had turned into suicide bombers. That's when he met notorious Islamist spokesman Hassan Butt, who told Shiv that he'd repented and left al-Qaeda. Hassan wanted Shiv to write his biography, and Shiv thought he'd found the biggest story of his life—a story that would help to change the world for the better. Little did he know that Hassan Butt would almost destroy his life. Over the next three years, Shiv and Hassan became friends, until one day there was a knock on the door from police investigators and everything fell apart. In eight revealing episodes, featuring Shiv's own audio recordings of his conversations with Hassan, Shiv searches for where he can place his trust: in the reams of evidence, in the cops, in a terrorist who swears he's changed, or in a friend who has no one else to turn to? Produced by Topic Studios.
©2020 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC

What listeners say about The Messenger

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insightful

shiv has done really well with this book. check it out you won't be disappointed

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Raw and very real

While we still don’t know exactly what is real and what is not real about Hassan’s story, Shiv’s observations and experiences did much to illuminate the human condition. Should he have been more diligent? Yes. (He wanted to believe too much.) But this book is incredible precisely because it is *not the redemption story he set out to tell. None of us go away feeling better about ourselves. We go away looking more deeply at ourselves.

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The Real Keyser Soze

The gripping true story of Trust and Betrayal of Shiv Malik by Hassan Butt an Al-Muhajiroun member, Al-Qaeda operative, reformed Jihadist, MI5 informant or non of the above and Reporter Shiv Malik who was taken for the ride of his life or a ride? Nothing is what it seems. Absolutely loved it, it should be a feature film.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-2020

A gripping listen

I loved this podcast, to the point I ended up listening to every episode in only two sittings. It was informative and interesting, telling a highly personal and reflective tale of journalism within a UK and global political context that has impacted on is all. I'd highly recommend to everyone.

6 people found this helpful

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  • innes
  • 07-11-2020

Binged this one

Gripping story of a journalist beguiled by his source. Incredible honesty and self knowledge from author Shiv Malik about his ups and downs as he tried for 10 years to get to the truth. Lots here that I didn't get from reading the book. Full disclosure: I'm one of the people interviewed in this serial. (Cameo role only - but I won't hold that against them.)

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-2020

Good production values but a weak story

It took a long time to tell this very thin story. It’s not exactly an unusual story either. I was left at the end going “really? Is that it?”. Production values are excellent, which kept me thinking “no there must be more to it than this if they’ve spent so much money on it.” Nope.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mrs samantha l craig
  • 07-11-2020

Gripped from start to end.

excellent, highly recommend. Compelling story and well narrated by the writer who gives an incredibly honest, meaningful and soul bearing account of his journey into this investigation of twists and turns. Couldn't break away once I had started. Good job its Saturday.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Godwin
  • 24-11-2020

very interesting

I had no idea about the informational relayed. it far exceeded my best personal expectations.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miss P Brennan
  • 23-11-2020

Compelling

Loved it! Very interesting, flows well, a compelling story. . Will be buying the book!

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  • Joanna Frawley
  • 22-11-2020

A little bit too 'poor me'

I did enjoy this but felt like too much of the podcast was the author trying to get sympathy about how badly he'd been treated, as opposed to taking more responsibility and focusing on the story behind what had been truth and what had been a lie, which was what I was really interested in. At points I was tempted to stop listening because the constant 'poor me' narrative became too overwhelming. The section about the police asking to see how recordings I found particularly grating - when should journalists protecting their sources take precedence over national security and stopping terrorism? And it seemed to me the press treated the police, who were just doing their jobs, very badly. It felt like the author was more bothered about trying to protect his precious book than a terrorist being stopped and lives saved. (even if it did turn out not to be true). After that section I really stopped sympathising with the author and was happy to rattle through the final episodes without properly focusing. An interesting listen definitely but too biased for me.

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  • Roisin
  • 21-11-2020

A Great Listen!

Really enjoyed this audio, its rather a gripping story and nicely read. Takes you into an altogether other world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James Whitehead
  • 18-11-2020

A deep character study

This is a really interesting series, very well crafted. It is basically a character study of a very complex man, and I'm still not sure it manages to pin down exactly who he is. It also tracks the collateral damage that this one man causes when people place their trust in him. For comparison, it reminds me of the "Sh*t town" podcast in many ways.

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  • Adeline Daly
  • 17-11-2020

intriguing listen

very interesting story and we'll told through various points of view. great honesty and self reflection from the author.

1 person found this helpful

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