The J word of the title is "Jewish". Of course, in modern Britain, that should be two words as so many struggle and juggle with their cultural and religious identities. How much of a Jew and how much of an Ish. This intelligent novel from Andrew Sanger manages to take a perfect snapshot of life in contemporary Jewish London, with its protaganist, a man who is certainly more comfortable with his Ish. With delicious irony, the character of Jack, whose efforts to deny his Jewish identity delineates the storyline and backdrop of this well-paced, well-written and well-considered adventure, is the most traditional of Jews: you can feel the shrug that accompanies every line he utters as yiddish as his lexicon (thoughtfully translated in the novel's forensic glossary) and his wry otherness, as this self denying anti-hero returns to London's haimishe heartland. The plotline device turning on overt anti-semitism and prejudices, carries the action at a page-turning pace, yet does not overshadow what is essentially a superb musing on the wider themes of identity. The relationship between grandfather and grandson, and the missing link in the absent generation that connects them, develops and flourishes well. However, on re-reading this book the other evening, the other relationship - that of Jack and his late wife Miri - is the warmth that allows us to love and understand the central character himself. A great read and an even better re-read.