June 13

Streets of Darkness – A. A. Dhand

Streets of DarknessThe sky over Bradford is heavy with foreboding. It always is. But this morning it has reason to be – this morning a body has been found. And it’s not just any body.

Detective Harry Virdee should be at home with his wife. Impending fatherhood should be all he can think about but he’s been suspended from work just as the biggest case of the year lands on what would have been his desk. He can’t keep himself away.

Determined to restore his reputation, Harry is obliged to take to the shadows in search of notorious ex-convict and prime suspect, Lucas Dwight. But as the motivations of the murder threaten to tip an already unstable city into riotous anarchy, Harry finds his preconceptions turned on their head as he discovers what it’s like to be on the other side of the law…


My thanks to Ben at Transworld for my review copy.

Detective Harry Virdee is an angry man.  His temper has landed him a suspension from the police and his timing is terrible as one of the most important cases that he could ever have handled is being taken away from him.

A prominent politician has been murdered, all the evidence points towards it being a racially motivated attack by the BNP and Bradford, a city with a history of racial tensions, becomes a powder-keg of tension.  The police are keen to keep events under wraps but someone has other ideas – there are factions scrabbling for supremacy of the criminal underworld and they will use any means possible to exploit weakness and cause chaos.

Harry Virdee is given free run by his boss to do whatever it takes to track down and capture the prime suspect in the murder (Lucas Dwight).  But Lucas and Harry have a history and bringing in his former nemesis is not going to be easy.

Streets of Darkness is a stunning debut. A A Dhand lights the blue touch-paper from the first chapter and the action seems relentless. There are so many strong and memorable characters in this story, all vying for attention, all destined to clash at some point and the city of Bradford is their arena. This is the story you will start and not want to put down.

As the star of the show Harry Virdee is a strong lead character, seemingly haunted and driven by an incident in his past (see the anger issues).  His wife, Saima, is heavily pregnant and Harry is determined not to cause her undue worry…this is going to be tricky.  Saima is equally determined as her husband and she was a brilliant contrast to Harry, their interchanges over baby names were wonderful…great moments of fun to lighten the mounting tension.

The bad guys are BAD. No spoilers but who would have thought a brown paper bag could contain something so familiar yet so terrifying to a captive prisoner!

We should be hearing a lot about Streets of Darkness in the coming months as it is a debut of some note.  An absolute cert for a 5/5 review score, I tore through it and felt drained at the end. There is so much more I want to know about Harry and his family, it cannot come soon enough.



Streets of Darkness is published by Bantam Press on 16 June and is available to order here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Streets-Darkness-Detective-Harry-Virdee/dp/0593076648/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465852614&sr=1-1&keywords=streets+of+darkness

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Posted June 13, 2016 by Gordon in category "5* Reviews", "From The Bookshelf