Book Review: Streets of Darkness by A. A. Dhand

The 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…

What I Thought:

A. A. Dhand’s debut novel is one that refuses to out on rose-coloured glasses, even though he is writing about his hometown. In Streets of Darkness, Bradford is portrayed as a powerhouse of industry that has fallen into sharp decline, where multi-culturalism is a strained co-existence. When our (anti) hero, Harry Virdee finds the body of a well-known Asian businessmand and politician, it seems as though racial tensions are about to boil over.

It’s a real pleasure to read good crime fiction that is based in another city besides London. There’s nothing wrong with the capital, of course, but other cities have other issues and it’s great to see these explored further.

Streets of Darkness is really excellent and, as I said, there is no attempt to shy away from what is bad about Bradford, which is difficult when writing about your own home town. That’s certainly not to say that it is all bad, but there is definitely an emphasis on the city, the people and even the weather making Bradford a dark place. There are comparisons to Batman’s Gotham City in the novel, if you’re trying to get an idea of the atmosphere!

Harry Virdee is a complex character. Impulsive, and not afraid to use his own methods, when we join him he is suspended from the Police so being right at the beginning of an important case is frustrating and he can’t keep away from it. He is also rebellious in his personal life, being a Sikh who has married a Muslim, leaving Harry and his Wife as virtual outcasts from both their families.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and immediately grabbed the second book, Girl Zero, on Kindle. I need to hurry up though, as there is already a fourth book on the way in June 2019!

Streets of Darkness is published by Bantam Press. To find out more about A. A. Dhand, and his books (including the forthcoming title), you can check out his website.

Please note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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