Streets of Darkness (D.I. Harry Virdee) Paperback – 23 Feb 2017
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"This up-to-the-minute debut is a scorching story of a city divided . . . Written with pace and precision, it gives us a character destined for television but also announces the arrival of a formidable crime writer." (Daily Mail)
"Outstanding - relentless, multi-layered suspense and real human drama make this a crime debut to relish" (Lee Child)
"A tense slice of neo-noir that has won Dhand comparisons to both BBC drama Luther and HBO’s The Wire " (Observer)
"Dhand's Streets of Darkness are in Bradford and they sure are dark . . . The blood count is high but the novel deserves attention for its sheer inventiveness and unbridled energy" (The Times)
"A sombre, gritty race through the unsettling underbelly of Bradford . . . compelling and unflinching" (Yorkshire Post)
A major debut thriller that does for Bradford what The Wire did for BaltimoreSee all Product description
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DI Harry Virdee is the protagonist, suspended from work and facing an IPCC investigation. He is a broken man seeking to restore his reputation and some form of redemption. His wife Saima is pregnant with their first child and their relationship is extremely complex. Harry being from a traditionally Sikh background, although he follows no faith now. Saima being from a traditionally Muslim background and a believer in Islam herself. Their families have disowned them, considering their union as impure. They must start their family with virtually no support, Harry’s brother Ronnie being the only family member still willing to talk to the young couple.
I instantly warmed to Harry and saima and found their relationship to be one of exceptional depth and the themes of religion fascinating.
Harry leaves in the early hours, for a jog in Lister park. The park is soon to be hosting an Asian Mela, a three-day cultural event and this with Eid approaching. Only this day proves to be anything but holy, when Harry stumbles across a dead body in the park….
The dead body isn’t just any man, it is Shakeel Ahmed a successful businessman and newly elected MP. Shakeel has been crucified, with a swastika carved into the middle of his chest and the words “Christ died for our sins; he died for this”. With Shakeel being a known devout Muslim it is safe to assume this murder is a hate crime.
Detective superintendent George Simpson (Harry’s boss pre-suspension) head of the (HMET) homicide and major enquiry team, asks Harry for a favour. He asks Harry to track down Lucas Dwight, his blood having been found at Shakeel property. Lucas has recently been released from prison and was previously the leader of the BNP for Bradford. He is an addict, a fascist and has just been released after a 14yr stretch inside. He is the prime suspect. George warns Harry that if Lucas isn’t located soon. It could have a political backlash and the reoccurrence of the race riots of 1995 and 2001.
In the background to this, a local man named Colin Reed sets to use the murder to his advantage by ordering Martin Davis (current leader of the BNP) to plan a riot to coincide with the Asian Mela. But who is Colin Reed and what is his agenda? Also what benefit does it set for Martin Davis to see Bradford set alight?
Bashir Iqbal also becomes liberated with the death of Shakeel. As he is freed from a promise he made to Shakeel, when he was alive. A promise that has links to a wrong from the past. Bashir wants his vengeance and has waited 40yrs for this day. I instantly feared Bashir and found his whole demeanour, of one of an angry, riled man. But I was desperate to know the secret from his past and what drove him this way.
Harry instantly seeks out his brother Ronnie. Ronnie being no stranger to prison himself, has previously served 5yrs in jail. He warns Harry to leave it alone and we also become aware Harry is not allowed any contact with his niece of nephews. The theme of family and honour is interwoven brilliantly throughout the novel. Harry’s shunning from his community and the role of redemption on the human conscience.
Harry finally locates Lucas Dwight, after some classic old fashioned detective work. It is this moment that the novel explodes from the page!!!!!!!!!!
Lucas is not the man, Harry was led to believe. Lucas warns Harry he is being ‘fitted up’ and there are bigger things brewing in Bradford. Harry is unsure what to believe, but upon learning that Lucas has now converted to Islam. Harry starts to wonder if Lucas is on to something. Lucas and Harry now become the unlikely duo, set to solve this mystery and prevent Bradford escalating into chaotic violence……….
This novel has themes of corruption, politics, racial tension, Bradford villians, grudges, BNP politics, dirty cops, revenge and redemption. All rolled into one hell of a read! It is most definitely one not to be missed. 5* Genius
I'm so glad I got this, what a superb read it was. I enjoyed every single page of this book. It's easy one of those reads that leads to just one more chapter, then each chapter leaves you wanting one more.
This is easy one of my best reads of 2017. Even better as I finished this one, I was approved for book 2 via Netgalley. So guess what my next read is.
Drugs, violence, racism, Corruption my goodness this book has it all.
Set in Bradford we are introduced to Harry Virdee. Harry is a police officer who has been suspended, Detective Hardeep "Harry" Virdee.
Disowned by his family, kicked off the job. Married with a child on the way, trying to redeem himself and save his career turns into so much more through this book.
When Shakeel Ahmed is murdered, the police have a suspect in mind, Harry is asked 'off the record' to find him. He is to work the case, strictly off the books.
Harry knows the streets of Bradford better than anyone, and is set off on his crusade to find Lucas Dwight. Dwight a crazy fascist who when imprisoned was as deadly with his mind as with his fists.
Harry has his work cut out for him. Learning who can and can't be trusted is going to be difficult, and the more he figures out, the more things escalate. Can Harry get the baddy and save the city.
Fast paced, this book kept me hooked the whole way through.
I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Harry.
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