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

STREETS OF DARKNESS

Author: A. A. Dhand

Publisher: Transworld

Release Date: June 2016

At the outset of Streets of Darkness high-flying Bradford cop Harry Virdee is on suspension for breaking a man’s jaw. Until a moment of hot-headed impetuousness derailed his career, he was going places – his brutally efficient knack for getting results playing well with his results-orientated superiors. When a pillar of the local Asian community is found murdered with a swastika carved into his chest, Detective Superintendent George Simpson offers Harry a shot at redemption – track down Lucas Dwight, the notorious ex-BNP leader who has just been released from prison, before the city descends into violence.

Streets of Darkness is a compelling contemporary thriller that explores a group of disparate characters trampling the racial fault-lines in the post-industrial Northern city of Bradford. Caught in the crossfire is Harry Virdee, a British-Asian cop, whose ability to cross between cultures – and his knowledge of the underworld – gives him an edge few of his colleagues can muster.

Dhand serves up a fast-paced blend of pulpy, violent scenes, searing social commentary and unscrupulous characters throughout. While the dialogue sometimes lapses into B-movie territory, the action is generally undercut with a wry, twisted sense of humour, and the book scores extra points for providing an insight into Bradford’s past and present, as well as scrutinising the often-conflicted Anglo-Asian experience. A fascinating series opener – I look forward to more.

Review by Tom Leins

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