Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Streets of Darkness

Streets of Darkness

by A.A. Dhand

4 out of 5

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…

Harry Virdee is a disgraced detective, who believes the next job will earn him a reprieve and respect once more. He doesn't know that his life, his family, and his city will be at risk.

I got a signed paperback when I met the author in September, which is always awesome.
This review is definitely going to be one of two halves.

So, this story is set in Bradford, and there's a lot of emphasis on the different races and religions that make up this city.
I liked that we have a Sikh detective as the lead character. Harry has lost his family, and respect in the Sikh community, over his decision to marry a Muslim. This all helps give an insight into these different communities, with their traditions and expectations.

The story follows Harry, whose job as a detective is hanging by a thread (he lost his temper and punched someone). One morning he stumbles onto the grizzly murder of one of Bradford's leading Asian businessmen. All signs are pointing towards a recently-released BNP extremist, and things soon spiral into a mass of racial tension.

What follows is a search for clues, for flaws in the theory, and a pile of bodies that start to stack up.

I liked the story, it's somewhat grizzly, violent, and slowly unveils the bigger picture. Finding out the truth about who was behind it all was a very satisfying shock - I never would have guessed!

The not-so-good.
This is a very, very dark view of Bradford. Dhand goes out of his way to insult and degrade Bradford. Every other paragraph, there is some description about how shite Bradford is; how it is a drug-infested, fetid, corrupt place, beyond redemption.
Dhand wants a Gotham City, and he has decided to distort Bradford to suit his needs.
Even if that was ignored, the constant slagging off got very repetitive.

Other things were repetitive by nature. I found that it did go over and over certain points, driving them home, rather than relying on the reader's intellect. It's not a massive thing, but it did slow down the pace, in my opinion.

Also, I was a little confused by Harry's reaction to <spoiler> Lucas getting killed. These two have come from opposite sides - the Sikh detective, and the BNP extremist. They have become almost brothers-in-arms, as they seek to uncover the truth, if not friends. Lucas gets killed and there was next-to-no reaction.</spoiler>

All in all, it's a good thriller, and after the preview of Girl Zero, I will be continuing with the series.


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