Streets of Darkness by A. A. Dhand
I first met Amit Dhand after he had been a speaker at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School last year and I bought his debut novel Streets of Darkness. I almost didn’t go to his talk because I had had a busy day and was quite tired and he was an author I had never heard of. However, I am very glad I did go to his talk and he is an author whose name I will not forget.
I am also very glad I bought Streets of Darkness: it is an excellent book. We are introduced to a new detective, Hardeep (Harry) Virdee. Harry is a Sikh who has married a Muslim as a result of which, they have both been ostracised by their families. Harry is facing the loss of his job over an incident when he over-reacted protecting the honour of his pregnant wife. Now, Harry’s wife, Saima is past her due date with their first child and this causes them both stress.
Streets of Darkness has all the usual elements of a standard crime thriller, race, drugs, corruption and murder . But they are not at all stale. This is largely to do with Harry and Saima. Their relationship, despite its background is refreshingly straightforward. Harry isn’t a drunk; he’s not a womaniser; he has a history and a temper, but he’s essentially a good guy in the true sense of the word. Likewise, Saima is a nurse: a clever, educated woman who stands up for herself and reins in Harry’s excesses.
The action in Streets of Darkness takes place over a twenty-four hour period. It’s gritty, violent and perfect for fans of Tess Gerritsen or Lee Child; or anyone who enjoys the BBC’s drama, Luther. It would be an excellent book club read and I look forward to reading more by this talented author.
Amit A. Dhand was raised in Bradford and spent his youth observing the city from behind the counter of a small convenience store. After qualifying as a pharmacist, he worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to Bradford to start his own business and begin writing. The history, diversity and darkness of the city have inspired his Harry Virdee novels.