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Streets of Darkness

(Harry Virdee #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Streets of Darkness
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 16th 2016 by Bantam Press
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Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
*Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld publishers for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Bradford is a city in the north of England, a city that played a huge part in the industrial revolution of the late 18th century. It was renowned throughout the world for its massive textile production, which in turn brought huge wealth to this city. The Bradford of today however is a completely different place, and it's here that we're introduced to the fictional character of D
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are a few books in crime fiction that transcend their genre, this is one of them. The Streets of Darkness brings us a distinct contribution that reflects issues and characters that bring us a vivid picture of contemporary Britain. More specifically, it's about Bradford. The city is the large canvas within which the story takes place and the characters exist. They are authentically and peculiarly Bradford people, through whom Dhand exercises his storytelling gifts.

Bradford, its history of
Louise Wilson
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Set in Bradford this crime story mixed with religion is gripping from the start.

DI Harry Virdee is suspended from work when he discovers the crucified body of Shakeel Ahmed newly elected MP for Bradford West.

Blood found at the scene has been identified as Lucas Dwights a member of the BNP recently released after 14 years in prison.

Harry is Sikh and married to a heavily pregnant Muslim woman who are both estranged from their families because they chose to marry outside their religion.

This is a b
Rachel Hall
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
A.A. Dhand has borrowed from the recent history of Bradford in terms of race relations and economic deprivation, added a shot in the arm of drugs, prostitution, corruption and sleaze and overlaid with a general malaise. The result is a little heavy on the melodrama and leaves Streets of Darkness feeling like a story which lives or dies on the turn of race relations in the city. Bradford is not unique is having seen the decline of the traditional industries which established their former prosperi ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Having heard lots of great things about this book I had to get myself a copy and I’m very glad I did.

Harry is an extremely complex character. He is a good guy but then he will stop at nothing when it comes to those he loves. As much as I really liked his character, there was a certain darkness to him that made me slightly wary of him.

The fact that Harry is suspended from work doesn’t stop him from getting involved in a case that he really shouldn’t do. Harry seems to know a lot of what is going
What a good read! Many thanks to my Goodreads friends for introducing me to this author.
I picked up this one in a charity shop as a paperback to see whether it worked for me - it did!
I really liked Harry as the lead character however all the other characters were worthwhile too. Bradford as a dark dysfunctional backdrop was well used and effective. The pace and tension was well crafted and could have easily made this unputdownable.
The use of ethnic and racial tensions impressed me - hard to do
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a Bradfordian who left a long time ago, I had very mixed feeling about reading Streets of Darkness. Bradford was my birthplace and where I spent my childhood. Streets of Darkness is a dark, gritty drama capturing some of the reasons why I find Bradford a tough place to be. This is Bradford crime noir!

Dhand cleverly shares the real Bradford with his readers. This is a Bradford that I am familiar with and also unfamilar with. I never lived in any of the areas of mentioned, but I was aware of th
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this novel over the past two consecutive days. It is quite remarkable and centres on just one day in the life of suspended police officer DI Harry Virdee. Fast paced, action driven it shows Harry desperate to control his rage, support his pregnant wife and get his job back.
Secrets and Lies, Revenge and Redemption and even Crime and Passion. This book has it all and is an incredible debut novel from an author writing about what they know while demonstrating a skill to explore the darker si
Andy Weston
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written and completely plausible piece of Yorkshire noir that paints a bleak picture of Bradford as drug crime lords and the BNP battle on its streets bringing memories of the riots of 2001.
It’s no surprise that the TV rights sold even before the book was published in 2016.
Though it has as hero DI Hardeep Virdee (or Harry) divisions of right and wrong are not as clear cut as in a typical crime thrillers. With its graphic images of violence this is an unsettling end at times, and
Sharon Bolton
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it

This is a debut crime novel, set in Bradford. I’m from the north of England, not this part of Yorkshire, but not far away, so I know what its like to grow up and live in these grim northern towns, that always seem to be passed over by whatever economic boom is sweeping across the country.

In the town where I grew up, it was always a recession. I don’t think I knew anyone who was comfortably off until I went to university. And the Bradford of this book, frequently and amusing referred to as Gotha
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wowser. This is not the sort of book I would usually choose to read but I was sent a proof copy in exchange for a review.

I was surprised to find myself gripped by the story! I loved the fact that the policeman in this tale is a Sikh, and that the various aspects of religion and race are dealt with throughout the story in both interesting and matter of fact ways. The story is British but just like Britain there are many multicultural issues too.

The characters are never monochrome but deeply shad
Winter Sophia Rose
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Action Packed, Compelling, Shocking, Gritty, Intense & Breathtaking! An Excellent Read! I Loved It!
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given a proof copy of this book from Ben Willis of Transworld Books/ Penguin Random House. Huge, huge thanks for that Ben as this has got to be my favourite debut novels of 2016!!

I am not sure that any amount of “EEEEEKs” or “Oh My Friggin’ Gods” will get across the sheer excitement I felt when I finished reading this book. I only hope I can do it justice by my review, as #bookjunkies….this book is pure genius!

The story is set in Bradford and there were a lot of comparisons to Gotham (Batm
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Streets of Darkness is to my knowledge the first crime book set in Bradford that I have encountered, and with only having visited the city a couple of times, my curiosity was instantly aroused with the mouthwatering prospect of unexplored crime territory. Unlike other British police procedural writers, Dhand paints an entirely bleak and unflinching portrait of this city, without the little moments of affection that normally punctuate other writers’ portrayals of their home towns. The image that ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably more a 3.5 because I don't quite believe the ending is plausible.

At the beginning this promises to be one of these bad boy copy detective series, who fights the criminal world not quite according to the law. The twist is that it plays in Bradford, which adds frisson because of its cultural heritage and it's multi-ethnicity without being cosmopolitan. There is also a very interesting twist because it picks up on problems not only between "white" Bradfordians and its Asian population, bu
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Police Procedurals are my bread and butter genre but they do get a bit samey so I am always looking out for something a little extra and I do believe that I have found it with this brilliant series opener.
Not only do we have a Sikh cop, he has a Muslim wife and has been ex-communicated from his family. He is also currently suspended from the force for being a little "heavy handed" oh, and add to the mix a dark secret from his past and we have a great main character in Harry Virdee. Oh and did I
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A chance conversation with Ben Willis at Transworld Books brought about a copy of this beauty arriving on my doorstep, and all I can say is a massive thank you to Ben, he was right, this is an absolute gem of a book!

From the very outset I was gripped, Harry Virdee is a man with a secret, a troubled past and a very troubled present. Stepping away from the "textbook" police procedural Dhand gives us a protagonist that breaks all the previously set stereotypes. He's a Sikh policeman, he's happily
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The blurb on this book compares it to The Wire, and I wouldn't go that far as The Wire is one of my favourite TV programmes of all time. It's not really like The Wire at all, but it's still pretty good. There's a lot of action, as Harry Virdee, freshly suspended from duty, is tasked with bringing in ex-BNP leader Lucas Dwight, newly released from prison and under suspicion of murdering a newly elected Muslim MP. Harry has a lot on his plate - his wife Saima is about to give birth. Both their fam ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this crime thriller which is set in Bradford, the main character is Harry who has just been suspended from the the police force for what he thought was a justified vicious attack on a member of the public. He is married to Saima who he met on one of his many visits to the A&E department of the local hospital. Both their families have turned their backs on them as they think that they have committed the ultimate sin in marrying out of their religion, Harry is Sikh and Saima is Muslim. ...more
Vicki - I Love Reading
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017

I somehow stumbled across an older review for this book by the fantabulous #CrimebookJunkie. I knew then I needed to read this book, and I decided it was time I treated myself to the paperback, because come on, a girl can never have enough books.
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
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is edge of your seat stuff. religious and political conflict, mixed marriages, racial hatred, drugs, corrupt business men. All connected. What more do you want. I didn't want this to end.
Wendy Cartmell
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Wow, this was a great read. I really enjoyed the dark, gritty side of Harry and of Brad
Helen (TBC)
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book absolutely blew me away ... fast paced, suspenseful and brilliantly written. Very difficult to review without spoilers so I'll keep it brief:

The characters were well drawn and all too believable, the premise and plot are just fabulous and the author takes you on a breathtaking roller coaster ride through a city where tensions are expertly manipulated, buttons are pressed and the whole tinderbox ignites. The emotions and fears of the main characters are brilliantly portrayed, a historic
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Pretty terrible paint by numbers police based thriller! Described as Luther meets the wire is probably the most inaccurate comparison ever made! If you like Luther (great detective show) and the wire (the seminal tv show of a generation and also the definitive cop show) then this book isn't for you... because you clearly have taste.

The book is bland, the author never really explores the characters with any real depth and just expects the reader to take it at face value that they have had a hard
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dystopic view of Bradford and its inhabitants.

As a detective novel the plot is well crafted. However, the author gives a very jaundiced view of Bradford's diverse inhabitants. I will be interested to know if other Bradford-born readers will have the same feeling of anger as I had by the time I finished reading this book.
Elizabeth Ducie
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers, crime
DI Harry Virdee is a Sikh, married to a Muslim, ostracised by both his family and hers, living in the racial and social turmoil that is Bradford. He is facing the loss of his job over an incident where protecting the honour of his pregnant wife got out of hand. Can life get any worse? Oh yes, it certainly can.

Race, corruption, murder - this book has all the usual elements of a standard crime thriller. But somehow, they don't seem stale, and this is largely to do with Harry and Saima. Their relat
Compelling and fascinating portrait of a divided city, and the difference between the life that’s seen and the underworld that hides away. The entire book takes place in just one day, giving it an increasingly claustrophobic atmosphere. For me, it was a bit too graphic in its violence, but DI Virdee is an interesting character so I wouldn’t rule out reading more of the series.

My rating strategy:

5 stars = An all time favourite, I could tell you about this 10 years later.

4 stars = Loved this, real
Melanie O'Neill
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I rocked through this book... been snowing for the last few days so what better excuse.. this is based in Bradford a city I know well which made it even more interesting . A high paced thriller, extremely exciting, interesting characters and I would highly recommend. A solid 3:5 , looking forward to the next one in the series.
Libby Cowling
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Omg an amazing look into the world of the police fighting crime drugs and gangs with a love story twisted in there too
Timothy Dobbin
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gritty, but is it realistic? If anyone really knows what goes on at all levels in a city like Bradford you need to find someone that can gain the trust from all walks of life. This could be your man, it might seem a bit far fetched in places but until you scratch the surface......
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A.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.

Other books in the series

Harry Virdee (3 books)
  • Girl Zero (Harry Virdee, #2)
  • City of Sinners (Harry Virdee #3)