Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Streets of Darkness (Harry Virdee, #1)” as Want to Read:
Streets of Darkness (Harry Virdee, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Streets of Darkness

(Harry Virdee #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,133 ratings  ·  206 reviews
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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 16th 2016 by Bantam Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Streets of Darkness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Streets of Darkness

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,133 ratings  ·  206 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Streets of Darkness (Harry Virdee, #1)
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
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Streets Of Darkness by A.A. Dhand is the first in the Harry Virdee series and it a great gripping start.
It's a great pulse pounding police thriller from start to finish, it starts with Harry Virdee on suspension from the police for beating a man almost to death (you'll have to read it to find out why😉) and his boss wanting him to work on his own to find a killer.
There are so many twists and turns at every moment also not everyone is who they say they are and they all have some kind of secret or
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
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very well thought out but with a little too much violence for my liking, although I can see how it belongs to the story.
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
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
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
Andy Weston
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting new author to me and I liked the fact that the main character is Sikh although rejected by his family as he married a Muslim - Saima. I also liked that the book is set in Bradford as I live in Yorkshire and I’ve visited the city a few times. It has to be said that Bradford doesn’t exactly emerge as a city of dreams being likened at times to Gotham City. Like many other places it has an overwhelming drugs problem and there is mistrust between the different communities. I li ...more
Bill Lynas
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A detective, suspended from work, discovers a leading politician brutally murdered in a city on the brink of a violent uprising. Welcome to the world of Detective Harry Virdee.
A A Dhand's debut novel tears along at breakneck speed, but still manages to pause & give us some great characters. I found the Sikh & Muslim background to the characters fascinating, having very little knowledge of either, & Dhand brings the city of Bradford brilliantly to life.
The second half of the novel has so much ten
Uh oh.

Cardinal rule broken. (view spoiler)

Book rejected at 61%

Too bad. The prose is okay, uneven pacing, somewhat clichéd characters. 3 stars.

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
Waqar Arif
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Is this real? Has the book really ended after experiencing fear, anger, joy & every other emotion in the book? *Gasps* My receptors are craving for more adrenaline!
That was the last thought before turning the final page of this book. No. Seriously why the hell, this book hasn't got more attention in book readers community, which it deserved?
This story was about D.I Harry Virdee who was a real bad ass cop. Struggling to handle a city (Bradford or in another words Gotham!) which was under siege by
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
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
Alma Marta
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. ...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
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. Eve
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. It ...more
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.
Diego Munoz
A book that is never boring, yet a little too simple and formulaic at times.

There was a torture passage that was quite creative, but then there were other scenes that you could just anticipate would happen.

Overall a good book, I’d give it 3.5 if I could.
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Man on the Street (Jimmy Mullen #1)
  • Truth Be Told
  • The Curator (Washington Poe, #3)
  • Hunt (Dr Bloom)
  • City of Ghosts
  • Out for Blood (DI Eve Hunter, #2)
  • Body Breaker (DI Avison Fluke #2)
  • Never Be Broken (DI Marnie Rome, #6)
  • Born in a Burial Gown (DI Avison Fluke #1)
  • Girl A
  • Find The Girl
  • Silent Tide (DCI Boyd Crime, #1)
  • The Smiling Man (Aidan Waits #2)
  • CHILD’S PLAY (DI Sarah Quinn Mystery Book 4)
  • Brothers in Blood
  • A Dark Matter (The Skelfs, #1)
  • Black Summer (Washington Poe, #2)
  • The Missing (Darby McCormick #1)
See similar books…
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 (4 books)
  • Girl Zero (Harry Virdee, #2)
  • City of Sinners (Harry Virdee #3)
  • One Way Out (Harry Virdee #4)

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
100 likes · 49 comments