Luther meets The Wire. This is the first Detective Harry Virdee audiobook.
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, and he discovers what it's like to be on the other side of the law....
©2016 A. A. Dhand (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
I would recommend this audible book. The author does not dodge issues of racism and interfaith infighting alongside a riveting powerful story that has numerous unexpected twists. New and refreshing. Wasn't sure about the narration at first but soon felt it was an integral part of my enjoyment of this debut novel. Thanks AA Dhand and Muzz Khan
A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.
I’ve read a lot of new authors in the past year or so and when I noticed this one being trailed by Audible it looked like a must read. Having grown up in a very multi-cultural town and seen and experienced racism and its effects at close hand this book seemed bound to appeal to me – assuming that the author made his characters seem real!
AA Dhand has done just that pulling together a story and set of characters that very much reflect my experiences of how prejudice is wide-spread and multi-faceted. How it normally exists in a bi-lateral fashion between any two groups rather than one-way as is often portrayed. A Sikh married to a Muslim in a city where right wing parties are active is always going to provide rich fodder for a story. Dhand gets stuck right into it, I enjoyed the Virdee character as well as the contrasting spirituality of his wife. This mix of levels of faith and charming superstition reflect many of my own experiences. It brings out a fascinating complexity and sophistication in the character relationships and their motivations.
Of course this book had to be more than just a stroll through Bradford’s problems and faith groups. Billed as a hard-hitting detective story it really delivers, the plot is very good and the violence and threat level of the characters is excellent. Bashir in particular is a very strong character forged from the darkness. If anything I did think the “dark secret from the past coming back to haunt” motif was maybe a tad overdone but otherwise everything was clever and very well thought out.
I did find Muzz Khan’s narration a little difficult at first but he delivers the Asian accents with such obvious authenticity that once I got myself attuned I really enjoyed his performance.
I would recommend this. It is a very refreshing entry into the UK detective genre which delivers as a thriller and a piece of social commentary. I look forwards to reading more about Detective Harry Virdee and his adventures in the dark, gritty parts of Bradford in the future!
Enjoy listening to crime and mystery thrillers. Favourite authors/narrators: Mankell, Nesbo, Hewson, James, Lyndsey/Reichlin & Barrett
As someone who has lived in Bradford during the last 20 years it was interesting to hear the local references. An engaging thriller once you adapt to the reader. Did also engage with the characters and will definitely listen to later volumes of the series (?).
No, but that is only because I don't listen to any audiobook more than once.
Saima because she challenges all the stereotypes of Muslim women, she is strong, intelligent and courageous.
His voice is an authentic Bradford voice for all the characters. At first I thought his accent was too strong, but then it started to really add to the story.
Possibly, but I didn't.
I lived and worked in Bradford for many years and I am familiar with many of the places. This is an excellent first novel that blends the characters and politics of Bradford into an edge of the seat thriller. What makes it authentic is his knowledge of the often complex relationships between different communities in Bradford. I know of couples just like Harry and Saima, and I know that among my pupils, when I taught there, there were Asian families who would not go to certain well known restaurants because of the link with money laundering and crime. I hope that this book is the first of many, and that they will put Bradford on the map for the right reasons. I also really hope that the TV dramatisation will be done well.
Say something about yourself!
Having a novel by an Asian author read by an Asian narrator brought the streets of Bradford to life.
The tension built up, the layers of story building together.
The authenticity needed to tell Dhand's story.
Cannot wait to read the next one. Truly wonderful book.
dark, broken, human
Interestingly, the thing that I liked most by the end of this audible was the thing that I liked least at the start; the narrators distinct accent. The use of an authentic regional accent was very difficult to tune in to but I am pleased I persevered as it added gravitas and a completely refreshing layer to the story.
The narrator brought a warmth a depth to all the main Asian characters.
No. It raises some very complex social issues that deserve reflection.
A great first encounter - I look forward to to the next.
I am an avid audio book purchaser across a wide range of books. For this audio book I found the narrator without clear speech and the need to increase the volume for clarity
Honestly I am unsure I really listened to the story during travelling due to narrator
Clearer speech and better character voices
Late discoverer of Audible, commutes now transformed, love fantasy and crime thrillers although the latter takes some navigating.
The story is set in Bradford which made it both familiar and all the more interesting. As a crime thriller it's very good. It could very easily transfer to TV.
The performance of the narration is what could have made or broken the book. For the first hour I really wasn't sure but after that it seemed to work... Just. I did come from the amazing performance of Roy Dotrice in GoT Book 1 though so may have been spoiled. The narrators normal voice isn't the best but when in character it worked from an authenticity PoV particularly for the Asian characters. An angry Bashir particularly so! For white characters it was hit and miss. I do think Muz Khan should be used for future books though.
Unfortunately I did not listen to the book as one minute in I was distracted by the lisping , staccato delivery of the narrator. Please believe me accents can add a dimension to any story and enhance it. Sadly this was not the case here where the diction proved to be a distraction too far!
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