The ever popular maverick Detective Inspector genre attracts some of Britain’s best writers. I suppose they’re like bank robbers: they go where the money is. Dhand’s creation is the Sikh Harry Virdee, who’s married to a Muslim. His brother, Ronnie, is the drug king of Bradford. This is the first of three in Dhand’s series of novels and so, in comparison to Ian Rankin, he’s hardly got going.
Harry is the younger brother who was rescued from a prison sentence by Ronnie. The effect, of course, is that Harry’s eternally in thrall to Ronnie. This is highly inconvenient considering that it’s Harry’s duty to arrest him and all of his fellow criminals.
Dhand’s story is however much deeper. Constant references to the 2001 Bradford riots inform the plot. Without offering a spoiler Harry is offered a Faustian pact with his own brother.
It’s brilliantly written reeking with plausibility (even when wildly implausible) and lots of local atmosphere