A A Dhand has written a series of novels set in Bradford, which are consistently excellent. The Khan is set in Bradford, is a thriller, with Asian drug lords and has extreme violence. It even has tropes from Mario Puzo’s, The Godfather.
Saima has a fury in her writing, which is informed by an intense hatred of British institutional racism. The narrative is driven along at a furious pace and she’s written a wonderful debut novel.
Asian criminality is, according to the principal character, generated by white racism, white exceptionalism and exploitation. Ji, the main character is hyper-bright and cunning. The depths of her hatred of racism are concealed as she progresses up the ladder of the legal world. Her father is a drug lord, who ‘rules’ the bleak streets of Bradford. She’s drawn back into the family ‘business’ abandoning the glitzy world of a high-powered lawyer in London.
The subtlety of her character is impossible to review succinctly. Let’s leave it at this: Siama Mir has created a wonderful character, which I want to see developed in further books.
“The only thing that separates us from the rest of the country is opportunity. The politicians, the wealthy, the people with power – they are not going to give us what we want. We will have to seize it for ourselves.” p274