Beware the Fury of a Patient Man
Susnato Sengupta
STREETS OF DARKNESS by A. A. Dhand Bantam Press, 2016, 129 pp., 450.00
December 2021, volume 45, No 12

A child who is not embraced by his village will burn it down to feel the warmth.

DI Harry Virdee: 6’3. Rugby juggernaut. Religious renegade. Disgraced cop. Hothead.

Streets of Darkness, the first novel of the DI Virdee series, introduces us to this sociopathic maverick.

In Bradford, routinely compared to Gotham City for its crime and filth, the ethnic divide runs deep. With the statistic tilting towards the ‘outsiders’, the city is a synecdoche to contemporary society, where only the trigger-happy thug lives to see a new day. Bradford has always been a cesspool of ethnic clashes—a tinderbox ready to erupt at the slightest nudge. With far too many incidents in the past for comfort, the palpable hatred is everywhere, seeping into the psyche of the residents and making them suspicious and edgy. Drugs are rampant, syndicates run open empires, survival is a luxury.

Our protagonist is no stranger to the struggles. With a Muslim wife and an unconventional profession on his resume, Virdee is a castaway. Shunned by an orthodox Punjabi family for his deplorable choices, he is vulnerable, reclusive and unpredictable.

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