Illusionary Morality
Jennifer Monteiro
THE BLOOD DIVIDE by A. A. Dhand Bantam Press, 2021, 352 pp., 699.00
December 2021, volume 45, No 12

The Blood Divide by AA Dhand is an unconventional detective thriller as it traverses the length of the book only to arrive at a Sisyphean point at the narrative’s start—the prologue. The book is divided into two parts with a Prologue; part one plays out in Britain and in part two the story progresses in India. It has a constant pace and keeps up with the quest for more as multiple interesting and functional characters enter the drama and die or disappear leaving the plot more layered which renders the narration of intense suspense and intrigue. Unlike other detective thrillers, the protagonist is both the victim and the one unravelling the truth. Dhand’s other novels have the figure of the popular detective named Harry Virdee. He is a Bradford based police detective and can be analysed from the perspective of a diasporic progressive British Sikh police officer. In this novel, however, the figure of the police officer is subverted as Kuldeep Singh acts as one of the main agents of the militarized Sikh conglomerate ‘Shere-Punjab’ (p. 316), which attempts to kill Jack alias Jatinder, more than once. Hence, the search for the killer is also an inversion of the whodunit model of detective fiction genre, as Jack survives multiple attacks of murder upon him and is able to get to the killer.

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