City Of Sinners by A.A. Dhand – Harry Virdee #3
It is an ordinary Yorkshire morning, cold and miserable.
The streets are not yet busy. Police cars hurriedly pull up in the centre of town, but none of their lights are flashing and the sirens are silent.
A body has been found, elaborately and painstakingly positioned to send a message. But what message? And to who?
It’s DCI Harry Virdee’s job to find out. But Harry doesn’t know that the killer is watching him, that the killer is coming for him.
Because this is personal.
A DI Harry Virdee Thriller
I am a huge fan of the DI Harry Virdee series and I definitely believe this to be the best yet! It has something unique this time round, with added creepy moments. With all honesty, there were moments I had twitchy restless legs and actually hide my head inside my hoodie!!!! Be warned, this case is seriously creepy!!!
The novels are best read in order so that you grasp the full background of Harry’s marriage, family and family feud. The backstory adds co much depth to the series and is a fascinating insight into multicultural Britain and the issues it faces.
Straight of the first page of the prologue you are aware of the killer’s hatred for Harry. He has a female victim present and promises
‘The start of Bradford’s darkest week begins’.
When Harry arrives at the crime scene of murder victim Usma Khan, he is horrified. The body has been posed theatrically within Bradford’s Waterstones. I don’t want to spoil the scene as it is the authors finest scenes to date. But it is worthy in a comparison of the writing of Thomas Harris and his Hannibal Lector series! Dhand has really gone for the gritty shocking crime scene and it terrified this reader!
Across Bradford at the city hospital, Saima (Harry’s wife) is in the middle of her nursing shift. When her father-in-law Ranjit Virdee, is rushed into A&E. This is far from any form of happy reunion. But this is best left explored within the novel. Especially if you are new to the series. Saima continues to be quite a big character within the series and it really works. I love to see Harry’s happy home life with Saima and their son, in comparison to the crime scene’s he witnesses.
It also adds a sense of realism to the novels too.
At the autopsy of Usma Khan, a note is discovered on the body with the inscription ‘This is only the beginning Harry’. This is the first time the police discover there maybe a connection to Harry and Harry is desperate to uncover what links him to the death of Usma Khan. Then the daughter of a prominent Bradford figure goes missing and hell breaks loose…..
The novel explores Harry’s enemies and the cases that caused the individuals to despise Harry so much. This offers an interesting insight into Harry’s background and we learn things we never knew before. Harry also ponders if this could have any relation to his brother Ronnie criminal enterprise. Harry is the only police officer to know of Ronnie’s history with alcohol and life of crime. There are some interesting passages on racism and the challenges faced in various communities. Dhand shows us that Bradford can be both a cultural minefield, and a community that has worked hard; to heal from the previous race riots of the past.
‘In his opinion, brown-on-brown racism was as toxic as it got’ – Harry Virdee
The killer begins to taunt Harry personally and publicly.
‘Do you see the sinner, Harry?’
‘I see you Harry Virdee. . . I see all the sinners’
This is an intense read from start to finish. The last 25% I was having heart palpitations! This novel has it all a dark and sinister killer, grotesque crime scenes whilst also offering a unique perspective on racial prejudice.
Don’t miss A.A. Dhand’s phenomenal series!