Cover Image: The Blood Divide

The Blood Divide

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Member Reviews

I was hooked from the first chapter, which opens up with Jack a corner shop owner being awoken in the early hours to the police who bring along a young girl and start demanding they answer questions about a person they’ve never heard of.  The drama that unravels is tightly plotted and well written with the tension racking up throughout.  We’re taken from the small streets of Bradford to India and onto the border with Pakistan., while being given a potted history of the troubles between those countries. The characters in this book are well defined and the sense of place is immaculate - I’ve been to India and was immediately transported back to that vivid country. An author to watch out for in the future.
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If you're looking for a read that is action packed from start to finish with tension throughout, this is the book for you. It begins from the first page and continues, unabated to the last.

Jatinder Baxi runs a shop in Bradford. With a cellar full of contraband. But why is he being tortured and interrogated about a man he's never heard of. And why is a young woman, Aisha, also linked?

The action moves to Delhi with a cat and mouse chase, and a journey to the truth.

Whilst it did capture my attention, I did ultimately find the last third less satisfying and the ending didn't have the wow factor I'd almost come to expect.

Still an enjoyable read, but perhaps not my genre of choice.
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After being tortured and left for dead Jack Baxi knows he needs to find answers.  He hasn't led a good life, been to prison and earning money illegally he has left behind his devout Sikh past and settled into anonymity in Bradford but now all that has changed.  His supposedly dead wife has resurfaced in Delhi, his ex-business partner's daughter is involved and Jack is being hunted by an unknown organisation with a long reach.
I really liked Dhand's first set of police procedurals based in Bradford, he really understands the tension between the communities and the drivers of law and crime in the city.  This is a stand alone book and it doesn't work quite as well.  Dhand is still excellent when describing communities and the interplay between religions but the action is more Bollywood meets Bourne than necessarily needed.  The plot line around the Amritsar Massacre and the atrocities of the Partition is really interesting though.
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Being a confirmed fan of Harry Virdee series set in Bradford, I did have a slight feeling of trepidation at the prospect of a stand alone from A. A. Dhand as sometimes these can feel a little unsatisfying. But have no fear, as Dhand has produced a genuinely blistering paced and exciting thriller spanning two continents, and more va va voom than you can poke a stick at. I fair raced through this one, as Dhand totally hooks the reader at the end of each chapter with a mini cliff-hanger that entices the reader to one more chapter, and then one more chapter, making putting the book aside entirely futile. Both Jack, our erstwhile hero and Aisha, a young girl who gets sucked into the mystery are perfectly characterised, and Jack in particular is painted as not wholly good and not wholly bad which makes him and his shifting moral compass an extremely interesting aspect of the book. I heard an interview with Dhand saying that he had physically walked the Indian locations himself, and this shines through in the authenticity and atmosphere that he injects into the depiction of the locations too. The Blood Divide is a bloody and brutal ride packed full of betrayal and double, triple crossing, leaving the reader breathless and unnerved in equal measure, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Recommended.
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The Blood Divide by A.A. Dhand is a thrilling contemporary crime suspense that will have your heart racing as the tension rises.
The novel is set in the back streets of Bradford moving to the hot, dusty, exotic Delhi. With comprehensive descriptions the reader becomes immersed in the locations. We ‘sense’ the heat and ‘see’ the vibrant colours of Delhi which is in sharp contrast to Bradford.
We are a product of our past. A rich heritage should be persevered, not wasted or squandered. The criminal underworld contrasts with a respected Khali bloodline. Preoccupation with money and crime insults a family line.
Secrets from the past need to be unearthed. The truth must be faced.
All the characters were well drawn and realistic. Some struck fear into the reader.
Incidentally some of the book is set in Baildon where I have family. This enabled me to easily picture the location.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Blood Divide. I always find A.A. Dhand’s novels gripping and exciting, and being set in Bradford, the scenes really come to life for me.
I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
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A first time read by author A A Dhand, and not sure I’d look out for his books again. 

The journey of Jack, a shopkeeper, and Aisha, a medical student, to find out why they have information on a missing person, takes them to Delhi. 

Whilst I enjoyed the fast paced action, and the descriptions of Bradford and even better ones of Delhi, sometimes it was slightly too far fetched and unbelievable. 
Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to review this book.
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An excellent well-written book, believable storyline, full of twists and turns, good ending. It's an intricate plot with a really good ending.
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A really gripping story-line set both in Bradford and India with a totally unpredictable climax. I liked the characterisation and the atmosphere - you could almost feel the oppressive heat and the crowded, smelly market. Highly recommended.
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Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book

This was very different to what I’d usually read but I really liked it. Cruise was a great character!
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Wow, this was different. A standalone hell of a thriller from the author of the DI Harry Virdee books. 

The book starts with a gripping heart stopping opening chapter; Jack Baxi opens his shop door in the middle of the night to find Detective Sergeant Singh there. He is tortured and along with student Aisha is abducted and left for dead. 

They manage to escape and now he wants to find out what does DS Singh want with him and Aisha? Who has ordered their murder? This leads them in a race against time and a journey to India. ! 

This was not the kind of book I was expecting, it was very graphic but I did learn more about the Partition of India and the awful things that happened at the time. 

A great read but be prepared, it's very descriptive. I rated it 4 stars.
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This is the first novel I have read by A A Dhand but it certainly won't be the last. This  standalone, mystery suspense action is split between Bradford and the Punjab in India. Corner shopkeeper Jatinder, known as Jack, Baxi gets a visit at 2am in the morning from a CID officer who questions him about a missing dead person. He has so brought a mystery woman named Aisha who is a medical student. While Baxi is Sikh and she is Muslim they have to escape a dangerous situation and work together is a quest for the truth. The journey takes them to Delhi and also to some of the most militarised areas of India. Perhaps the best parts of this story are the depictions of Delhi and descriptions of its people including its crazy drivers. Jack and Aisha are being being pursued at each step of the way, can they survive the final confrontation? 
This is an engaging and enjoyable fast paced action thriller which portrays a contrast between lifestyles and sheds light on the deep historic significance with the devastating consequences caused by the partion of India in 1947.
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I did not really enjoy this book as adventure books are more boys reading. I was looking forward to a goos psychological thriller based upon the Indian culture and this failed to meet my expectations. This is a personal view as the writing was solid, the characters and the scenery were all well described and I am sure that this would appeal to a reader who likes adventure stories.
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I have read all of his previous novels about Detective Harry Virdee and was very much looking forward to this standalone novel and was not in any way disappointed. Starting in Bradford (where all his earlier books are set and near where I live) but then moving on to India, this was a fast moving, energectic, nail biting thriller with some Dan Brown-esque type intrigue thrown in for good measure. Dhand keeps the action moving from the very start and there are plenty of plot twists and I honestly had no idea where this was going and my interest was piqued to the very end. Dhand has definitely become one of my favourite authors and I would urge anybody that enjoys this novel to look at his earlier work about Harry Virdee (but do read in order, so as not to inadvertently read any plot spoilers in later books
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I really enjoyed this book. Not at all sure where it was going until late on, but it was a well plotted book which piqued interest. Initially set in UK but it wasnt long until the story moved over to India, and to the seedy, sweaty and dangerous areas of Delhi. Jack Baxi is a shopkeeper in Bradford...one night he is woken up by the Police, tortured and left for dead along with a woman he has never met before...and so starts a journey to find answers! Loved the book, the descriptions of the seedier areas of Delhi, but particularly taken by the characterisation of a young Indian taxi driver who becomes very much a part of the story...In a tale where dark truths are uncovered, the young wannabe actor adds a refreshing feel, both loyal and sporadically humorous. Great introduction to Dhand as an author, and may well venture into his Harry Virdee series. Many thanks to Netgalley.co.uk, the Publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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Full disclosure, I was already a huge fan of A A Dhand and having read The Blood Divide which is a slight departure from his earlier novels, I still absolutely love his work.

Fast paced story, writing that pulls no punches. 

A cracking story and great read.

Highly recommend
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This is the first book I have read by this author so did not know what to expect. The Prologue drew me in but as the main part of the story began in Bradford I soon forgot about it until the end. The plot was fast paced and took twists and turns but I did not feel convinced by the characters. My favourite character was Cruise - his turn of speech, his loyalty and his ingenuity in situations having been a Tom Cruise fan. He brought great humour to this tale.
I found this to be more an Adventure story than a thriller which I have to be honest is not my favourite genre.
Many thanks to Netgalley/A.A. Dhand/Random House for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I have read a few of the novels in the Harry Virdee series, so I was interested to see how AA Dhand would handle new characters and approach a standalone plot. I really enjoyed The Blood Divide and felt that Jack and Aisha are really strong characters. They are not characters who would naturally be placed together but I loved their partnership and I was really rooting for them from the very beginning. I also can't write about characters without mentioning Cruise! He added some much needed humour to some dark situations but he also helped to demonstrate what life can be like for families in India. 

The prologue of The Blood Divide takes us to India in 1947, making it clear that this story is rooted in Indian history. I know very little about the partition and I enjoyed learning more about it whilst being engaged in a very well written story. 

The Blood Divide is the first of Dhand's novel that is set mostly overseas. However despite this, the sense of place is still exceptional. Dhand has said that many of the events in the novel are based on personal experiences. I felt as though I had been taken to India and was walking the streets and meeting the characters as Jack and Aisha were doing so. 

This novel is really fast paced and it was really difficult to be parted from it. There are some scenes which are quite graphic so it may not be for the faint hearted but I enjoyed the emotions and the tension that runs through the whole book and kept me on my toes until the end!
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"The Blood Divide" is a cracking standalone thriller. A. A. Dhand provides a fascinating insight into Sikh culture and tradition as he transports us to India, via 1947. Cruise is a brilliantly authentic character who I utterly loved. The book is ultimately about family and legacy, giving us a real sense of history amidst the high stakes drama.
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The Blood Divide is a riveting standalone thriller set in Bradford and the Punjabi region of northern India from A.A. Dhand and is not only thrumming with action but is filled with rich cultural aspects, too. Sikh corner-shop owner Jatinder "Jack" Baxi is awakened one night in the early hours by the sound of intense hammering from outside, and when he plucks up the courage to go to the door he is greeted by an unlikely figure - Detective Kuldeed Singh. It's 2 am and hardworking, dumbfounded Jack is taken to the shop’s cellar where he is attacked, tortured and ultimately left for dead by Singh. An explanation as to why is not provided. When he awakes from his ordeal the following day, by his side is a young woman and medical student Aisha Iqbal who he has never seen before. They both manage to escape and run without drawing too much attention to themselves. Having endured terrible physical pain and hours of questioning and accusations, Baxi’s shop is burned to the ground and despite knowing that he himself is on the run and involved quite deeply in crime, Jack has no idea as to what the interrogation was even about - but the name that kept being brought up - Benedict Cave - Singh had wanted to know how both Jack and Aisha are connected to the eponymous man.

And so together they’re thrust into a thrill-a-minute race to discover why they’re at the centre of a missing person case – one that appears to be controlled by a dangerous organisation. This is a riveting and compulsive, rapid-fire action thriller that soon becomes international, whisking readers away on a nail-biting journey from Delhi’s Red Light District to India’s militarised zones as we follow the lives of these two protagonists. It's gritty and complexly plotted with a focus on the intersectionality of crime and everyday city life. As the story unravels, with a development at least every few pages, we piece together the backstory and detailed histories of Jack and Aisha’s lives, and I felt the trip to India really elevated the book. I loved the rich descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells and the culture, history and heritage threaded through the pages kept me rapt, even exploring the tension along India’s border with Pakistan. The author’s intelligent narrative shines and with wicked, unforeseeable twists and dizzying misdirection in abundance, it was tough to put down. It's ripe with intrigue, secrets, multiple murders, betrayal and a large shadowy organization with powerful ties and a big reach. Highly recommended.
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This is a fantastic fast paced police novel. 
I really struggled to keep up with the pace in the book but in a good way. 
When Baxi answered his door the last thing he was expecting was to be tortured and left for dead. 
Apon awaking he wasn't alone a young woman Aisha is with him.
Can they both discover who and why they are being targeted? Before it's to late.
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