Cover Image: The Blood Divide

The Blood Divide

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

As a big fan of AA Dhand’s Bradford set Harry Virdee Thrillers, I was intrigued to see a new standalone so had to read it.

Again starting out in Bradford, the story is of shopkeeper Jatinder “Jack” Baxi and Aisha, a young woman who’s fathers past inexplicably brings her together with the Shady feeling Baxi.

This powerful thriller soon takes us to the seedy brooding and darkly dangerous underbelly of Delhi of India where they story is mainly based as Jack and Aisha hunt for answers.

Action Packed and at times jaw dropping, Dhand pulls no punches as he lays bare they dark side of Indian Culture and Religion. 

The Twists are a plenty in this frantic, and at times violent tale, and it’s absolutely superb.

If this is the first book by Dhand you read make sure it’s not the last as his series is fantastic and this is cringe writing with some depth and from a writer at the top of his game

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Was this review helpful?
4.25* 
Gore score 4/5
I love the gritty Harry Virdee series, so I was excited to read the new standalone. Oh my! This is a full on dark gritty all action thriller! It might not be for everyone’s as the author has pushed the envelope with this book. It has a dual location between Bradford and India. 
The prologue takes to to 1947 and to the Punjab in India. 
The story starts proper in Bradford in 2019. Jack is visited in the middle of the night by police. He is beaten and interrogated and left in the premises with a young Medical student called Aisha while the property is set on fire. 
They manage to escape through the cellar and try to work out how they are bound together and can only come up with a name of Benedict Cave who neither of them know. They need to find answers. 
It starts with a fast pace, and a lot of action becoming an international action adventure come quest with a trip to Delhi seeking answers. It’s hard to know through the book whether the driving forces behind the situation are political, financial,religious or historical in their basis. 
Jack isn’t very likeable, but I feel he has a morale compass, and he does grow on me towards the end.  I wanted him to find the answers to his questions.  Aisha I didn’t engage with, but Cruise the taxi driver, guide and fixer is very likeable, without doubt my favourite character.  
There’s aspects in the book that I found upsetting, the wide spread bribery and corruption. The existence still of barbaric practices, I am presuming that the practices of the Khoon-Saab are real. 
This is even darker than the Harry Virdee books that I’ve read. I had to get my head around that practices on a different continent are very different to what I am used to.  It was interesting to get a glimpse of the seedy side of Delhi. 
It’s a very unique plot, 10/10 for originality. It took me a little while to get a feel for it and  become engrossed with it. But when I did it had me hooked. I lost track of the amount of times I said OMG! 
The ending delved too much into history and the outcome of Partition for me. However the very end was another OMG moment. Overall I feel that the author came up trumps for me with this one. 
A favourite quote ‘whiter than white on paper, but in reality dirtier than a crack addict’s needle’
Was this review helpful?
Very descriptive, dark gritty tale of secrets and lies and corruption. A fast paced action thriller. 
My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this book. I felt empathy towards the main character (despite the fact that I didn’t find him very likeable) as its very easy to lose one’s way in life. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know much of the history on which the book is based so I found it really interesting even if some of the horrors were difficult to digest. The book was very descriptive and sometimes I felt like I could almost smell the scents and hear the sounds of India despite sitting in a cold rainy England. Thoroughly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advance digital copy of "The Blood Divide" from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not familiar with the author, A. A. Dhand, thus had no idea what to expect. This book was definitely not my usual genre of British mystery/thriller. 
Jatinder (Jack) Baxi is a wealthy criminal with a murdered, adulterous wife & deceased parents. Someone wants him dead. Discovering who will change everything he thought he knew about his family.
This is a gritty, dark tale of secrets, deceit, lies, corruption, torture, murder, prostitution, rape, & betrayal. It is fast paced with surprising revelations and is painfully descriptive.
My lack of knowledge of India, the culture, religion, customs, and the history involving Britain & Pakistan had me at a disadvantage. The author gave vivid descriptions of the underbelly of Delhi. The supporting character, Cruise, was the best part of the book.
This book was out of my comfort zone and at times left me a bit lost and somewhat confused.
Was this review helpful?
The Blood Divide is soooo good! 
I was gripped straight away and really didn’t want to put this one down. If it wasn’t for work I probably would have finished this in 24 hours. The plot is very fast paced, constantly moving along and although this starts in the UK, it’s really refreshing to read a thriller that’s not based solely in the UK or USA. So much happens in The Blood Divide, it is very much ‘action packed’. I loved the characters, especially Aisha, she is feisty & fearless! …. This is the authors first stand alone thriller and it’s brilliant!
Was this review helpful?
Hold on tight as this book travels at high speed. Jack Bali would have no idea why a detective wakes him up in the night, but from that moment life will never be the same.
The hunt for the truth about what’s going on starts and lives are in danger. Past secrets are revealed. 
A really good, fast paced book. Loved every page.
Was this review helpful?
The Blood Divide is the first stand-alone thriller from A A Dhand but don’t worry as it is still full of his trademark thrills, spills and action from the very first page until the last one.

Whilst taking the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride the author still manages to weave an underlying story of family and in particular family loyalty into the narrative that definitely engages and adds to the enjoyment. 

Highly recommended
Was this review helpful?
This was an awesome book. A captivating thriller with edge of the seat suspense...from the first page itself. A book exploring the past of Jack Baxi...a shopkeeper in the U.K.. He is thrown into a whirlwind adventure exploring his origins and the mystery of his missing wife. There is Aisha, an innocent medical student, who gets thrown in with him. She is shy and timid but in the end turns out to be stronger than steel. Most of the story takes place in the ruddy and rough streets of India...where money is the only language anyone understands. But Jack makes a lifelong friend and faces impossible challenges, heartaches and loss to finally reach a sense of peace and higher understanding. 
What a book..so descriptive and picturesque..like a movie...I would definitely read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
A thrill a minute ride from Bradford to the Golden Temple of Amritsar. A crooked shopkeeper Jack Baxi is visited by the police at the start but all is not what it seems and he and a medical student called Aisha are tortured about a man neither has heard of. Left to die in a fire at his shop a daring escape and the search for truth begins. The girls father was once Jacks partner before he went to jail and the father prospered. The story becomes more complex with Jacks wife apparently murdered but he finds she had been kidnapped to India. The search begins and an entertaining yarn ensues with Sikhism at its core. Well worth sticking with!
Was this review helpful?
The Blood Divide follows the story of shopkeeper Jack and medical student Aisha who are thrown together after being tortured and left for dead. They work together to try and solve the mysteries that have linked them together.

This story is FULL of plot twists and devices to shock the reader. It is also incredibly fast paced. In the beginning I really enjoyed the style and the constant twists to reel me in. But after a while I found it quite hard to follow and confusing. The plot became so convoluted I couldn’t keep up, and the story was just so unrealistic. 

I feel like the book was quite dragged out in parts, but in other areas I feel I needed more explanation, particularly about the organisation and what really happened to Jack’s wife (trying not to spoil!). 

It is disappointing as there are some great elements to the book. The choppy writing works well for a thriller and some characters such as Cruise were really humorous and added light to the shade. The scene setting in Bradford and India was also well described. 

However, I didn’t really like Jack as a protagonist and don’t think he’s very likeable through the majority of the novel.  

I also feel the ending was so rushed and that the constant plot twists were just unnecessary. It became too much and almost like it was just for shock value not to add anything to the plot. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book to review.
Was this review helpful?
Being a huge fan of A.A.Dhand’s Detective Harry Virdee series, I was excited to read his stand-alone The Blood Divide.

Bradford shopkeeper, Jack (Jatinder) Baxi, is woken in the depths of night by a loud hammering on his door, but little does he know that it will lead to him being tortured by none other than an officer of the law, DS Singh. Singh has also abducted and tortured a young medical student called Aisha. Both Jack and Aisha are interrogated, and Baxi’s corner shop burnt to the ground, but they have no idea why, as they know nothing about the questions and accusations being thrown at them. Baxi has always moved in criminal circles, but he’s at a loss to explain any of this.

The pair manage a daring, and breathtaking escape, and before they know it, they are literally running for their lives, in order to find out who has ordered their capture and interrogation, and why - the two have never met before, so any connection they may have to each other, is a complete mystery.

Their quest for answers will take them to India, vividly brought to life by the author, with rich descriptions of locations, holy temples, the sights, sounds, culture and history of the country.

‘The Blood Divide’ is a dark and gripping all action thriller, lightened somewhat by ‘Cruise’, Jack and Aisha’s Indian driver, whom they met in Delhi. Cruise is a wonderful character, completely loyal, kind, and immensely funny. All in all, another gripping read from this talented writer.
Was this review helpful?
This is my first book by this author and it certainly won’t be my last. This story is set in both England and India and is a fast-paced mystery thriller that is also deliciously dark. The plot was good and the book was well written with well developed characters.
Was this review helpful?
This was my first taste of this author’s work and it was a thoroughly engrossing read, both thrilling and historically educational. I knew  little of Sikh history, something which was expertly woven into this story.
When Jatinder  Baxi’s corner shop in Bradford is attacked and set alight he barely escapes with his life. He is thrown together with Aisha, a young medical student who has also been attacked and kidnapped and they both have no idea why this should have happened to them. Their escape and quest for answers leads them all the way to India where both must confront ghosts from their past.
There are some great characters in this book: Jatinder or Jack as he is known seems to be a likeable rogue who has a good heart  despite, by his own admission, having made  a few mistakes along the way. 
Aisha is a strong and formidable young woman, who although she is placed in many difficult situations, shows fortitude and a cool head.
The other person I liked was Cruise, the Indian driver who takes them around Delhi, getting involved with their quest and despite the violence directed at Jack, Cruise remains loyal and will not leave them to fend for themselves.
The story itself is really a search for a truth which will eventually overturn everything both Jack and Aisha know about their lives up until this point. .As the reader learns more about them both, their quest becomes more and more intriguing.
This is a fast paced action packed thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve already looked for more books by A. A Dhand which is definitely a tell tale sign for me when I find a good author- I’m always keen to read more books that they have written.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Having read the Harry Virdee books by A.A. Dhand already, I was looking forward to his first stand-alone thriller and I was not disappointed.

The story begins in Bradford but takes the reader all the way to Delhi and across to the India/Pakistan border as we follow our protagonist, Jatinder "Jack" Baxi, on his mission to find who tried to kill him (and why).

I really enjoyed this novel; it is dark, gripping, action-packed and fast paced and the characters are all richly drawn (Cruise was a particular favourite of mine).

My only (minor) criticism would be that there a few moments where there is a lull in the action that took me out of it a little bit.

All in all though I really enjoyed this novel and hope that author continues in his stride and that more stand-alone works are on the horizon. My thanks to the author and publisher for the opportunity to read an ARC 4/5
Was this review helpful?
The Blood Divide is a gripping and fast paced thriller. The action moves from a burning corner shop in Bradford to India and in so doing opens a portal to the past, namely the echoes of partition screaming through the decades. We are presented with a common link between a young medical student called Aisha and the shopkeeper Jack Baxi, both seem to be on a 'hit' list and both are known to Benedict Cave, a man of the cloth who travelled from India to find them.
A very entertaining thriller, although after having survived the reckoning at the end, I found myself questioning why Jack Baxi elicits such hatred as to first want him dead, then to want him to repent. You could not have had the latter if the former had been succesful, therefore the story lacked logic. I'm afraid that lost it a star.
Was this review helpful?
Clever, unusual, twisty and covering continents. I quite enjoyed this although not as much as other thrillers. But this is the first by this author for me and I would look out for others.
Was this review helpful?
Blimey, this was brilliant and not what I was expecting at all. What. A. Writer. Why has a booze soaked, middle aged, off license owner living in a dodgy area of Bradford been left for dead with a teenage medical student from the right part of town? Hours earlier Jack and Aisha were tortured before Jack's property was set alight. What is the connection between these two individuals and what leads them from a local convent to India? The pacing of this thriller was excellent, ditto the characters, there is no slack in this phenomenally written book. Every word deserves its place on each and every page. I was gripped discovering why Jack's path had finally caught up with him and  did not expect what happened at the final showdown at the Golden Temple. Truly excellent.
Was this review helpful?
I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for an advance copy of The Blood Divide, a stand-alone thriller set in Bradford and Northern India.

Jack Baxi is woken in the middle of the night by DS Singh, but he doesn’t expect to be tortured, along with a young woman he has never met before, for information about a man neither of them has heard of. Soon Jack and Aisha are running for their lives and searching for an explanation for their predicament, a search that will take them to the slums of Delhi and further north to the militarised zone.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Blood Divide. I was a big fan of Harry Virdee so I was interested to see where the author’s talents could take him with different characters and a different setting. I was not disappointed as this is a tense, well paced thriller with the extra mystery of why. I found it very readable and compulsive.

I found the novel well paced and plotted. The overriding questions of who and why are gradually teased out over the course of the novel with strategic reveals at key moments, with strategic being defined as a little but not enough for the curious reader, thus forcing them to keep reading. Of course, these reveals are not sufficient for the author who sows more confusion by adding extra players with different motives and further layers of complexity with interconnecting relationships between the characters. It sounds confusing but the author’s clear headed style and crisp writing keep it under control and make it easy to follow.

I was fascinated by the historical detail in the novel and the descriptions of India. They supply context and bring the location to life. So why, then, four and not five stars? I thought the ending was a whimper rather than a bang, especially following the high octane action that came before. It seems like a cop out for the cynical Jack, never mind the other events. 

The Blood Divide is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
Was this review helpful?
A dark and engaging thriller with a solid plot and likable characters.
Pacy and well written this is one novel that will make you think and test your perprecitves.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?