Cover Image: The Blood Divide

The Blood Divide

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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This was my first book by A. A. Dhand and it was a bit different but I enjoyed it. Its' a dark, complex and fast-paced detective mystery thriller taken place in England and India. The story is a bit uneven and the characters are rather strange but it kept my interest through the whole book. I also liked the political, historical and cultural insights. If you are looking for a different kind of thriller then you will enjoy this book. I will definitely look into Dhand's other work.  

Thanks to the author, the publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I really did love this book it was a new author (A A Dhand) for me and I was so impressed with the scale and complexity of the read it was so much more than I was expecting. The main character Jack Baxi is so well written and likeable with lots of faults but I felt right from the start his heart was in the right place. 
The story starts in Bradford where Jack is tortured along with a young women who Jack has never seen before and what follows is a thrilling and fast paced plot that takes us from Bradford to India and Pakistan. There is so much information in this this book I learn a lot of things I didn’t know and for me that is what made it such a brilliant read it wasn’t just a thriller it had a whole lot more than that. 
I also have to mention the other wonderful character Cruise he was for me a real star and made me laugh many times.
So this was a read that I couldn’t put down it had a bit of everything, interesting, thrilling and full of facts it’s a read I can highly recommend and high praise to AA Dhand for a great 5 star read.
My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Bantam Press for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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What a book! This is one story that I really enjoyed, fast paced from start to finish with some great characters.

Jack Baxi is a corner shop owner and small time crook whose mundane existence is shattered one night by a visit from a corrupt policeman. Jacks journey to find the truth behind his attempted murder leads him to India on a wild chase to find out what happened to his wife.

A great read!
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What a brilliant thriller! Absolutely loved it. Really enjoyed the description of the corner shop owner. Characters are written brilliantly and the descriptive writing is just so vivid. I can see myself in the streets of Delhi hear the rush of traffic and the aroma of the whole atmosphere. 

I learnt a few cultural insights and found it interesting. As an Asian living in England, I felt like I've been to India and back. 

This is a complex yet enjoyable and clever thriller. Thank you NetGalley and Random House UK for my ARC in return for my honest opinion.
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The last thing Jack Baxi expected when a detective rang his doorbell in the middle of the night was that he'd be tortured and left for dead, with a young woman he's never met before.

Now, running for their lives, Jack and Aisha frantically try to discover why the detective was so convinced they both have information on a missing person. Jack is a Sikh corner shopkeeper with a criminal record. Aisha is a Muslim medical student from a wealthy family. What could possibly connect them?

The plotting is excellent and the gradual piecing together of the characters' true histories is probably one of the elements I enjoyed most This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

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Read this one fast as it's quite fast paced and just seems to run on. The arena of Bradford/Delhi was a novel setting for me, however something about the novel just didn't sit well. The novel was weighted down in the halting English conversations between the characters, which just fell flat in my opinion. I won't be rushing back to this author in a hurry, although I'm glad to have tried this one. 
Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Jack Baxi, a lapsed Sikh and a Bradford newsagent with a shady criminal past drinks himself to sleep every night remembering his dead wife.

Everything comes crashing down one night when  a rogue cop turns up with a young Muslim woman in tow. 

Thus begins a series of events that lead to the slums of New Delhi and a secret Sikh organisation that doesn't bode well for Jack.

This new novel by AA Dhand departs from his Harry Virdee books but is equally well written and fast paced
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Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
First publication I've read by this author and certainly wasn't disappointed in it.
A cracking read, fast paced and neatly ties together historical events in India with those in modern day England.
A solid four out of five
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My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Having read one of the Red Hot Chilli Writers’ books, I wanted to read novels by other members of this group. This book does not disappoint: the plot is excellent, the characters robust and the journey totally absorbing. The pace of this novel is like an express train without brakes! An added bonus were the political, historical and cultural insights. A tense and extremely enjoyable read.
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I have read AA Dhand’s , Harry Virdee books, which I have enjoyed reading the series, but this stand alone book The Blood Divide is on another level. It was outstanding, I could taste the dust and see the blood red earth from his descriptive writing. The history and the bloodshed was tangible and the characters were interesting and colourful.
Highly recommended
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Such an exciting book that I couldn’t put down. One of the best books I’ve read in ages. A very  thrilling, fast-paced storyline which was very well written. The characters were all very believable as well. Highly recommended. 

#TheBloodDivide #Netgalley
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