Cover Image: The Blood Divide

The Blood Divide

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Member Reviews

So, I read this book in a day. (Which is unknown for me as I am usually asleep after one or two pages). From the first page it captured me, and I found myself reading into the early hours of the morning, and taking every opportunity to move further along. I have never read anything by A.A Dhand before so I really enjoyed the way he intermingled the two very different cultures in the story line. From Bradford to the Punjab, really brought home how places and their people exist. I was aware of the partitioning and the manner of how it was done, the atrocities committed by the British forces, and laterally Indian military, but it took on a reality in the way those events were part of the characters story. 
There were a couple of events, I couldn't fathom  or really think were realistic, surrounding how a CID officer can discharge a weapon on the streets of Bradford, and take the door off his Rover, without some  further investigation, just wouldn't happen and to try and make us believe that was the case, and he carried on as normal for a period before leaving was a bit of a stretch. I also couldn't see a worthwhile justification in the story for Jack's wife, to have gone through what she did, because of someone being dishonoured, which in turn raised other questions about the doppelganger cadaver. However, overcoming these matters, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, would recommend and will seek out the authors other novels as a result.
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A very interesting story about a mans hunt for the truth about his past. The story moves from Bradford to Delhi and then to the border between India and Pakistan before the truth is finally revealed. A well written page turner.
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This is a great story, I love AA Dhand's earlier work so was really pleased to get this one, and it didn't disappoint. The main plot was fast-paced and exciting with clearly-defined characters. There were so many twists and turns, but everything was explained at the end.  It was also very interesting to learn about Indian history, and how past events shape the present times.
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I received this book free from Netgalley and the publisher for a review. A very good international thriller could not put it down.
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Jack Baxi is a shady corner shop owner in Bradford.  He is woken in the middle of the night by a policeman knocking on his door.  He is tortured and left for dead.  When he comes round he is tied up and there is a young woman he has never met before with him.  Jack and Aisha manage to escape and run for their lives.  What both of them want to know is why a policeman neither of them know has tortured them both and tried to kill them.

The book actually starts via a prologue in the Punjab in 1947.  I am aware that "partition" of India took place then and did have that in mind while reading this.  The prologue is as brief as it is dark.  The story then moves to Jack and 2019.  The story follows Jack and Aisha's attempts to try and find out what exactly is behind the attacks on them.  To do so they need to travel and India is the most likely destination - what does lie in the past?

I come to this book as a real fan of AA Dhand's "Harry Virdee" books.  This one does have aspects in common with that series while being very different in some ways.  The tensions between Muslim and Sikh are a facet of this story.  This book has that very pacey feel of the other books.  I often found myself thinking "I'll just read one more chapter" and then reading three!  The other real commonality to me is the darkness. The Harry Virdee are dark but this one takes darkness to another level.

I found both Jack and Aisha very powerful characters and largely convincing given the story I guess.  Honourable mention must go to Cruise too, I enjoyed his presence in this.  It provided some light in an otherwise dark picture.  I can certainly say I'm glad I read this.  Equally I'm sure the many fans of the "Harry" books want to read this.  It is a standalone book anyway but I would probably suggest newcomers might go for the first Virdee book for a preference.  

Looking back on it I was caught up in this completely however I'm not sure I was fully convinced. For the story to work this probably had to be a less than easy read.  I think that the overall story may not work as well as the author intended for some people.  The pace and power are there in abundance - Dhand is an excellent writer.  I just think that maybe this was a little too dark.  I will certainly continue to read any future books by this author.
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A dark, complex and fast-paced detective mystery thriller that satisfies. Mostly.

I’m a newcomer to the works of AA Dhand, so when the chance of a NetGalley ARC came up, it was a good opportunity to see what he’s about.

“The Blood Divide” is a stand-alone story, but like the author’s Virdee series, takes place in and around Bradford and within the large Asian community there.   But this time we also travel to India and beyond.  When shop owner Jack Baxi is awoken at 2am by Detective Kuldeed Singh at his back door, demanding to know if he knows a man called Benedict Cave, he is drawn into a maze of deception and murder. Things get worse when he is kidnapped, along with medical student Aisha. 

What follows is a fast-paced journey from Bradford to India, in search of truth, past crimes and justice. The sights, sounds and smells of India are vividly described, and the images conjured up of Delhi and the Golden Temple had me reaching for the atlas and encyclopaedia.  As hinted at in the prologue, the reader is introduced to the Partition of India, with its bloodshed and violence.  There is sufficient background relating to Jack’s family and the wider Asian community to flesh out the story without slowing the pace of the story.

There’s a taste of John Buchan in here, as well as Dan Brown and even Steve Berry, as the race across India and Pakistan continues.  We encounter the obligatory Illuminati-type global organisation, corruption, old secrets, lies, murder and betrayal. There are missionaries and zealots too.  Not all the characters are likeable, but they are nicely drawn. 

The pacing of the book is a little stilted, but moves forward well enough.  Towards the end of the book, I detected some minor continuity errors, which might be due to the preview status of my ARC.  Hopefully these will not appear in the final book, as they spoiled the ending a little.

This is a complex thriller with the historical context I love, it’s just the ending which I wasn’t 100% satisfied with.  Maybe just me, so I’d encourage Dhand fans and thriller lovers to read the book, and make up their own mind.  Definitely recommended.
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A good read, kept me hooked to the end.
Gritty with no sugar coating. Gave some insight into India and the trouble 
caused by the division in the country made by the British.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publishers Random House UK, Transworld Publishers in granting me access to this book for an honest review.
The author A A Dhand is a new writer to me but clearly has a few best seller's under his belt, what caught my eye was the description of British corner shop owner with an Indian heritage living in Bradford, with a seedy low level crime background. Jack Baxi our 'hero' is a broken man fighting amongst other broken and seedy character's across Bradford and Deli in India, we learn about Sikhism's, Muslims, gurus, shamans and Indian life; I can smell the rich spicy aroma and feel the humidity, yes at times a little far fetched, but hey its a fictional story and escapisms that's why I requested it to read. Easy to read with just the right amount of humour and tension, enjoyable and I learnt some facts on the way.
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I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review, so that’s what I will give.  It got off to a promising start with the Prologue, set in 1947, Punjab, India, where 100 women from a village gathered in a dark and airless room.  Tanveer Singh, the eldest leader of the village appeared on a stage at the front of the hall (no spoiler here) … with his 11-year-old daughter.  Near the end of the book, where this part is retold, the 11-year-old becomes a 6-year-old!  I’m sorry but it drives me nuts when an author gets things so wrong.  OK, it’s perhaps a minor thing, but to me it says something about the author.  I found some parts of the story so ridiculous and unrealistic that I almost gave up.  The writing was not too bad in some places but went utterly downhill in others and became immature and amateurish.  The story became so far-fetched it was silly.  Sorry, definitely not for me – but I hope others will enjoy it.
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Completely enthralling.

Jatinder Singh is brutally tortured and left inside a burning house by a man he trusted,

On the run and seeking answers he teams up with a young woman who has had the same treatment to try to find the truth.

A brilliantly audacious novel about loss and the need to find meaning.  I was gripped from the start, and couldn't put it down till the last page.
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This one really confused me. The first half was so fast paced, I was gripped instantly and thought Wow I just want to know why all this is happening, and I guess I’m still wondering......?

Store owner Jack has a sketchy past, and when he is disturbed one night by a Detective, he is kidnapped along with medical student Aisha. There’s clearly an attempt on their lives and they manage to escape. Jack then learns that Aisha is the daughter of an old friend of his, Habib, who is involved in organised crime. This is where the plot gets confusing and seems to be all over the place. It’s revealed that Kiran, Jack’s wife, and Habib had an affair which led to the birth of Aisha. Then Kiran was kidnapped and sent to Delhi to work as a prostitute. However I’m not sure if I just missed this part but it was never explained as to why that happened.

Furthermore, and this is just me being critical, but all the women in the book seemed to meet some demise that didn’t seem fair for the character. Aisha was built up as a strong and complex woman, and she deserved better! Sara, Habib’s wife just seemed very complacent and weak, I feel like her character could have offered a lot more.

Overall, I was so confused by the ending, I didn’t have a clue why things happened the way the did? Maybe I’ll have to reread but until now, 2 stars.
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This is such a different kind of thriller, and was so enjoyable I read it in just under two days.  I loved the descriptions and the cultures, and having been to India myself I found it transported me back to my time there.   The authors description was so vivid, you could feel the humidity and heat and taste the spices, along with the vibrant colours and sounds.  

The two main characters are thrown together through events from years ago, and what follows is an exciting journey across India which had me holding my breath on more than one occasion. 

I just adored Cruise, and his outlook and he made me laugh with his banter, and he was a good friend to Jack and Aisha throughout their travels.  

I think the author gave us a very good insight into the different cultures, and whilst I knew some things, it’s always good to learn more. 

My thanks to the author, the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC.
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4 - 5. 

Store owner Jack (Jatinder) Baxi and medical student Aisha Iqbal’s early morning starts very dramatically when Detective Kuldeed Singh menacingly demands  to know how they are both connected to a man called Benedict Cave. What transpires is a tale of Kismet, of burdens carried and the past coming back to haunt them. The gritty thriller takes the action from Bradford to Delhi and finishes breathtakingly at the Golden Temple (Sri Harmandir Sahib) at Amritsar. 

This is a clever and complex thriller with a really good plot that has intriguing twists and turns from the mysterious start to the tense and exciting finale and is compelling reading. I love the Sikh elements in the plotting which relates to Jack’s Khalsa family background which is fascinating and from which the title is derived. There’s so much tension and action with some of the settings in Delhi and on the Indian/Pakistani border adding an extra level of atmosphere. There are some colourful and vivid descriptions and incredible action in some very dark places and daring escapes. It’s like a movie, in fact it would make a great movie! We have everything from a shadowy, elusive, mysterious global organisation, to corruption and manipulation. There are big buried secrets, huge lies and deception as well as murder and betrayal in a very rich plot! There are missionaries and religious codes of honour with Jack learning much about his background and there are jaw dropping revelations. The characters are good, they’re easy to visualise although they’re not all likeable with some most certainly not following a path to goodness. My favourite would have to be ‘Cruise’ who Jack and Aisha meet in India who is brave, resourceful, loyal and very funny. I like how the story has some historical context especially relating to the 1947 Partition which is very thought provoking. 

Overall, I love AA Dhand’s Harry Virdee series  but for those who haven’t read his Bradford based books before this one is a good place to start. It’s a really good, well written and enjoyable thriller.  Then read the Virdee series!!! 

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Random House UK, Transworld, Bantam for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
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Jack Baxi, a shopkeeper in Bradford, England is disturbed in the early hours of the morning by a police officer. Despite living a solitary, quiet life for many years, Jack has a history of violence and black-market trade, making him believe that his history has finally caught up with him. Little does he know that this interruption leads to a chain of events that unravel the true nature of trauma from his past, leading him to New Delhi and then to his birthplace, where he faces the truths of his family legacy.

The Blood Divide is a gritty, fast-paced, international mystery thriller and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey I was taken on. A. A. Dhand’s writing style is excellent, providing descriptions that were needed to establish the atmosphere of each scene and allow me to picture the events as they unfolded. The plot was brilliantly constructed, and the story had a satisfying finale with no loose ends. I didn’t feel like there was a single part of this story that dragged or was unnecessary and towards the last 30% of the book I was unable to put it down.  Furthermore, the cultural and historical explorations throughout this story were wonderful and helped immerse me in the story and thoroughly establish the character’s identities.

Whilst this story is a mystery thriller, with lots of action, and an engaging plot, I thought the driving force of this story was the brilliantly fleshed-out characters. The protagonist in this story was morally grey and at times I was not sure whether I should be supporting his pursuits (I absolutely love when this is done well - which it was here). Information about Jack’s background is drip-fed throughout the story as it is needed, and I felt like this allowed for brilliant character development. Similarly, Aisha’s character was wonderfully portrayed, and I felt like I got to know her very well throughout the story. I loved the relationship between Jack, Aisha and Cruise and all of these characters were very unique and important to the progression of the story. I was concerned that Cruise may have just been included to help out Jack and Aisha, but I appreciated how the author gave a solid reason for why he helps them which was true to his character arc.  

The Blood Divide is full of action, betrayal and friendship and is a must-read for any mystery/thriller fan or anyone who loves strong character and plot development. I will definitely be reading more of A. A. Dhand’s work. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and Transworld Publishers for providing me with an ARC copy of The Blood Divide in exchange for an honest review.
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My thoughts about A A Dhand's brilliantly written standout standalone, mystery suspense action packed international thriller, The Blood Divide was just spectacular, with its eye-opening suspense and breathtaking action that blows you away, Talented Author Amit Dhand, not only he delivers a hard-hitting nail-biting thriller, he has also brilliantly written a powerful story, that witnesses dark secrets of Jack Baxi's families generation's past, was just fantastic. What a fantastic breakthrough standalone thriller, that doesn't disappoint.Amit Dhand's The Blood Divide story begins with were we see Jack Baxi, gets a suprise visit from a detective who is asking him questions about a missing dead person, but he also brings a mystery woman named Aisha who Jack has never seen before, from here begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse adventure, Jack is a Sikh corner shopkeeper with a criminal record. Aisha is a Muslim medical student from a wealthy family. What connects them truly was remarkable and unviable. Their desperate hunt for answers takes them on a perilous journey, from the sprawling underground markets and dangerous red-light district of Delhi all the way to the most militarized zone in India, which just blows you away. But little do they know, a dangerous organisation is watching their every move - and they'll do whatever it takes to stop Jack and Aisha learning the truth is outstanding. If you thought Amit Dhand's brilliant Harry Virdee series were brilliant, then think again this standalone is on a next level. With The Blood Divide he has again proved he is a masterclass story teller. The Blood Divide takes you on a rollocoster ride that reveals some shocking truths about your familie generations secrets this also takes you back to the partion in 1947 which is just mindblowing. I would like to say thank you to Author Amit Dhand, Publishers Transworld Books, and Netgalley for giving me a to read and review this outstanding nail-biting thriller, that packs a punch. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐💥💥💥💥💥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
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Jack Baxi lived a solitary life in the shadows, operating his seemingly innocent shop. He lived his life without interruption for years, until a police detective arrives at his door late one night. This stranger tortures Jack and a young woman he's never met before in an attempt to gain information regarding a person he's never even heard of before. That night begins Jack and Aisha's thrilling journey to figure out why they were attacked and how they are linked. Unbeknownst to the duo, a powerful organization follows their every move to prevent them from uncovering the truth. Jack's dangerous journey reveals deep secrets about his life, his heritage, and his family. From Bradford to New Delhi, Jack and Aisha will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

Thrillers often struggle to find the perfect balance between too much information and not enough, but not this story. The plot develops and thickens quickly, with a new bit of information every few pages. Information about the main characters is given to the reader without long, excessive paragraphs but doesn't feel rushed. The story deepens quickly and each event is vital to solving the mystery that Jack is faced with. I found it difficult to put this book down and tend to my responsibilities. The story's fast-pace made every chapter so important, I just knew I would get an answer if I continued reading (and I did!). 

I really enjoyed this author's writing. It wasn't complicated and was straight to the point. Enough description of the setting was given that I had a clear visual while reading, but wasn't bored with excessive background detail. This thrilling story is fast-paced and perfect to get you out of a reading slump, especially if you enjoy an action-packed mystery. I look forward to reading more of A. A. Dhand's work because this story was well written, progressed at a desirable pace, and left me desperate for answers. 

I think both young adult and adult readers with a love for mystery, betrayal, and adventure will enjoy this book. At first, I found the main characters' pairing to be odd given their age difference and how little they knew of each other. However, as the story developed, the pairing seemed natural due to the characters' desire for information and newfound link. 

As a final note, I had never read a story that involved Indian or Muslim culture before and was nervous that I wouldn't understand important details. But, A. A. Dhand gives just enough information for anyone to understand the cultural and religious aspects of this story. That being said, the main plot remains a thrilling mystery that can only be solved with a dangerous adventure. I would rate this book a 4.3/5 for its excellent writing and plot. My only real qualm is that the dialogue between characters seemed odd or formal at times, but this was a rarity. It's a great book overall, I finished it in two days in anticipation of the truth! 

Trigger warnings: blood, death, sexual assault.
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#TheBloodDivide #NetGalley 
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?
Their desperate hunt for answers will take them on a perilous journey, from the sprawling underground markets and dangerous red-light district of Delhi all the way to the most militarized zone in India.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK Transworld Publishers Bantam Press for giving me an advanced copy.
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Blood Divide - AA Dhand

I'm a huge fan of AA Dhand's Harry Virdee series so was thrilled to get the chance to read his new standalone Blood Divide. It's always exciting when a favourite author moves away from an established series and tries something different.

Jack Baxi appears to be a honest, hard-working, 14 hours a day proprietor of a corner shop in a rough part of Bradford. When DI Kuldeep Singh comes knocking in the early hours you know something is amiss.

I'm not one for plot summaries in reviews, especially in this style of book as it would ruin the surprises.

Starting out in Bradford, one of the characters embarks on a quest to India, an open-ended and potentially very dangerous journey to find out the truth, search for someone from their past and stay ahead of those out to get them.

The sights and sounds of India are vividly described, locations including Delhi and the Golden Temple are very atmospheric. We learn a lot about the Partition of India, the resulting bloodshed and in particular about Sikh cultural traditions and heritage.

It might just be my preference and taste, but I much prefer the hard-hitting urban crime of Harry Virdee's Bradford style than the expansive journey of discovery in this novel. Sorry to say that after a tense and volatile first third I felt it slowed down quite a bit before really picking up again for the last 20%.

The plotting is excellent and the gradual piecing together of the characters' true histories is probably one of the elements I enjoyed most.

Mixed feelings overall, enjoyable, atmospheric, but for me lacked some of the heart-pounding rush of the Harry Virdee series.

Thanks to Transworld and Netgalley.
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