AA Dhand: Girl Zero

I read Girl Zero as part of my 20 Books Of Summer challenge.


A story as fresh as today’s newspaper headlines — and all the more potent for being so’ Mail on Sunday


There are some surprises that no-one should ever have to experience. Standing over the body of your beloved – and murdered – niece is one of them. For Detective Inspector Harry Virdee, a man perilously close to the edge, it feels like the beginning of the end.


His boss may be telling him he’s too close to work the case, but this isn’t something that Harry can just let lie. He needs to dive into the murky depths of the Bradford underworld and find the monster that lurks there who killed his flesh and blood.


But before he can, he must tell his brother, Ron, the terrible news. And there is no predicting how he will react. Impulsive, dangerous and alarmingly well connected, Ron will act first and think later. Harry may have a murderer to find but if he isn’t careful, he may also have a murder to prevent.


I’m somewhat behind with this series having read (but not had time to review) Streets Of Darkness only last year. It was a great introduction to Detective Inspector (DI) Harry Virdee and the challenges he faces in both his personal and professional life, but Girl Zero is on a new level. It’s much darker and the case Harry is investigating has personal implications and I was engaged from beginning to end. Harry and his brother, Ronnie, operate in a different world to that which I am used to, but I was sucked in, feeling the definite sense of danger which creates a brilliantly tense atmosphere.

Girl Zero is set in Bradford and Dhand’s sense of place is impeccable. I am familiar with most of the areas he describes in the novel and I loved being able to picture exactly what was happening.

In Girl Zero, Dhand chooses to address the issue of child trafficking. It is an extremely harrowing subject, but one that is incredibly relevant to society today. Dhand does not shy away from the horror of the crimes and the fact that it is happening so near to home means that the message hits hard and is one I will remember for a long time.

There are lots of twists and turns in the plot and the ending sets the reader up perfectly for the third book in the series.

Girl Zero is available from Amazon.

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