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«Read Regional

AA Dhand introduces Girl Zero

Girl Zero is a tense, forty-eight hours in the life of “DI Harry Virdee” and the follow-up novel to the best-selling Bradford-based debut, Streets of Darkness, currently in development with a UK broadcaster. Girl Zero explores a sinister child-trafficking gang operating in Bradford. With the explosion of “grooming” cases throughout the U.K., the novel is a timely exploration at this evil phenomenon, from points-of-view of both perpetrator and victim. What makes some people view others as unworthy? And what if a child-victim wanted revenge; an eye-for-an-eye? Quite simply, “what happens when you cross the wrong girl?”

Running parallel to this story is an engaging family drama featuring Harry and his, criminal mastermind brother, Ronnie. When Harry discovers his niece, Tara, has been murdered, he knows Ronnie will want “street-justice” and Harry is forced to walk a fine-line between upholding the law and appeasing Ronnie’s obsession for revenge. Harry may have a murderer to find, but if he isn’t careful, he may also have a murder to prevent. Therein lies the dilemma. Which comes first? Family? Or upholding the law?

Entrenched in the hunt for Tara’s murderer, we explore a character called “Ali Kamran”, shunned by the Asian community because of how he looks. Something is wrong with Ali; he is damaged and not just physically. Years of mental abuse from school-children and his own family have resulted in Ali trying to physically alter his appearance. He bleaches his skin, desperate to appear “whiter” thinking that if he can achieve this, he will be worthy of love and attention. Moreover, Ali is primed to kidnap a young-girl, convinced once she sees past his façade, she will grow to love him, something Harry’s niece, Tara, was set to ruin. As both Ali and Harry are about to discover; on the streets of Bradford, nothing is as it seems…

Amit Dhand was raised in Bradford and spent his youth observing the city from behind the counter of a small convenience store. After qualifying as a pharmacist, he worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to Bradford to start his own business and begin writing. The history, diversity and darkness of the city have inspired his Harry Virdee novels. His novel, Streets of Darkness, was published to great acclaim in 2017 and the follow-up, Girl Zero, has been selected for this year’s Read Regional.

Events

Bradford City Library, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1SD
Saturday 3 March, 2pm

Community Hub Central, 124 York Road, Hartlepool, TS26 9DE
Friday 9 March, 2pm

Goole Library, Carlisle Street, Goole, DN14 5DS
Wednesday 18 April, 6.30pm

Halewood Library, The Halewood Centre, Roseheath Drive, Halewood, Knowsley, L26 9UH
Monday 23 April, 11am

Hemsworth Library, Market Street, Hemsworth, Wakefield, WF9 4JY
Thursday 26 April, 2pm

Halifax Central Library and Archives, Square Road, Halifax, HX1 1QG
Thursday 26 April, 7pm

Cullercoats Library, 16 St. George’s Road, North Shields, NE30 3LA
Tuesday 1 May, 7.30pm

Gosforth Library, Regent Farm Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3HD
Friday 4 May, 2pm

Workington Library, Vulcans Lane, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 2ND
Wednesday 6 June, 6.30pm

Advance booking is advisable and all events may be subject to change. See our individual event listings for further information.

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