Oh My God. Some books just make you go crazy. I don’t mean ‘This is awful’ crazy. I mean ‘The brain and hands who wrote this are magical’ crazy. I owe Mr Dhand a massive book hangover! I enjoy action and thrillers, but I was not ready for such a pacy, punchy, and current novel to slap me and make me beg for more!
🥳 HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY A.A. Dhand! 🎉
My thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and to the publisher for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Title: One Way Out
Author: A.A. Dhand
Publisher: Bantam Press
Date of publication: 27 June 2019
Format: physical proof
Number of pages: 338
Rating: 5 stars
A bomb detonates in Bradford’s City Park.
When the alert sounds, DC I Harry Virdee has just enough time to get his son and his mother to safety before the bomb blows. But this is merely a stunt.
The worst is yet to come.
A new and aggressive nationalist group, the Patriots, have hidden a second device under one of the city’s one hundred and five mosques. In exchange for the safe release of those at Friday prayers, the Patriots want custody of the leaders of radical Islamist group Almukhtareen – the chosen ones.
The government does not negotiate with terrorists. Even when thousands of lives are at risk.
There is only one way out. But Harry’s wife is in one of those mosques. Left with no choice, Harry must find the Almukhtareen, to offer the Patriots his own deal.
Just like people, we like to put books into categories. Chick-lit, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime…
I struggle to put One Way Out in a box. With a single book, A.A. Dhand won a new fan. Impeccable writing, well-crafted layers, a suffocating tension, outstanding characters put in impossible situations, served with twists and developments galore, One Way Out absolutely blew my mind. I resent myself for waiting this long to meet DCI Harry Virdee!
Back to my boxes issue. If I tell you this book is action-packed, so much that you don’t get any respite, you might think that other aspects get neglected. If I tell you the novel deals with current affairs and is a frighteningly plausible scenario which could happen any day, you might be put off, thinking you won’t find the escapism you hope for. If I talk about religion, stereotypes, and stigmas we need to fight, you might get discouraged. If I mention the importance of family, you may roll your eyes. You know what? One Way Out has everything. No matter which kind of reader you are, you will find what you need, I promise! The author is a bartender, juggling with every bottle behind the bar, shaking the mixture to get the perfect drink: an intense, authentic, and cracking read.
The prologue hit me hard. Short and threatening, I felt like the last decade has prepared us to face this kind of situation. I bit my lip and I dived into the book, not knowing what would happen, but already sure I would not be able to put the book down.
Everything started well for Harry that day. Enjoying the sun with his son Aaron and his mother, like hundreds of people making the best of the sun, he reminded me of days when I walk up to the water fountains in Bordeaux. It was so close to home that when a call for all to leave the area came up, I shivered. A bomb. Immediately, my blood pressure reacted as if I were running next to Harry. I felt the urgency to reach a safe place, to protect my family. I remember gripping the paperback so tightly I left a mark on it. A.A. Dhand doesn’t feed from recent events to make sure the reader gets immersed in his book. His descriptions are strong enough on their own to conjure up the fear and the adrenaline caused by a world turned upside down.
I didn’t have time to process the bombing of a park fulled with innocent people. This first step took me on a race to avoid the worst. With intelligence and realism, the author used a background of politics, power, and religion to remind us of what mankind is capable of.
Where to go? Who to trust? What is happening?? I was consumed by the need to know, my hands on fire as I turned the pages.
Was there a way out?
Faced with an unthinkable dilemma: sacrifice four lives to save a thousand, each protagonist shows their true colours. So does the reader. Completely hooked by the novel, I didn’t pause to ask myself question during my read, but I still can feel the impact of One Way Out on me. The questions, the moral, and the greater good are all in my head. This only is one of the reasons I believe this is one hell of a book! If you come out of it unscathed, you have missed something!
I applauded Harry’s wife Saima for her courage, her determination, and her sense of family. Locked in the Mosque with a possible bomb hidden somewhere, she has no choice but to do her best to help her husband, her community, and her city. I rooted for her. I could imagine the heat inside the Mosque, her fear and her doubts, and she is a wonderful Muslim character to follow. Yes, her religion is important. So is Harry’s background, as his family faces the outside crisis as much as an inside one, where scars are still raw and hope is a tiny flame. I can’t say more about this without treading on a thread I want you to experience on your own. I just want to say thank you to the author for writing with such respect and power about so many different characters. He brings them to life and gives them so much energy that you can’t not think twice about what you think you know, what you hear, and what might be.
Action leads this novel and Harry never stops one second. Involuntary brought in the eye of the hurricane, he is given a task a man shouldn’t have to carry alone. But there is so much at stake that I could see with my eyes the weight hanging on everyone’s shoulders. From one location to another, from danger to darkness, Harry proves to be an exceptional main character. He is no fool, and while he tries to figure out the pieces of the puzzle, he fights for his life, the life of his wife, and those of so many people. I was fascinated by his resources! Never did I think ‘Oh, this is too much!’ No, no. The author makes sure everything feels so real you don’t doubt what you read. You just bite your nails, lips, everything you can, with the ticking of a clock echoing in your ears!!! Talk about an edge-of-your-seat thriller! I was breathless by the time I reached the end!
One Way Out is a clever thriller, an outstanding and daring novel of the highest level!
Excuse me while I add the author’s previous books to my wish list!!!
Grab your copy today! You know you want it! Amazon