GRIPPING, compelling and engaging.

For crime fans, or for lovers of any good read for that matter, A.A. Dhand's second book is a thrilling page-turner.

There is, of course, a dark thread for which the author is renowned - he writes about Bradford's 'dark heart' and isn't afraid to explore this as readers are taken deep into an underworld to which many are still naive.

His latest book - 'Girl Zero' - features Dhand's character - Detective Inspector Harry Virdee who readers initially met in the acclaimed author's debut novel, 'Streets of Darkness.'

Accustomed to solving complex crimes, Harry's latest case is a little too close to home as he stands over the body of his beloved niece.

The detective is determined to solve her murder, despite his boss telling him he's too close to the case, and is more than prepared to delve into the city's murky depths in his quest to find the filler.

"I know I'm the best detective you've got. We both know that. Nothing's changed because it's Tara under that tent," says Harry.

"I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't assign this away from you."

"And I won't sleep at night until I get the b******. Whether you like it or not, I'm working on it," says Harry in defiance of his boss's response.

Entwined within the plot is Harry's relationship with his brother, Ron, to whom he has to break the devastating news and protect him from the revenge he could potentially wrought on the culprit.

However, breaking the news to family who had become strangers due to the deep-rooted issue of his decision to marry a Muslim, wasn't going to be easy.

The anticipation of welcoming arms wasn't something Harry expected making the task of delivering the devastating news all the more difficult.

Outcast by all his family other than his brother Ron, Harry was aware of the reception he would receive but standing on the doorstep of Ron's substantial home - a symbol of the successful businessman's wealth and where his parents also lived, he reminded himself he was duty bound.

However, it also made Harry question whether this brother's success was all it seemed. Described as 'impulsive, dangerous and alarmingly well connected, Ron doesn't appear to be a man to mess with and Harry contemplates whether there could be a possibility that his business, along with his underground activities, were connected to the crime.

Conscious of a murder to solve, Harry considers that he may also have a murder to prevent. It is a tricky case to say the least and further complicated by the personal connection.

The story unravels with the vengeful hunt for a trafficking ring in this rollercoaster read with its thrilling twists and turns on every page.

Filmwave, the producers behind the recent adaptation of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy for the BBC and HBO, have already snapped up the TV rights so let's hope Dhand's 'Girl Zero' is coming to the small screen soon....

A must read from the author who, having grown up in Bradford and observed his home city from behind the counter of a small convenience store, knows only too well the history, diversity and darkness of the city which inspired his novels.

Interestingly, after qualifying as a pharmacist, Dhand worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to Bradford to start his own business and begin writing.

Testimony to Dhand's success, his first novel 'Streets of Darkness' featuring his character, Harry Virdee, was selected for inclusion in 2017 Read Regional and World Book Night 2017

'Girl Zero,' which the author launched in Bradford's Waterstones bookshop yesterday (Friday July 14), is published by Bantam Press and is priced at £12.99. It is also available in ebook.