“Daaku is a scary peek into a subculture about which we know nothing, a tour of Vancouver suburbs as alien as Mars, and Dhaliwal makes it as believable as your own back yard.” – The Globe and Mail
“The story focuses on the fast-paced action – who does what when and what happens because of it – that makes for an engrossing crime novel.” – The Now Newspaper
“Dhaliwal has broached some interesting and vital topics in the examination of gang mentality.” – Literary Review of Canada
“Edgy … a grimly realistic portrait of the West Coast gangster life and the flash-and- burn trajectory of those drawn to it.” — Vancouver Review
“… he [Ranj Dhaliwal] may remind some readers of S. E. Hinton, whose 1967 novel, The Outsiders, achieved a similarly skilful blend of what’s thrilling and what’s good for you.” – The Walrus Magazine
“This is an excellent novel about Indo-Canadian gangs.” – The Globe and Mail
Violence, wild partying and flashy purchases mark Ruby’s comeback, as he tries to sideline his rivals and re-establish his dominance in the underworld. Still barely out of his teens, Ruby’s eyes and perspective are widened by the new contacts he makes, as he tries to measure up to – and then sideline – big-time gangster Khalsi. Joining forces with a sinister associate and sounding very much like the modern businessman, he sets out to expand his criminal enterprises – all while battling his conscious and wondering what a life outside the underworld would be like.
Meanwhile, life intervenes with a possibility of love for this hardcore gangster; and in Ruby’s brother Kam, who worships his bro’ and wants to follow in his footsteps – something Ruby knows he’s not equipped to do.
Will Ruby’s heart open, or is the flashy lifestyle too much to tear away from? Can he stop Kam from following in his own footsteps? Most of all, can Ruby break the cycle and leave behind “The Life”?