Book Reviews…

‘Energetically and pacily written…. There is a vitality and freshness about Rai’s writing that engages the reader…. An intriguing debut that promises well for the future’ (Books for Keeps) 

‘Rai has an unselfconscious style, and a dry sense of the ridiculous… an appealing subervise edge’   (Times Educational Supplement)

‘Brilliant Anglo-Asian writer exploring alienation in Leicester’s Punjabi culture.’ (Amanda Craig – The Times)

‘Written in a streetwise dialect, this is a jewel of a book…The publisher’s warning ‘Not for younger readers’, should ensure the large sales it deserves.’  (Nicholas Tucker, The Independent)

‘Engagingly direct in tone, grittily and realistic in theme, this uncompromising, streetwise story is sure to appeal to teenagers.’  (Books For Keeps)

‘A detective story with an edge…an excellent read.’  (Reading Matters)


‘Although this gem is published for children, it touches upon emotions mirrored in any adult’s life. Former DJ and bar manager Bali Rai carefully weaves together street dialect, romantic tragedy and urban realism to create a tapestry that isn’t just a depiction of how things used to be, but how history has a way of coming full circle… Bali Rai speaks the voice of  teenage youth with astonishing clarity, making it essential reading for 2004’   (Asiana)

‘Rai weaves together a brilliant page turner, with identifiable characters that leave you over-run with emotions and empathy in this summer-time must read.’  (Desi)

‘This bitter-sweet story hurtles towards its inevitable conclusion, which is both frustratingly honest and overwhelmingly powerful. It is a heart-wrenching love story that will exert its power over you long after the book is finished.’ (Claudia Mody – The Bookseller)

‘Rai holds his reader with a convincing, disturbing portrait of excluded people struggling for something better…a thought-provoking, eye-opening picture.’  (Irish Times)

‘Rai knows his audience to a T and writes powerfully and engagingly…it is this kind of book that should reignite older boys’ enthusiasm for novels.’  (Birmingham Post)

‘An intricately plotted drama…Rai builds his story with consummate control…his empathetic portrayal of his multi-cultural cast of characters is underpinned by a sure grasp of street-language and mores.’ (Books for Keeps)

‘There are few individual voices left…and Bali Rai is one. He is back on form with one of the best books of the whole year.’ (Jenny Woolf – Hampstead & Highgate Express)

‘Bali Rai deals with important and controversial issues not because it is fashionable to do so, but because he is compelled to. Long may he continue!’ (Jean Allen – Carousel)

‘Engrossing, funny and savage in turn. The lively dialogue and the clever use of different perspectives place the novel in a very broad context and the climax is terrifying.’  (School Librarian)

‘Bali Rai’s sixth novel is black, full of suspense, and powerful with it.’  (Leicester Mercury)

‘I thoroughly enjoyed The Angel Collector. It’s very definitely a book for teenagers – younger children may fail to fully understand and sympathise with Jit’s motivations. This is as much a search for himself as it is for Sophie. But for the teenager, it is a tense and demanding thriller that has authenticity and emotional truth and, better still, the courage to approach difficult issues head-on. More like this please!’ (

‘It’s a story that needed telling. It’s a story you need to read.’


‘A heart-rending tale from a talented author’

Amanda Craig – The Times

“The Lovely Bones meets East is East” – Amazon (2011)

“It’s a real page-turner and I read it in one, rather breathless, sitting.” –

“Rai never shies away from difficult topics, and here tackles the controversial issue of honour killings. It’s utterly compelling, and will be much-debated.” – Fiona Noble, The Bookseller  

“…strong, engaging and dark.” – Fantasy Book Review

“Compelling storytelling…” – Sister Spooky

“A disturbing allegory of corruption which will appeal to fans of dystopian fiction.” – Booktrust

“…an astonishingly, shockingly powerful novel.” – Susan Elkin, The Stage 

“I read it in a day, genuinely not wanting to put it down.” –

“…terrifying twists, shocking events and a storyline that leaves you wondering what will happen next.” –

“All in all this is a great suspenseful read. This [book has] an underlying darkness which keeps you reading frantically until you finish the very last word! I have recommended it already because I couldn’t help myself – I had to share! 5/5 stars!” – Milennium Riot Readers