In the DAAKU series, GANGSTER is the first novel in the series (previously titled DAAKU: a novel).
DAAKU: GANGSTER is a bullet-riddled story of money, power, betrayal and murder that takes place in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada, where the most ruthless Indo-Canadian gangsters are made. Ruby Pandher starts off as a street soldier, but wants more, so he begins his merciless climb up the underworld corporate ladder to get to the top. With a knack for leadership, he becomes an underworld General and sees the glamour of the life and has the gleam of power in his eyes. In this murderous game of chess, there can only be one king, and Ruby Pandher wants it all.
Literary critic reviews:
"A fascinating look into the gang world's twisted morality, casual murder, commodification of women, and the inevitability of a violent demise." – Quill & Quire
"A haunting parable about unfulfilled potential and lives wrongly lived. ... an edgy, politically incorrect novel about South Asian youth and their vulnerability to organized crime, an issue treated far too simplistically by the mainstream media. Dhaliwal ... has painted a grimly realistic portrait of the West Coast gangster life and the flash-and-burn trajectory of all those drawn into it." –Vancouver Review
"An excellent novel about Indo-Canadian gangs. ... A scary peek into a subculture about which we know nothing, a tour of Vancouver suburbs as alien as Mars, and Dhaliwal makes as believable as your own back yard." – Margaret Cannon, Globe & Mail
“Like Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's 1990 gangster film, Goodfellas, Ruby is seduced at a young age by the glamour of being a bad boy.” – Quill and Quire
“[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 social structure is dizzying and complex, yet Dhaliwal manages to juggle it plausibly and consistently.” – Literary Review of Canada
"Ranj Dhaliwal has turned a passion for the written word into a creative masterpiece." - The Ubyssey
“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