Where the Devil Can’t Go – Anya Lipska

From the blurb:

A naked girl is washed up on London’s Thames foreshore, the only clue to her identity a heart-shaped tattoo encircling two names.  Who is she – and why did she die?

Life’s already complicated enough for Janusz Kiszka, unofficial fixer to East London’s Polish community.  His priest is nagging him to find a missing waitress, a builder on the Olympics site owes him a pile of money, and he’s falling for the married Kasia, Soho’s most strait-laced stripper.  But when he’s accused of murder by pushy young detective Natalie Kershaw and finds himself being pursued by drug dealing gangsters, Janusz is forced to take an unscheduled mini-break to Poland to find the real killer.

In the mist-wreathed medieval streets of his home town of Gdansk, Janusz must confront painful memories from the Soviet past…

How wonderful to have a British crime novel with original content.  Where Amanda Craig’s Hearts and Minds considered the lives and cultures of London’s immigrant eastern European population, Where the Devil Can’t Go delves deeply into the specifics of the Polish.  In an entertaining way – and not just through the crime story – Lipska paints a well-balanced and considered picture of the culture and how it comes into play in pragmatic terms.  With religion at its core, how do Poles reconcile their not quite legal, or not quite as originally avowed elements of behaviour?  The answers can be found here, along with a clearer understanding of motivation that should rightly shatter the prejudices of some of the home grown on our streets.  All this is the icing on the cake in a neatly-plotted package containing some strong characters.  A good, absorbing read for these indoor winter nights.

Where the Devil Can’t Go is self-published as an ebook by the author in the UK and will be published in German by Goldmann (Random House) in 2012, in Germany.

There is an interview with the author here.  Find out more about the author and the book at the author’s site here.

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