where the devil can’t go by Anya Lipska

Anya Lipska is a journalist and lives in london this is her debut novel.She is married to a pole .

I like the concept of this book when I received a e-mail from its publicist Louise ,I often wander around my local supermarket which now has a section devoted to polish food and we also have a polish deli ,so a book set in the uk in the polish community seemed like a really interesting book to me .The book’s title is part of an old polish proverb about a women being often the cause of trouble ,I asked Anya on twitter about this and she said it fitted the main character Janusz Kiszka to  tee .He is an older chap a figure-head in the community ,The sort of  come to guy the man who knows everyone and every thing so when he is asked to find a missing young polish  girl by a priest ,this one event leads him to his own past as he returns to his native Poland and faces his own ghosts ,a dead body or two , a perky female police detective Natalie Kershaw ,she  is young and full of get up and go .She is a a new young detective  in what feels like a very male police force world and has  Janusz in her sights as he keeps cropping up in the case of a girl found by the river Thames .All this has repercussions in Poland in the upper reaches of Polish politics .

She followed him as he moved up the side of the bed .He bent over the girl .”No obvious injuries” he said eyes flickering impassively over the splayed body .

Kershaw notice a fuzz of underarm stubble beneath the girls out flung left arm – a detail so personnel it made her feel uncomfortably like a voyeur .

A body in a hotel room as Kershaw sorts this case .

I like my crime novels that break the mould or have well crafted characters and this book seems to have achieved both ,the narrative stream is told in alternating chapters by Janusz and then Kershaw this is clever as you see two pictures  of what is happening ,but then over time these picture merge and the true course of events becomes clear to the reader .The other strength in this book is Janusz he is like a fish out of water a pole in the uk ,a man with secrets ,but also not the most politically correct guy he is a bit of a misogynist ,he has a girlfriend but their relationship is in limbo a bit ,the way he talked and dealt with women took me back to the noir of the thrities and  forties ,he is like a modern Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe .Also you find out how he end up in the UK and also a bit about Poland in the Eighties and life under the communist state .I also loved the fact that early on I had to google as they described eating various Polish dishes ,so next time I m in the supermarket I may know what are on the shelves .So if you want a page turning winter crime novel that has something a bit different about it this may be the book for you .

Here is a interview with writer 

and Anya Lipska site

This is an e book her is the link to it on amazon 


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Parrish
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 20:53:08

    I like the idea of the 2 viewpoints slowly merging until the tale comes together. sounds like a good read.


  2. rosecityreader
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 02:45:59

    Sounds great! I love Eastern Bloc mysteries.

    Are you sure about the European Reading Challenge? That you would read five books in about three months just means in a year of reading at that pace, you would be in the running for the Jet Setter Grand Prize! The person who reads and reviews the most books (more than five!) wins a $25 Powell’s gift card. You could be the big Jet Setter!


  3. Tom Cunliffe
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 08:23:22

    I enjoy crime novels – this sounds like an interesting take on the genre. I’ve read a few Polish authors but never a book set in the ex-pat community. Nice review – thanks


  4. Tony
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 10:25:10

    Another interesting find Stu, but I’m not much of a crime reader. Apparently though, everyone else is – I’m seeing a lot of reviews of thrillers on lit blogs at the moment…


  5. amymckie
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 13:34:11

    This does sound like an interesting read Stu, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Always nice to put the things we see into context isn’t it?


  6. Anbolyn
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 03:55:43

    I like the sound of this – very intriguing! The interlinking of the two cultures makes it even more enticing to me.


  7. Kinna
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 13:00:45

    This sounds wonderful Stu. I like watching crime stuff instead of reading crime novels. So like you, I like my crime novels to have something more, a whole lot more. Such burden! but this books seems to have that something more. It’s nice to read and have the urge to search online for something in the book, isn’t it? Nice review. Thank you, Kinna. Oh and Janusz’s misogyny sounds like what I hve to deal with here in Ghana! All the best.


  8. Kelly
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 04:03:48

    I thought this looked good from the beginning of your review, but you really had me at noir at Marlowe 🙂 Now I definitely need to read it.


  9. Trackback: Book notes: Smith, Finch, Lipska « Follow the Thread
  10. Trackback: Rare Book Freebie and Ebook Offer: Anya Lipska’s Where the Devil Can’t Go « It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)
  11. cleopatralovesbooks
    Mar 17, 2014 @ 19:21:59

    I’ve been eyeing this up for a while and now I’ve read your review it is going on my TBR – thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

December 2011


%d bloggers like this: