Where The Devil Can’t Go

Where The Devil Can’t Go

From the jacket:-

A NAKED girl is washed up on London’s Thames foreshore, the only clue to her identity a heart-shaped tattoo encircling two names. The sixteenth dead body recovered from the river in 2009, she is dubbed db16 by police. But who is db16? 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 straitlaced stripper. What starts out as a routine missing persons job soon sees Janusz threatened by drug dealing gangsters and accused of murder by DC Natalie Kershaw, an ambitious young female detective investigating the death of db16.

Janusz’s search for answers takes him on a reluctant visit home to the mist-wreathed port of Gdansk, the site of traumatic memories from the Soviet era. There, in the cellar of a former secret policeman, he uncovers evidence of a decades-old betrayal – and a conspiracy that will reach its chilling denouement in a derelict warehouse in London’s Docklands.

Although a slip of a lad in the 1980’s, every time I look back and fondly reminisce, four things are always at the front of my mind for that glorious decade for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here: watching Princess Diana’s wedding on holiday in West Wales with my folks, Adam Ant, Shakin’ Stevens (yes I know!)and his hold over the music industry with record sales and finally Lech Walesa’s Solidarnosc in Poland. Memories of the powerful and evocative images at the Gdańsk shipyard shown nightly on BBC News came flooding back as I read Anya Lipska’s wonderful debut Where The Devil Can’t Go highlighting the colourful and eclectic polish community in London.

I have a confession and an admission! I sat on this book for a number of months, mainly due to lack of time and taking time out from reading, and just haven’t found the personal inspiration and desire to read the book. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel about reading about Polish immigrants, their culture and the strong and long established community in London. I can safely say I was wrong to wait so long to read it, mea culpa. This is such an engaging book, incredibly easy to read, educational but most of all a thrilling and enjoyable read and with so many self-published titles out there these days it’s great to find a jewel in the crown that is rich in both prose and character. Anya Lipska is without question an author to watch and I would be amazed if she’s not picked up in the UK as she has been in Germany.

I loved the mix between the two main protagonists both changing the feel and atmosphere of the book when we are with them. Anya jumps from one to the other throughout the book, initially with chapter breaks and then as the pace intensifies and the book matures the two blend together seamlessly together utilising the same space. While concentrating on Janusz Kiszka the sights and sounds of Poland – in London and Gdansk – come alive, the narrative a heady mix of Polish sayings, vocabulary and endless references to Poland and its well documented struggles.

The two protagonists couldn’t be any different but I’ll let you discover their characteristics but for me the highlight came whenever Janusz and Oskar shared the same page. Their friendship is hilarious and I couldn’t fail to smile at the put downs the two share throughout their journey and if I was to be hyper critical – seriously trying and failing to find fault – it would be to say I wanted more of this entertaining friendship – maybe in the next book? I do hope so. Anya introduces a number of well thought characters throughout, some you’ll love and some you’ll intentionally despise but the mixture is well balanced and together with a taut storyline help move the book along at a fast and furious pace.

Travelling in and around London, across the borders to Germany and Poland no place comes more alive than good old London Town! With references to the rebuilding process in the East End thanks to London 2012, various drinking holes around the City including Dean Street, the book is current and up to date. Not only that, the book has reignited my interest in visiting Poland – now that can’t be a bad thing!

With a powerful Polish imagery throughout if you’re to read one self-published book this year then make sure you have Anya Lipska’s Where The Devil Can’t Go high on your to be read list, you won’t be sorry.  Kurwa maćthis book comes highly recommended.

Where The Devil Can’t Go is a self-published title by Anya Lipska and available now from Amazon on Kindle.

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