Thursday, 28 February 2013

Book Review: Where the Devil Can't Go

Where The Devil Can't Go
By Anya Lipska
Paperback published by The Friday Project 
Also available as an ebook
ISBN - 9780007504589

Where the Devil Can't Go starts when a woman's body washes up on the bank of the River Thames. The only clue to the identity of the body is a tattoo heart with two Polish names. It sounds like a typical murder story but you would be wrong. Where The Devil Can't Go is a book that's aware of itself and the crime genre and tries to go beyond the norms of crime fiction.

Where The Devil Can't Go is a gritty story about Janusz Kiszka, our reluctant hero, a Polish immigrant who has lived in London for several years and is passionate about maintaining the standards of the past. His priest asks him to investigate a young waitress who has gone missing.

The story also follows feisty police officer, Natalie Kershaw, who wants to show that she's worthy of her job and sets out to prove this by finding out who killed the girl in the river. Both stories intermingle with unexpected plot twists. I enjoyed the dual perspective as it offers a view from the 'right' side of the law and also the 'wrong' side of the law. The reader is left to decide which way they would pick to reveal the killer. Where the Devil Can't Go is a refreshing read. In the past, I have read crime novels that usually have one or two 'perfect' and normally middle class characters but this book doesn't - the characters are well drawn, have flaws and anxieties.

Lipska writes a great story and also delves into some great themes. Lipska explores Polish immigration to England and the way that multicultralism is changing society. Anya Lipska reminds me of Marina Lewycka in the way that she explorers a community that is generally ignored in fiction. The political subplot is fascinating and adds an additional dark layer to the story.

Power struggles play an important part within the plot. Janusz struggles to get younger, more care-free immigrants to realise their history and the importance of freedom and respect. While Kershaw struggles to get ahead with her boss who lives for the old days of policing in a male-dominated department.

I don't really read much crime fiction and I tend to avoid crime dramas on TV but I would definitely read more crime if it resembled Where the Devil Can't Go.

Where the Devil Can't Go is available from your preferred online or offline book retailer.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy.

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