Book Review – Where the Devil Can’t Go by Anya Lipska

081540-FC50Where the Devil Can’t Go by Anya Lipska
Publisher: The Friday Project
Release Date: 7th February 2013 (pre-order on Amazon)
Rating: 4/5
Source: Advance copy from The Friday Project–Thank you!

A naked girl has washed up on the banks of the River Thames. The only clue to her identity is a heart-shaped tattoo encircling two foreign names. Who is she – and why did she die?

Life’s already complicated enough for Janusz Kiszka, unofficial ‘fixer’ for East London’s Polish community: his priest has asked him to track down a young waitress who has gone missing; a builder on the Olympics site owes him a pile of money; and he’s falling for married Kasia, Soho’s most strait-laced stripper. But when Janusz finds himself accused of murder by an ambitious young detective, Natalie Kershaw, and pursued by drug dealing gang members, he is forced to take an unscheduled trip back to Poland to find the real killer.

In the mist-wreathed streets of his hometown of Gdansk, Janusz must confront painful memories from the Soviet past if he is to uncover the conspiracy – and with it, a decades-old betrayal.

Wow.  There’s so much going on in “Where the Devil Can’t Go” that I have no clue where to start.  There’s murder, religion, Polish culture, politics, sex, drugs, police procedure and some wild surprises to boot.  I had so much fun with this book, even though I’m not normally a fan of the crime/mystery/thriller genre.  I’m so glad I gave this book a shot!

I’m a culture nut and love travelling and experiencing the sights, sounds and tastes of other countries.  I’ve never been to Eastern Europe or hung around much in East London, if you want to get right down to it, but Lipska’s smattering of Polish words and phrases really made the book authentic for me.  She even went into detail on some of the dishes that Janusz happened to be cooking during a particular scene and I felt my mouth water.  She did a brilliant job of not stereotyping a culture that, let’s face it, is often poked fun at in the media and in comedy.

One of the best bits of Anya Lipska’s thriller were the characters and just the way she went about describing/portraying them.  “Streaky” was a particular favourite and he had some fabulous one liners.  Kershaw was plucky and interesting but it was Janusz Kiszka’s character that really drew me in.  Even now, having finished the book, I feel as if there’s a bit more to him that hasn’t yet been revealed.  I’ve heard that this is the first book in a series, so I’ll be excited to see more from Kershaw and Kiszka.

“Where the Devil Can’t Go” was an pleasure to read and I devoured it in just over a weekend.  With insane twists and surprising turns, I found myself surprised at an ending and explanation that I would never have guessed.  Lipska–I’m looking forward to more from you!


If you’re interested in getting in touch, tweet me at @stephanie_khani or @londondiaries1.  Alternatively you can email me at emailthelondondiaries [at]

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