Lipska, Anya - 'Where the Devil Can't Go'
Janusz is a Polish odd job man and occasional detective, who has been living in London for the past 20 years. Originally a top physics student in Krakow, he became embroiled in the fight for democracy and had to leave, becoming separated from his wife and son. As a favour, Father Piotr Pietruzki asks him to trace Weronika, a 19-year-old girl who disappeared two weeks ago. The old lady she lives with, Pani Tosik, is worried about her.
Meanwhile, DC Natalie Kershaw is investigating the death of a 'floater', female, young, missing both eyes and with burns and slashes on her body. Only a tattoo gives a small clue to her identity. The autopsy shows that she was pregnant, and died from drug induced hyperthermia, most likely from something called 'PMA', a newly circulating recreational drug.
Janusz visits Pani, and takes a look at Weronika's room. He discovers that she has a boyfriend, 11 years older than her, who has organised a photographer to take photos for a modelling portfolio.
Then Kershaw has to deal with another body, female, found in a hotel room, dead from PMA. Does the priest know more than he is letting on? What is the link between Weronika and Janusz's past back in Poland?
WHERE THE DEVIL CAN'T GO is a diverting read that gives some insight into the close-knit Polish Catholic community in London, and intriguing glimpses into Polish history and consequences. Janusz is a humorous, acerbic, smart and instantly likeable character, and his relationship with his friend Oskar provides a comic lightness running alongside the dangerous situations they find themselves in. There is a complex plot, with a skilful threading together of the two linked investigations, those of Janusz and the quintessentially English tomboy detective Natalie. I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to the next.
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Michelle Peckham, England