A crime thriller, with a touch of noir, the story is set within London's Polish community, and starts when the body of a naked girl is washed up on the shore of the Thames. The reader is introduced to Janusz Kiszka who has lived in London since the 80s - he started out as a jobbing builder, but over the years has become something of a 'fixer' within the Polish community. When local priest Father Piotr Pietruzki asked Janusz if he can track down a missing girl, little does he realise that he is about to get involved with some of the most powerful people in Poland.
DC Natalie Kershaw is also interested in finding out more about the missing girl, and the dead body, and it is not long before she accuses Janusz of murder. Natalie is a determined young detective, desperate to impress her superiors and to prove herself amongst her peers. It is clear to her that Janusz knows more than he is telling - it is clear to Janusz that Natalie hasn't got a clue!
Anya Lipska has written a very impressive debut crime novel. The sense of place, from the building sites of London, amongst the many Polish cafes and churches to the dark and foreboding tension of Gdansk in Poland, where Janusz travels to in search of answers. There are some wonderfully created characters that star alongside Natalie and Janusz, who appear very authentic.
The plot is fast-moving and complex, with a great deal of reference to Polish politics, especially in the 1980s. This was very well explained within the plot, and adds an extra dimension to what could have been a pretty ordinary murder crime story.
My thanks to Sabah from The Friday Project for introducing me to this book, I will most certainly look out for more by the author.
To find out more about Anya Lipska and the book, visit the website here.
Anya Lipska is also on Twitter here