A Devil Under the Skin – Anya Lipska

Published 18th June 2015 by the Friday Project


The third Kiszka and Kershaw crime thriller.
Things are looking up for Janusz Kiszka, big-hearted ‘fixer’ to London’s Poles. His girlfriend/the love of his life, Kasia, is finally leaving her no-good husband to make a new life with him, and he’s on the brink of a deal to ensure their financial security for years to come.
Then Kasia vanishes – and the big Pole’s world is torn apart. Convinced she’s been abducted, he must swallow his pride and seek the help of an old contact – maverick cop Natalie Kershaw, who’s been suspended following a fatal shooting. But the search swiftly takes an even darker turn… What connects Kasia’s disappearance and a string of brutal East End murders? And who is the mysterious and murderous enforcer stalking the streets of London?
Meanwhile, time is running out for Kasia. To reach her, Kiszka must confront a gut-wrenching dilemma that will shape the rest of his life.

My thoughts

Last year I discovered Anya Lipska’s brilliant and original Kiszka and Kershaw crime series. They combine Polish subculture in the East End of London with exciting plots and a touch of humour. I feel like I have been waiting FOREVER for book three and here it is!

‘A Devil Under the Skin’ reunites us with our Polish fixer and his police detective friend. Janusz Kiszka is finally moving in with his long term girlfriend, Kasia. Kasia is leaving her husband for him. They are happy and making plans for the future. Kasia disappears into thin air one day and Kiszka is left with many questions. Where is Kasia? And who would take her? A fed up Natalie Kershaw has been suspended from her new job, as an armed response officer. Kiszka contacts Natalie to help him trace his missing girlfriend.

There is so much to love here. But first of all, I must mention Kiszka. There is just something incredibly lovable about him. The more I read about him, the more I love him. He is such a decent bloke. His comic moments with his best friend, Oskar are just wonderful. He is a joy. I was hooked on the interactions between Kershaw and Kiszka. Those two have such great conversations, where you can see Kershaw’s developing attraction for him. There is still an element of suspicion there from Kiszka, as he dislikes authority figures. It is easy to see how fond he is of her, by his use of cute Polish nicknames.

This was outstanding and intelligent crime read. It held my attention from the word go. I loved the drama of the hunt for Kasia and the gritty dark twists. And the funny Streaky and Oscar for the lighter moments. The balance is just perfect. As usual the way the Polish community portrayed in London is both fascinating and refreshing. There are no stereotypes here; but a real sense of the reality of living in a vibrant community, in a multi cultural city. I am putting my order in now for many more episodes in the lives of Kershaw and Kiszka.

The glossary of Polish words at the end of the book was handy. I was wondering what endearment Kiszka was calling Kershaw.

Recommended. This is a series every lover of crime should be reading!


About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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7 Responses to A Devil Under the Skin – Anya Lipska

  1. crimeworm says:

    Great review Christine! It feels as though everyone’s reading different books at the moment. I must get into this series asap! Hope you’re good!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Linda. You need to read this series. Even my Mum loves it and was asking about the latest one.

      And we all need to coordinate a group read of something!

  2. Kay says:

    This is a new-to-me series, but I like the sound of it. Will investigate. LOL

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