We loved Anya’s book, Where the Devil Can’t Go, and from the Amazon reviews – so did you! We caught up with her to find out a little more about it…
Why did you decide to set the book within the Polish community of London?
I’d wanted to write a crime novel for years but was struggling for a way to make it leap out of crime shelves already crowded with London-based police procedurals and thrillers. The light bulb moment came when my (Polish) husband suggested creating a Polish private eye working among London’s Polish community – many of whom live in my part of London, the East End. Setting my PI on collision course with a female police detective over the murder of a Polish girl she’s investigating gave me potential for conflict and a chance to gain an insight through her into the Poles’ mindset, rich culture, and turbulent recent history.
Have any members of the Polish community read the book, and if so what did they think?
Lots of them! And not just friends and family. As I’m English that was a bit scary. They’ve been kind enough to say that I’ve captured something of the Polish spirit: an intriguing combination of small ‘c’ conservative values with an anti-authoritarian streak which I think comes from a constant struggle against invaders and foreign occupation. One Polish reader review cited a ‘brilliant insight into the Polish mentality and the subtle differences between the generations of immigrants’ – which I was absolutely thrilled by.
Luke Delaney isn’t just an ex-Police Detective, he’s also our brand new crime author, and he’s about to release a book, Cold Killing, that we’re all unbelievably excited about.
Below, you can read what he told us about how he became a writer, and beneath that there’s an opportunity to read the first two chapters from Cold Killing.
In case the title doesn’t already give it away, this isn’t a book to read before bedtime…
“My senior school was a huge inner city affair. I often thought we were sent there to keep us off the streets rather than to be educated, the teachers having long since given up on us, but even then I loved to write stories. Unfortunately, if the school itself wasn’t a big enough obstacle to any literary ambitions, I was also slightly dyslexic and found my inability to spell and lack of grammar defeated me. I left school, as did most of us, with almost no qualifications.
Ever wondered how you make the leap to become a writer? This month sees Paul Finch recall the transition from his days in the Police to his time as a scriptwriter for The Bill in his fourth blog piece for Killer Reads.
The first time I ever put pen to paper to write a serious thriller, it was just after I’d finished serving as an actual police officer. The piece of work in question was a speculative teleplay entitled Knock Off Job. It concerned a murder inside a suburban police station, and presented every member of the shift, both uniform and CID, as potential suspects, none of them knowing who to trust.
Now that I look back on it, it was very talkie: lots of tense conversations in dim corridors and cramped offices, lots of frank, fraught interviews, lots of suspicions being cast in every direction. It wouldn’t work today simply because modern police stations are filled with CCTV, and the comings and goings of staff and non-staff are more carefully monitored. But the concept was of sufficient interest to the production team at The Bill to make them ask me to come in and see them. I accepted the invitation, and though I didn’t realise it at the time, my life changed as a result.