An estimated one million Poles live in the UK and Polish recently became the second most common language – and yet most British people would admit to knowing little about Poland and the Poles.

Now, there’s growing interest in Polish crime fiction sparked by the work of acclaimed writers like Marek Krajewski and Zygmunt Miłoszewski, and an upcoming generation of Poles who are choosing crime as the genre to work in. Then there are British writers taking Poland and the Polish as their setting – most famously the CWA Gold Dagger award winning William Brodrick.

The groundswell of interest in Polish crime follows hard on the heels of British readers’ fascination with Nordic crime, which raises the question: what is it about crime fiction that manages to appeal across national boundaries? And what it is that makes Polish crime distinctive?

Our writers William Brodrick, Mariusz Czubaj, Joanna Jodełka, and Anya Lipska, in conversation with Rosie Goldsmith, discuss how the country’s and how Polish protagonists in crime novels differ from their British counterparts, what aspects of the Polish ‘national character’ appeal to British crime fans, and the fictional legacy of the country’s struggles with totalitarianism in the 20th century.

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