Beton Rouge – Simone Buchholz (Chastity Riley Book 2)

I am delighted to be joining the #blogtour for Beton Rouge – the second book in the Chastity Riley series written by Simone Buchholtz, published by Orenda and organised by Anne Cater.

About the book:  On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of the biggest German newspapers. Closer inspection shows he is a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in similar circumstances.

Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect … to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the elite world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred … monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

A smart, dark, probing thriller, full of all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the very best noir, Beton Rouge is both a classic whodunit and a scintillating expose of society, by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction

About the Author: Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as the second Place of the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

My Review: Having read Simone’s first book Blue Knight (see my review here) last year I was delighted to be invited on to the blog tour for the next book in this fascinating series, Beton Rouge.

Once again, it’s a quick read with short chapters and Chastity Riley is back, drinking too much coffee and alcohol, smoking too many cigarettes and generally being the brilliantly sharp, sarcastic and super dry character she was in the first book.

This time Chastity deals with a hit and run, two naked men tortured and left in a cage outside their offices and a new work colleague.  To be perfectly honest, and in my opinion, the cases Chastity has to deal with in both stories whilst intriguing and interesting pale into insignificance next to the brilliant characterisation and phenomenal prose Simon Buchholz uses.  Most of the dialogue is utterly magical and at times I had to pause reading and re-read some of her expressions because they are simply wonderful.

I actually would happily read about Chastity doing her weekly shop in a supermarket as she is such a fantastic character.  Totally and 100% recommend this book.

What others are saying about the book:

‘By turns lyrical and pithy … disgraced state prosecutor Chastity Riley chases around the dive bars of the port city pursuing and being pursued by a beguiling cast of cops, criminals and chums, delivering scalding one-liners as she goes. Lots of fun’ Sunday Times

‘If Philip Marlowe and Bernie Gunther had a literary love child, it might just explain Chastity Riley – Simone Buchholz’s tough, acerbic, utterly engaging central character’ William Ryan

‘Simone Buchholz writes with real authority and a pungent, noir-is sense of time and space. Blue Night is a palpable hit’ Barry Forshaw

‘A dream of a read for me, relatively short, different, beautifully written, and full of jarring, jolting impact … one of my books of the year’ LoveReading

Don’t forget to check out these other bloggers on the #blogtour.

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