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 Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.
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 hothouse 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.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoyed my first meeting with Chastity Riley last year in the novel Blue Night so was looking forward to catching up with her again. I was happy to see that she hadn’t changed a bit. She is as cynical as ever.
There are two cases, the first a cyclist killed by a hit and run is a bit gory despite its brevity. Chastity is only there because she was walking by whilst the investigation was being carried out. The second concerned businessmen who had been stripped, tortured and locked in a cage outside the business that they run. They didn’t seem to have many who were sympathetic to their plight. And when you knew more about them I do tend to have the same opinion.
But the novel isn’t really about the crimes, it’s more about Chastity. Which is ok with me because she is such a likeable and refreshing character. She drinks too much, smokes too much and falls in love with the wrong people. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She also cares about her friends, worries about what they are going through, and she is willing to see things that others will disregard.
The writing is beautiful and having experienced listening to her read from the previous book at an event last year I could hear her read this. It feels real, these characters aren’t whiter than white. They have problems, they feel lonely, they sometimes do things that they shouldn’t do.
I hope more of this series will be translated. It’s one that I could happily read back to back.