Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz – Blog Tour Review.

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.

My Review

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.

Blue Night by Simone Buchholz – Translated by Rachel Ward – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
Chastity Riley has to rebuild her career after convicting her superior officer of corruption. She is frustrated and bored, working in the equivalent of an office cupboard and feeling invisible. But then she is given the task of trying to get a man to talk about why he was attacked. And he doesn’t want to make it easy for her. It is only when she starts to break down the barriers she realises how bad the situation could be. And just what is available on the streets.
The case that she does end up investigating is grim. It doesn’t glamorise anything. It is hard-hitting and terrifying and I hope I never have to see what she witnesses during parts of this novel. Both Chastity and people she works with see the worst sights of humanity and cope. I don’t know she does it.
The novel also focuses on her friendships. She is loyal to her friends, some she has known for years, and some are colleagues. Despite the difficulties caused by her job she recognises that some of them need help. There are a few of these friends I would love to know more about. With some of the personal aspects of the novel I felt that there was missing back story but I could still follow it easily enough.
I really liked Chastity,she has plenty of compassion, and is loyal, funny and down to earth. And she has some of the best observations on life that I have read in fiction.
A very successful series that is well established in Germany, I have no doubt that it will do just as well in other countries.

You can purchase the novel here

BLUE NIGHT Blog Tour Poster