Beton Rouge, won the Radio Bremen Crime Fiction Award and Best Economic Crime Novel 2017
On a warm September morning, a man is found unconscious and tortured 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. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.
The magazine staff were facing significant layoffs, so sympathy for the two men is in short supply. 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.
This is the first book by Simone Buchholz that I have read, although it’s the second in the Chastity Riley books, it stands alone very well.
Chastity is a terrific character she smokes, she drinks, she’s not sure about commitment when it comes to relationships and is somewhat guarded. Chastity is in a difficult situation with her career, she’s frustrated and feels confined in what she is able to do – not to mention the broom cupboard that is her office. Anyway, on the way to the pub Chastity walks by what appears to be a horrible accident involving a cyclist but, speaking with the officer, turns out to be a hit and run. She can’t face the pub and goes home.
The next morning she gets a call, a man has been found abandoned in a cage outside his workplace. Chastity is to find out what has happened. She meets the officers who were first on the scene, the man is still alive but badly hurt. Then the detective in charge Ivo Stepanovic arrives and they begin the investigation. A small team is put together when another person is found in the same circumstances. There are connections they worked together but it is connectionss from their past that will prove significant.
The story is from Chastity’s point of view, she’s the narrator, so we learn a lot about her, her life and how she thinks. The style hints at Chandlers Marlowe but is uniquely Simone Buchholz. It is a beautifully written book, lyrical and a joy to read.
I highly recommend this book and, even though it’s perfectly good as a stand-alone, do read Blue Night too you won’t regret it. Let’s hope it won’t be long before we get to read more of Chastity Riley.
Like to read more? Then why not enjoy the rest….
Publisher: OrendaBooks (21 Feb. 2019)
Paperback: 192 pages. Language: English
ISBN-10: 1912374595 ISBN-13: 978-1912374595
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 second place in 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. Follow Simone on Twitter: @ohneKlippo and visit her website: Simone’s website
Rachel Ward is a freelance translator of literary and creative texts from German and French to English. Having studied modern languages at the University of East Anglia, she went on to complete UEA’s MA in Literary Translation. Her published translations include Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang and Red Rage by Brigitte Blobel. Rachel is a Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. Follow Rachel on Twitter @FwdTranslations, on her blog http://www.adiscounttickettoeverywhere.wordpress.com, and on her website: ForwardTranslations