Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…
Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect.
Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty. The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.
Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards…
Hamburg is having a spate of car burnings, inconvenient but nothing more, until the body of Nouri Saroukhan is found in one. He was a member of a notorious crime family, but they claim to have disowned him. Did this have anything to do with his relationship with Aliza, a woman from an opposing family…?
This is where Chastity Riley begins the investigation, accompanied by Stepanovic they see the worst and scariest of people as they try to get to the truth.
Chastity is a fantastic character, she’s heartbroken, not sleeping, constantly smoking and drinking and says exactly what she thinks. Tough on the outside but soft inside, which is why she’s a bit of a mess. But when it comes to work, she is solid.
This is noir at its darkest, it deals with fear, of brutality and violence, organised crime, immigration and corruption. There is also humour, a love story (very Romeo and Juliet) and a little romance too.
This really is a unique crime thriller in that the language used is almost poetic, it draws you in and won’t let go. It has a fantastic style of writing that gives a modern day setting the feel of a classic noir. Original, stylish, fascinating and totally gripping from start to finish.
Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.
You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3cEx7ny
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 runner-up 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.
PRAISE FOR SIMONE BUCHHOLZ
‘This is a punk-rock album translated into a hard-bitten tale of low-life scum and a lone officer. Fierce enough to stab the heart’
Spectator on Blue Night
‘Lyrical and pithy’
The Sunday Times Crime Club on Blue Night
‘Simone Buchholz writes with real authority and a pungent, noir-is sense of time and space … a palpable hit’
Barry Forshaw, Financial Times