Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this tour, and to Orenda books for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz. This is the second book in the English translations of the Chastity Riley series.
Below, I have a review of the book, but first, the blurb!
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.
Keeping with the theme of cages, after reading this I felt like I had been in a cage fight with Brock Lesnar!
This book delivers punch after punch, and does so rapidly before I knew it, it was all over, leaving me dazed and with little ability to do much more than sit there. It was brilliant.
This is a thriller unlike any I have read before. It is quite a quick read, clocking in at just under 190 pages (in my print edition) but what is contained in there is a wonderfully written protagonist whose flaws make her all the more relatable. She is gutsy, street wise, and thoroughly enjoyable.
As I mentioned above this is the second book in the Chastity Riley series, and while I did think that this worked well as a stand-alone novel, there were moments where I felt like I was missing something. Obviously this is entirely my own fault for not reading the first book, but I will certainly be going back to fill in these gaps!
I found the storyline brilliant, the writing style straying from what is the norm in this genre, to its benefit. Brilliantly stylish, great wordplay and with just the right touch of humour, this is one that deserves your attention.
Now I’m off for a lie down with an ice pack….. and maybe a glass of black label whiskey….
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, and 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.
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