Published February 2018 Orenda Books
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.
Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on a trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs.
When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short lived.
Fresh, fiendishly fast paced and full of devious twists and all the hard boiled poetry and ascerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.
This short and gritty crime story hit the ground running and didn’t let up until the final page – so fast I found myself wondering how the ending would work… but it did. Very well! But lets start at the beginning, bringing to mind classic Scandi Noir, set in Hamburg and translated from German the book starts with the reader being unclear what is happening and who is who. The story is written in a highly original format of interludes of dialect between each chapter, which drove the story forward and provided back ground in a way that I thought was both effective and clever.
The plot was strong and detailed with a core of likeable characters gravitating around the protagonist Chastity Riley, sharp, brave and strong, hard as nails… but somehow vulnerable also and very likeable. A motley crew of characters who bridge the divide between friends and colleagues and not always on the right side of the law provide much of the grit, alongside the dark underbelly of the criminal world of narcotics. There are a number of threads in this story which intertwine, so while the characters have their own stories, they link into the criminal underworld forming a tale of a corner of Hamburg, which as this series progresses will all continue to develop into a terrific crime series.
This was a 1 day read, where everything comes together as the story unfolds with pace and movement. I could see this being made into a great film, but as a book it was excellent – I loved it. I’m excited that this is the first in a series and will definitely be looking out for the next book in the Chastity Riley series.
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 a runner up for the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was a 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.
This is a Blog Tour so do follow the rest of the tour to read more reviews of this great piece of crime fiction.
Thank you to Orenda Books for providing me with a review copy of this book and to Anne Cater for arranging this tour and inviting me to be a part of it.