Today Mandie is taking a further look at Simone Buchholz’s Chastity Riley series with a review of book two, Beton Rouge. If you want to know what I thought of the book, you can find my review here. Before we see what Mandie thought, here is what the book is all about:
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 the biggest German newspapers. Closer inspection shows he is a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in similar circumstances.
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 elite 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.
Beton Rouge is the second in the Chastity Riley series and after loving book one I was intrigued to see what Simone Buchholz had in store for both Chastity and the reader. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, and I am really starting to get hooked.
After a man is found naked in a cage outside the media offices where he works, Chasity finds herself working with a new partner, Ivo Stepanovic who has been drafted in to head the investigations. When a second man and colleague of the first victim is found a few days later in the same circumstances their work is cut out trying to see if its things happening inside the company of Mohn and Wolff that is the motive or if there is something else that is the trigger. The victims themselves are not very forthcoming with any possible motives and you are not sure if its because they really don’t know, or they don’t want say. The investigations see them visiting a boarding school and delving into the things that used to take place amongst the students there, revealing a darker side to the academic world.
The partnership between Chastity and Ivo brings a different dynamic to the book compared to Blue Night and the tempo and feel of this story reflects it. Ivo seems to have a few of his own quirks that are almost in tune with Chastity’s and you can see the growing respect they have for each other and the easy working relationship that develops from this. It has you hoping that these two will cross paths again and that maybe the errors Chastity made previously in her career are slowly starting to be forgotten and she will no longer be reliant on others giving her permission to get involved in cases.
Whilst her friends are still present in this book they take more of a back seat, although the relationships are definitely going to change and possibly not for the better. The pacing and the action in this book certainly match that of Blue Night however even though it is part of a series I think you could pick up Beton Rouge and enjoy it even if you had not read Blue Night. Simone Buchholz certainly has a writing style that is refreshing and unique and has me wanting to read more.
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.
Books in the Chastity Riley Series: