I am delighted to share by review of Blue Night today as part of the blog tour. Huge thank you to Anne Cater for organising the tour and to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books!
About this book…
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, 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 the 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…
I haven’t read much fiction translated from German before but I do have a fondness for Dutch crime thrillers so was very keen to try out Blue Night. And I’m so glad that I did. Although a short book in length, the author manages to fill it with some fabulous characters and a gripping hard boiled plot that had me whipping up a storm on my kindle as I flew through the pages.
Without a doubt it’s the personality of Chastity Riley that kept this book on point for me. When she gets demoted to “babysitting” witnesses we can see straight away that she will use her previous skills to dig deeper than she needs to. Her charge is a man lying severely in a hospital bed, badly beaten and missing his index finger so she uses her personality (plus lots of food and alcohol!) to find out more from him than he is prepared to give anyone else. And his story will lead her into a whole lot more trouble as she discovers a new synthetic drug flooding onto the streets.
Chastity was an intelligent and likeable protagonist who’s relationships with friends and colleagues proved to be fiercely loyal and protective. For me the highly social side of her dealings with them was a huge asset to setting vivid scenarios sand I loved the cafe/restaurant/bar culture which meant that everything was always discussed over quite a few drinks!
One thing I will say is that it took me quite some time to relax into the writing style here. To begin with I was confused about who was who and where all the (seemingly) random threads were heading. But suddenly something just clicked and it all fell into place for me and from that moment onwards, this became an unputdownable race towards its conclusion. And I actually went back over the first few short, sharp and intriguing chapters after I had finished and the second time I got straight away what the author was trying to do as she set up the intricate details of the friendships ahead.
This is a great start to the series and I must also say that Rachel Ward has done a fabulous job of the translation.
I actually listened to Simone Buchholz read from Blue Night at the recent Orenda Roadshow in Liverpool and her accent really made me love the book even more as it just seemed to bring Blue Night to life for me. I am thrilled to have discovered this series and am highly anticipating great things to come for both the author and her heroine Chastity Riley.
Blue Night (Chastity Riley) is available to purchase now from Amazon UK (affiliates link) My review copy came from the publisher Orenda Books
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 for 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.