blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Hotel Cartagena by Simone Bucholz – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.

With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge. Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.

MY REVIEW 

Hotel Cartagena is #4 in the Chas Riley series to be published in the UK. It can also be read as a stand-alone.

Chastity Riley is a public prosecutor, she is at a party to celebrate her friend, Faller’s birthday. Surrounded by friends, lovers and ex-lovers this is going to be interesting, but then armed men arrive at the hotel and it becomes a hostage situation.

Why would they target the hotel?

Told from the present day and with flashbacks to the past, you gradually build a picture of events that have led to this moment from 

During the hours the hostages sit and wait, there’s time for reflection and Chastity has plenty to think about…..as does poor Ivo who is aching events from the outside.

This is a fast paced, stylish thriller that is Noir with a capital N, it has many layers with the crime, the hostages and the thoughts and emotions of those involved. It’s sharp, edgy and utterly gripping from start to finish. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hotel Cartagena.

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/3dTj9Bi

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.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Noir

Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

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…

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MY REVIEW 

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 
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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