I’m sharing my review of Blue Night by Simone Buchholz today as part of the blog tour. My thanks go to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the copy and opportunity.
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 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.
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.
Oh boy what an opening Blue Night has, it certainly grabbed my attention and straight away I knew this was going to be a hard book to put down.
After the initial opening I found the pace quite slow, this isn’t a bad thing though as I found I really wanted to concentrate on what I was reading. There are a lot of characters to get to grips with and I just didn’t want to miss any little detail. The story is told mostly from Chastity’s point of view but in an interesting way we have snippets from many different characters added in throughout the book. I will admit at first this did confuse me a little bit as we don’t actually know all the characters straight off but I found as the book continued I grew to look forward to these little snippets.
Chastity Riley is an interesting character, I was immediately drawn to her. She’s strong yet flawed, she likes a drink and a smoke but is dedicated to her friends and her job, even though she has been transferred to work in witness protection after convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels while she was a state prosecutor she still takes pride in what she does.
The pace certainly ramps up in the second half of the book and I really did enjoy Blue Night with its unique style. I was kept on my toes with this dark and gritty crime story. It’s not a long book but it’s certainly packed to the brim and could easily be read in one sitting, it pulls you in and with relatively short chapters it was very easy to get lost in the story.
This is the first book I’ve read that has been translated from German to English and I have to say Rachel Ward has done a fantastic job. I’m looking forward to reading more in the Chastity Riley series and hopefully we wont have too long to wait.
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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.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Rachel Ward translates from German and French to English. Having always been an avid reader and enjoyed word games and puzzles, she discovered a flair for languages at school and went on to study Modern Languages at the University of East Anglia. She spent the third year working as a language assistant at two grammar schools in Saarbrücken, Germany. During her final year, she realised that she wanted to put these skills and passions to use professionally and applied for UEA’s MA in Literary Translation, which she completed in 2002. Her published translations include the Nea Fox series of crime novels by Amelia Ellis, and books for young people such as Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang and Red Rage by Brigitte Blobel.