It’s a blue kind of Thursday and a very special trip to Germany today on the blog!
Thank you to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for picking me up for the drive! This review is my thank you to them and the author.
Title: Blue Night
Author: Simone Buchholz
Translator: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Orenda Books
Date of publication: 9th Feb 2018
Number of pages: 276
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and a half
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 acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.
I am speechless.
It doesn’t happen a lot. I’m as chatty as a Donna Noble on pub nights. But Blue Night stole every word in the dictionary and every picture in my imagination, mixed and stirred, and kicked off a series the best way possible.
The style is unique. I was surprised and at first unsure whether or not I enjoyed the past narration popping up between chapters in the present, but the more I read, the more eager I was to find out more about what had led our characters to their current situation.
I tend to prefer when a story focuses on few characters. Well, I got the opposite here! But it was for the best. I often go for protagonists I can relate to, even on a small level, but here, everyone seemed so far away, so foreign, and yet so fascinating that I had to discover their personal stories, their scars, their thoughts. I loved delving into unknown territories and let myself be won over by a colorful and mysterious cast! I forbid myself to say more as I believe one of the strengths of Blue Night is hidden in the characterization. Let’s say surprises, an open mind, beer, and my kind of fun were all au rendez-vous!
Chastity Riley, you are a mystery I intend in solving!
Germany. I admit I don’t know a thing about you except for Angela Merkel. And Oktoberfest, of course. Blue Night is a ticket for a night train through the country, when the lights only allows you to see shades and forces every one of your senses to recreate the scenery. I felt the places, I touched them, I saw them, I tasted them, I heard, I smelled them. The full experience. A train slowly making its way through the darkest place while giving you a hint of what you can get in full daylight. Simone Buchholz creates a routine-like atmosphere and then adds edges to widen the map, clear the fog, or on the contrary, reinforce it. All you have to do is let yourself be transported, (carry a gun), and relish in the sketchy corners of Hamburg along with Chastity Riley!
I am pretty sure this is one of my most vague review ever! Deal with it, get the book! The compelling atmosphere associated with the best flawed characters will make you crave for more.
Get the book on the Orenda Store or on Amazon!
And get all the colors of this story in every stop on the blog tour!
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 the second Place of 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.