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…
Thanks to the wonderful tour organiser Anne Cater for my spot on the tour for Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz, as well as the lovely Orenda Books for sending me out a copy in preparation of the tour. Mexico Street is the third translated crime fiction instalment of the Chastity Riley series, that was first published in e-book in January but is now available in paperback, since the 5th of March. You can grab your copy here.
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.
Follow Simone on Twitter @ohneKlippo and visit her website: simonebuchholz.com
Yes, you’ve seen right, Orenda Books has published the third book in the Chastity Riley series – what better month than International Women’s Month, the protagonist is back to fighting crime in the badass way that she does and I’ve been so excited to celebrate her comeback with you all. As you may remember, if you read my Containment review at the beginning of the month, I was literary globetrotting to escape the storms hitting the UK – after I visited the coastline of NZ, I flew straight over to Hamburg, Germany where I was joined in the hustly bustle of a city by Chastity Riley as we took a danger – trip into the dark under – current of the organised criminal underworld – oh and where we investigated the suspicious death of Nouri Saroukhan, one that provides more questions than answers.
Mexico Street is fantastically translated from German by Rachel Ward – allowing you to be tugged into the thrilling atmosphere of Simone’s writing, with the visualisations and short snappy chapters you’ll not be able to help accepting the invitation to nose dive straight into this world of noir. I indulged in the ‘one more chapter’ type read, staying up past my bedtime as I became absorbed in this enthralling crime fiction read with its undertones of cynicism and echoes of the criminal world throughout. You’ll definitely find yourself questioning who you should trust and how far this criminality spans. The whole pretence of Mexico Street, as well as the execution is one that’s grippingly action packed, with its clever intricate plotline that entwines with the existentialism as a illegitimate way of life that is both illegal, immoral and dangerous. Very darkly noir, especially as it delves in to how far individuals would go to ensure not only their survival, but also how far they’d go to satisfy their greed.
Simone has created a superb final product with some of the best noir ingredients that focuses on the classical foundations of this genre, but also shines a contemporary light upon it. Mexico Street is a thoroughly great read that includes a present day timeline, entwined around flashback chapters that help to personally build upon Nouri’s character, providing insights into his life before he turned up dead. This allowed me to connect more on an emotional level with the storyline, as well as allowed me further to back Chastity as she tried to put all the pieces together.
So, as I’ve been waffling on, I’ve not even mentioned how awesome Chastity Riley is! She is a dryly bold and hilarious protagonist, that is strongly independent and fierce. Chastity is one of the reasons that I couldn’t help binge upon Mexico Street, she radiates female empowerment! Great job Simone, thank-you for entertaining me with this beacon of light on the darkness of crime. I can safely say that I enjoyed my visit to Hamburg!
Thanks again to Anne for the tour spot! If you’ve missed the previous posts from this blog tour, you can catch up using the hashtag #MexicoStreet, you won’t be sorry! Remember that it is available to purchase now!
Until next time,