Tuesday 22 March 2022

River Clyde by Simone Buchholz BLOG TOUR #RiverClyde @ohneKlippo t. @FwdTranslations @OrendaBooks #ChastityRiley #Noir #Glasgow #BookReview


Mired in grief after tragic recent events, state prosecutor Chastity Riley escapes to Scotland, lured to the birthplace of her great-great-grandfather by a mysterious letter suggesting she has inherited a house. 

In Glasgow, she meets Tom, the ex-lover of Chastity’s great aunt, who holds the keys to her own family secrets – painful stories of unexpected cruelty and loss that she’s never dared to confront. 

In Hamburg, Stepanovic and Calabretta investigate a major arson attack, while a group of property investors kicks off an explosion of violence that threatens everyone. 

As events in these two countries collide, Chastity prepares to face the inevitable, battling the ghosts of her past and the lost souls that could be her future and, perhaps, finally finding redemption for them all.

Breathtakingly emotive, River Clyde is an electrifying, poignant and powerful story of damage and hope, and one woman’s fight for survival.

River Clyde by Simone Buchholz was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 17 March 2022 and is translated from the German by Rachel Ward. This is volume five in the Chastity Riley series. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this blog tour. 

In March 2021, I read and reviewed Hotel Cartagena, the fourth of the Chastity Riley series to be translated into English and published by Orenda Books. 

A year later and it's time for the fifth book; River Clyde. I've been a huge fan of this author and her wonderful character Chasity for some years and always look forward to reading more about Chas's adventures. In River Clyde, we are treated to a style that is different from the norm, as Chasity travels to Glasgow when she learns about an inheritance. 

She's not just travelling to find out more about the house that has been left to her though, she's also doing her best to leave the tragic and traumatic events that arose in the previous novel behind. I would advise readers to go back and read Hotel Cartagena at least, you'll then have some understanding of Chasity's state of mind and the reason for it. 

This is powerful, lyrical and poetic writing that shows a side of this talented author that hasn't really been seen before. She's always been adept at relaying Chastity's inner feelings, but in River Clyde, she goes one step further. The city of Glasgow, with its greying tenement buildings and run-down pubs become a character in itself, and of course, the River of the title; the Clyde. Weaving it's way through the city and also through the narrative, taking on a personality and voice of its own. 

Meanwhile, as Chastity travels around Glasgow on a journey of discovery, her team are back in Hamburg, dealing with arson attacks in the city. The guys feel incomplete with Chastity as part of the team, and they also begin to discover things. They learn more about each other, they find that Chastity really is the glue that holds them together and they begin to share thoughts and experiences. 

This is a difficult book to review, whilst there is a crime, it's not the heart of the story. It's literary, domestic, self discovery. It's beautifully structured and wonderfully translated from the German by Rachel Ward. It's an inside peek into another side of a character that readers have come to know and love and it is revelatory and enlightening.

I am eager to know what is next for Chastity. I have enjoyed her time in Scotland and learning more about her. I've loved the juxtaposition of Glasgow and Hamburg and the differences in how she behaves in the two cities.

Simone Buchholz is an extraordinary talent and Chastity Riley is one of the best female characters ever created. 

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. 
The critically acclaimed Beton Rouge, Mexico Street and Hotel Cartagena all followed in the Chastity Riley series, with River Clyde out in 2022. 

She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

Twitter @ohneKlippo

Rachel Ward is a freelance translator of literary and creative texts from German and French to
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 Saaebrücken, 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 Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang and Red Rage by Brigitte Blobel, and she is a Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

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