Wednesday 12 April 2023

The Acapulco by Simone Buchholz BLOG TOUR #TheAcapulco t. @FwdTranslations @ohneKlippo @OrendaBooks #Chastityreloaded #BookReview


A serial killer is on the loose in Hamburg, targeting dancers from The Acapulco, a club in the city’s red-light district, taking their scalps as gruesome trophies and replacing them with plastic wigs.

Chastity Riley is the state prosecutor responsible for crimes in the district, and she’s working alongside the police as they investigate. Can she get inside the mind of the killer?

Her strength is thinking like a criminal; her weaknesses are pubs, bars and destructive relationships, but as Chastity searches for love and a flamboyant killer – battling her demons and the dark, foggy Hamburg weather – she hits dead end after dead end.

As panic sets in and the death toll rises, it becomes increasingly clear that it may already be too late. For everyone…

The Acapulco by Simone Buchholz is published in paperback on 13 April 2023 by Orenda Books and is translated by Rachel Ward.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour. 

The Acapulco is the latest instalment in the Chastity Riley series, written by the awesome and talented Simone Buchholz. Expertly translated from German by Rachel Ward, this is another thrilling and exciting addition to what is one of my all time favourite series. 

Although this is the latest book, it doesn't follow on from the last (River Clyde). At the end of the last book we really were not sure where Chastity would go to next, in The Acapulco, the author has gone back in time. Allowing her readers to see a younger Chastity and we become aware of what shaped her future career. 

I honestly think this is my favourite of the series so far. Chastity is a State Prosecutor in Hamburg, Germany. Her role means that she gets really involved in solving crimes, and not just in the prosecution of the criminals. 

There are some pretty brutal killings in this book. A young woman has been found murdered, she's been scalped and a bright disco wig has been placed on her head. This case really affects Chastity. She's an emotional women, despite the bravado, the drinking, the smoking, the swearing and the sex! 

More dead women are found. Same MO, and all are dancers at a seedy club called The Acapulco. That's what connects them, but who is doing this, and why?

Simone Buchholz creates such a sense of place. We are taken through Hamburg and it's almost cinematic when reading. I really felt as though I were walking the same streets, it's often not very pretty, it's often a dangerous place to be. It can be dirty and it can be trashy, but it's always a joy to read. 

Alongside the murders of the women, there's also a local pimp who has been found battered to death. Chastity needs to get to the bottom of this too, are the deaths linked?

Now lets come to Chastity herself. She is an amazing creation. A woman who knows what she wants, who works hard and is determined to fight crime. However, she's also a woman with such a lot of baggage that she'd have to pay for excess weight at any airport. Her mother abandoned her, and her beloved father is dead. She's in a fairly casual relationship with her neighbour who just happens to be a lock breaker. Whilst she is alone regarding family, she is surrounded by people who love and care for her, not least her friend Carla, who watches out for her and tries her best to match her up with a man.

It is one of these blind dates, arranged by Carla that becomes central to the plot, slowly unravelling and revealing the horror that lurks in the mind of damaged men. 

Simone Buchholz writes with such depth and atmosphere. The tension can be almost unbearable at times, the plot is complex and the characters are a joy to discover. 

Remember I said it feels very cinematic?  I'm a huge fan of the new series of Van Der Valk with Marc Warren in the lead role, and whilst that is set in Amsterdam rather than Hamburg, I get the same feeling when reading as I do when watching Van Der Valk. That dark, noir feeling, the damaged yet fabulously drawn lead character, the seediness of some of the locations. They all fit and I think Chastity Riley really should be seen on screen too. 

Highly recommended. Over far too quick, and now I want more! 

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, Hotel Cartagena and River Clyde all followed in the Chastity Riley series, with The Acapulco out in 2023. 

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 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 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.

Follow Rachel on Twitter @FwdTranslations

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