Today I’m reviewing the latest in the Chastity Riley series. I’ve reviewed some of the previous books and loved them so it made sense to read this one when the opportunity arose.
Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for having me on the tour and sending me a copy of the book to review.
The Book: Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.
With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge.
Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.
The Review: I’m not quite sure I know where to start with this book. We get a bit less of Chastity in this story because the story is also split with the tale of another German whose story started a few years earlier. The story splits between that and the present with most of the team in the hotel celebrating a birthday.
Both parts of the story got my attention quickly but for entirely different reasons. I got so caught up in both that the question of how they connected wasn’t one I was too concerned with answering straight away. It is answered so no concerns on that front, but as I said that wasn’t my main focus. The situation in the hotel is honestly what I would expect from a book involving Chastity. There’s a definite sense of peril but at the same time there’s a definite sense of something else. I’m not going to say anything else on that because I don’t want to spoil it.
This book is exactly what I’ve come to expect from this series. It takes a situation and changes it, gives it a completely different perspective and one that you perhaps wouldn’t think of until you read it. And then it tosses something else into the mix, just because it can.
It’s a book that will keep you on your toes, so to speak. You won’t know what to expect next and at the same time what happens next will make perfect sense, because in these books it always does. The writing is still just as different as always and gives the impression that we are in Chastity’s head and hearing her think (which is an experience in itself).
All in all this is another crackling, quirky and absorbing read, definitely worth checking out if you know the series. If you’re new to the series I would recommend starting with an earlier book to get a better understanding of Chastity and the way she views the world. I’ll definitely be interested to see what she gets involved in next.
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. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her
husband and son.