Out today: BETON ROUGE by Simone Buchholz - translated by Rachel Ward

‘If Philip Marlowe and Bernie Gunther got together in a Hamburg speakeasy and had a literary love child, then that might just explain Chastity Riley – Simone Buchholz’s tough, acerbic and utterly engaging central character’ William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier


The second book in the critically acclaimed Chastity Riley series

On a warm September morning, a man is found unconscious and tortured in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.

The magazine staff were facing significant layoffs, so sympathy for the two men is in short supply. Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect, to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the hothouse world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred…monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

A smart, dark, probing thriller, full of all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the very best classic American noir, Beton Rouge is both a classic whodunit and a scintillating expose of society, by one of the most fresh and exciting names in crime fiction.

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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, and second place 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.


‘Great sparkling energy, humour and stylistic verve … and the story itself is gripping and pacey’ Rosie Goldsmith

‘Raw and gritty, yet written with a lyrical beauty… Constantly surprising, Blue Night is an original, firecracker of a read, it will undoubtedly be one of my books of the year, I absolutely loved it’ Love Reading

‘A real blast of adrenaline… There is more than a nod to the classic American noir canon here, and at times Blue Night brought to mind such legends as Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett – it’s there in the seedy bars and clubs, the snappy dialogue and the sense of life happening constantly in the shadows of a world we think we know. Stripped back in style and deadpan in voice, this is a scintillating romp around the German criminal underworld and back’ Big Issue

‘Simone Buchholz writes with real authority and a pungent, noir-ish sense of time and space. Blue Night is a palpable hit’ Barry Forshaw

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Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.



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