On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found 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, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Blue Night’, the first Chastity Riley book ( Review Here ) so when I was offered the chance to review the next instalment, ‘Beton Rouge’ I couldn’t say yes fast enough! There is always a worry that the second book won’t match up to the first, but I actually enjoyed ‘Beton Rouge’ more than ‘Blue Night’. I read it in big greedy chunks, completely unable to put it down. These books are fantastic and I highly recommend them.
Chastity Riley is one of my favourite female protagonists. She’s sassy, clever, witty and doesn’t suffer fools. She has a fondness of cheese sandwiches, cigarettes and booze, basically she kicks butt. I loved every second of catching up with her in ‘Beton Rouge’. We start to learn a little more about her and also about her tight group of friends, who I’ve nicknamed for my own amusement ‘The Blue Night Gang’. These guys are all different from each other, they all have their own little secrets and troubles, but they are always, unequivocally there for each other. I love how these characters work together and their recurring roles in these books make them so much more fun to read.
‘Beton Rouge’ also sees the introduction of Ivo Stepanovic, who I feel we will see again, well I hope so anyway. Riley and Ivo are forced together on this investigation and the sexual tension is intense! The pages crackle when these two are together, they very sensibly remain colleagues through out the book but I can’t wait to see how that develops.
I adore the way Simone Buchholz writes and Rachel Ward has done an outstanding job of translating. Riley is our narrator so the sentences are punchy, sharp and to the point. Exactly like her. The chapters are short which I always find, makes me read things quicker. The opening chapter hooks you in, it’s a fantastic opener, and then you just can’t leave this story without knowing what happens next.
Witty, original, smart and entertaining – more please!
‘Beton Rouge’ is published in paperback on the 21st of February by Orenda Books. A big thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour. And to Orenda for my reading copy and for quoting my review for ‘Blue Night’!
Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour.