Mired in grief after tragic recent events, State prosecutor Chastity Riley escapes to Scotland, lured to the birthplace of her great-greatgrandfather 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. Nail-bitingly tense and breathtakingly emotive, River Clyde is both an electrifying thriller and a poignant, powerful story of damage and hope, and one woman’s fight for survival.
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.
My thoughts: this was told in a really interesting, fractured style, with the river Clyde itself as one of the voices. Following the events of Hotel Cartagena the characters of Chastity and her friends/colleagues are still reeling and struggling to recover.
As Chastity heads for Glasgow, her drinking is excessive, and she has so many questions about her family and where she comes from. The aunt she’s inherited a house from is completely unknown to her, and she roams the city’s bars trying to drown out her worries and questions.
Her relationship with Stepanovic is on hold while she’s away, but she’s never out of his thoughts even while he investigates some dodgy individuals and their connection to an explosion and several murders.
The end doesn’t draw everything together, some people are still struggling with the after effects of the previous book, which feels realistic, trauma doesn’t just go away. There are still things to carry on with. As Chastity returns to Germany, how things will change is all still to be seen.
Incredible writing, moving and clever, at times a bit mind bending, there is a lot going on and different plots weave around each other and leave the reader with questions and an urge to re-read to see what else can be teased out.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.