blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Acapulco – Simone Buchholz, translated by Rachel Ward

State Prosecutor Chastity Riley faces her most challenging case yet, with a violent serial killer at large, who might just be uncatchable…

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…

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.

My thoughts: Chastity Riley is back. After her travels to Scotland, she’s back at work investigating crimes in Hamburg as a prosecutor, aided by detectives from the local police. Murdered pole dancers are being found in the streets, scalped and wearing cheap wigs. They’re all young, and work in the same club – The Acapulco.

The team look into their lives and the customers at the club. Someone really wants to humiliate these women – taking their hair and scalp, replacing them with gaudy wigs that you could buy anywhere. And is there a connection to a murdered pimp?

Chastity’s relationship with her neighbour has also stepped up a notch, spending nights in each other’s beds. Then there’s the theatre director, is he connected to the killings or just after Chastity? And her best friend, possibly her only friend, is acting a bit strange. Can she solve that mystery too?

I really like Chastity, she’s a complicated person, with a weakness for drinking and staying out all night, at odds with her professional life. She doesn’t let many people in and she takes too many risks. Faller and the other detectives worry about her, but she even shrugs them off. She’s put herself in danger before and probably will again.

This was another dark, twisted, clever thriller, looking deep into the heart of the nightlife in this district of Hamburg, itself a city of many faces. I enjoyed learning more about the area and the culture, and the passion for football that a lot of the characters share. This series gets better with each book and you learn a little bit more about Chastity each time too.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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