Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz is my second read for Women In Translation Month 2020. I read the first Chastity Riley novel translated into English, Blue Night, last year and connected with the protagonist. Chastity Riley is a prosecutor in Hamburg and along with her new partner Ivo Stepanovic, find an unconscious man in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. The man is identified as a manager of the magazine, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.
Who has attacked these men in such fashion? Riley and Stepanovic travel from Hamburg to Bavaria in attempt to solve the case. But they learn about the victims dark past from their time at boarding school and becomes a case of what goes around will come around.
Buchholz writes a solid crime fiction novel that kept me reading on my iPad. Riley’s sarcastic nature and dark view of the world is unique for the genre. Also, it is nice to read about Hamburg, Germany as Deutschland’s second largest city does not get the attention from the outside world like Berlin, Munich, or Frankfurt.
If you are looking for international crime fiction outside of Scandinavia to read, then I will recommend Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz as a good place to start. Also, I would go back and read Blue Night along with Mexico Street from the same series.