#BlogTour Blue Night by Simone Buchholz

I have been looking forward to introducing you to this unusual gem of a book. It puts the darkness in the word Noir with its sharp-tongued dialogues and very confrontational style. There are no candy floss scenarios lurking in these pages. Welcome to the BlogTour for Blue Night by Simone Buchholz. 

About the Author

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 for 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.

Follow  @ohneKlippo (Simone Buchholz) @Orendabooks  or @FwdTranslations (Rachel Ward, Translator)

Visit simonebuchholz.com

Buy Blue Night

About the book

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital, Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived…

(Translated by Rachel Ward)

Review

Chastity Riley  is to the 21st century what Horst Schimanski was to the 80’s, the only difference being gender and that Riley doesn’t have a sidekick, but she does surround herself with the outsiders and rebels of society. Her own group of friends, colleagues and handy contacts. Not exactly upstanding citizens, but very much people who are interested in justice. Well, let’s say their own kind of justice.

Riley finds herself isolated at work, restricted and demoted after making a series of serious mistakes in her role as a high ranking state prosecutor. She is assigned the case of a John Doe, who was beaten viciously and left to die. She has her own way of gaining his confidence and making him talk by building a rapport via food and beer. Meanwhile he seems to be ten steps ahead of her and willing to reveal information, which in turn points her in the direction of a major criminal operation.

This is Noir with an interesting staccato like pace and style added to give it a more brash, realistic and curt feeling. Buchholz doesn’t have any words to spare. Her dialogue is abrupt, sharp and to the point. Often giving the appearance of an afterthought or emotional revelation rather than the bittersweet moment of honesty it actually represents.

Interspersed between the dialogues and functioning as a chapter divider of sorts are comments or statements made by the main characters in the book. As if some random reporter were asking them for a running commentary every now and again on the situation at hand or on the particular time-frame and year the characters are in. The comments are given purely from each character’s own perspective, which gives the whole story an element of critical audience watching from the peanut gallery. It is an innovative approach and adds to the general Noirish feeling of the book.

I was raised in Germany, and speak the language at native level, so I can say with absolute certainty that certain idioms and common phrases get lost in translation. It is a common element of translation, but is more evident in certain languages and has nothing to do with the translation or expertise of the translator. So, with that being said I can’t wait to read this again in the original language.

Buchholz has a refreshingly new provocative voice, and I have no doubt she will stand out amongst a sea of writers. She has a take no prisoners attitude when it comes to the validity and eccentricity of her characters, and her plot. Blue Night is to books what a shot of whiskey of is to the world of liquor. It takes your breath away and then it burns until a warmth settles into the pit of your stomach. That’s the kind of mark and statement Buchholz is making.

Buy Blue Night at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

The Chalk manThis has a distinctive 70s/80s film and television vibe, which isn’t always a given even if it is roughly set in that era. (Stranger Things vibe is a more accurate reference for younger readers) It also has a Stand By Me flair, that essence of nostalgia and friendships formed in childhood, and to top it off Tudor delivers a subtle layer of creepy horror a la Stephen King.

It has the innocence of days gone by, days when children played outside all day and stayed out till dark. Before technology captured the youth of today and started captivating them with visions of the future. A long time before the monsters who come for our children multiplied to an insurmountable number.

It’s 1986 and Eddie and his friends use chalk men to communicate secret messages to each other. The kind of game that appeals to the secrecy children covet even if it lacks any kind of complexity.

Eddie’s story starts when he witnesses an extremely violent accident, which binds him to the victim and to the man who helps to save her. Mr Halloran becomes a confidante and a saviour to Eddie, whilst Eddie becomes the instrument of his demise.

A few decades later the horror of their childhood is brought back to life when one of the boys decides to rake up The Chalk Man murder, and so begins a journey to the past to discover the truth and the lies.

Tudor brings the whole package with this story. The tension increases as the tale unfolds, and the reader can feel the creepy vibe throughout. The Chalk Man takes on a life of his own, especially in Eddie’s dreams and daily life. It’s an absorbing read and the ending is the cherry on top of the ice-cream sundae.

Oh and FYI Tom Baker is the best Dr.Who. Just Saying.

Buy The Chalk Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks

#BlogTour Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb

Bringing this fantastic Blog-Tour to an end today, and it has been a humdinger of a tour with some fantastic blog posts. Steph Broadribb is making her mark on the book world in a very big way.

About the Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards shortlisted in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts.

Follow @crimethrillgirl & @Orendabooks on Twitter or @crimethrillergirl on Facebook

Visit crimethrillergirl.com

Buy Deep Blue Trouble

About the book

Single mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is thratening a comeback, and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Ale Monroe. Bring back-on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free.

Following Fletcher from Florida to California. Lori teams up with local bounty hunter De McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up. Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything…

Breathlessly paced, and bursting with high-voltage and edge-of-your-seat jeopardy. Deep Blue Trouble is the unmissable next instalment featuring one of the most memorable and fearless female characters in crime fiction.

Review

Following on from the success of Deep Down Dead (Lori Anderson #1), Broadribb brings us another fast-paced adventure with her feisty female protagonist Lori Anderson, bounty hunter extraordinaire. A story that doesn’t pull any punches, entertains the reader and yet delivers a warm-hearted emotional read at the same time,

One of the personality traits that makes Lori such a driving force, is her hot-headedness. It is also what stands in her way, especially in this story. She becomes her own worst enemy when she sees discrimination and chauvinism in every work situation. Not that it doesn’t exist, however sometimes we are less inclined to evaluate our own behaviour or our own frame of reference.

Lori cuts a deal to save her mentor, her ex-lover and the father of her child. She has to bring in a fugitive she has apprehended before, in order to keep JT alive. Sounds like a simple job except said fugitive is a killer, and someone seems intent on screwing with the case and with her personally.

To make matters worse, and her life a wee bit more complicated, Lori still hasn’t told JT the whole truth about Dakota. Avoidance is an excellent strategy as far as she is concerned.

Deep Blue Trouble brings action to the table with a subtle layer of snark and the suggestion of what women have to deal with when they work in a domain predominantly inhabited by men. The characters are strong, the premise is compelling and most importantly the combination of those things promises more Lori Anderson books in the future. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Broadribb has a natural flair for writing. It appears to just flow like a sweet melody, but with a lot of sass and violence. Lori Anderson is set to be a permanent fixture on the landscape of crime, and Broadribb in the book and literary-world.

Buy Deep Blue Trouble at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read Deep Down Dead

Genuine Fraud by E.Lockhart

genuine fraudThere are definitely comparisons to be drawn to The Talented Mr Ripley, just with main characters of the opposite gender.

I think at one point I lost the plot and wasn’t sure who was pretending to be whom. It was a wee bit confusing at times, which is probably what made this a less enjoyable read. Too disjointed, and not enough clarification.

We begin at the end and return to the beginning to understand how Jules and Imogen get to know each other, and how the two of them end up the way they do. The longing for a connection and a friendship leaves one of them dead and the other hiding.

It’s a story of lies, delusions and about the social status of each girl. How the desire to belong and be friends becomes an obsession, which culminates in an uncontrollable internal anger.

Personally I think the story was flighty and underdeveloped. It lacked clarity, and the characters were weak versions of what they should have been. It could have been so much more, despite the similarities to the aforementioned book.

Buy Genuine Fraud at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @elockhart  @BonnierZaffre

The Death File by J.A. Kerley

the death fileI’m not sure whether the author intended to make a very specific character so annoying that he would be unforgettable, but it made the reading experience almost painful.

The other theory is, and I hope this isn’t true, that it was an attempt to make the character appear more hip and like the youth of today.

No one walks around saying ‘hashtag’ this and ‘hashtag’ that every ten seconds, especially not the young people of today. I felt it was detrimental to the story and the reading experience in general.

Unfortunately Carson’s brother doesn’t make an appearance in this book, which is a shame because their dynamic is an interesting element of this series.

The killer is apparent quite early on, so the thrill isn’t about finding the killer, it is more about chasing him while he is always ten steps ahead.

Whilst the characters of Carson, Harry and Tasha are memorable and have an interesting dynamic, the tone of the premise is brought down by the dialogue between the killer and everyone else.

Buy The Death File at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for nay other retailer.

Follow @jackkerley

Visit jackkerley.com

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

the wicked comethThere is a lot of waxing lyrical, which leads to the assumption that the story is leading in a completely different direction to the one it actually takes.

The procrastination, albeit very beautiful procrastination, makes the first half of the book appear to be a lot slower and the second half of the book is faster paced, and the plot is focused in another direction.

Not that I think it was Carlin’s intention for the beginning of the book to sound like a ghoulish mystery with a Gothic vibe, which then turns into a Burke and Hare venture with an underlying romantic connection.

I think the intention was for the relationship between Hester and Rebekah to always be at the centre of the story, regardless of what happens around them. Their blossoming friendship, sisterhood and finally the twinkle of something more. The discovery of their feelings, the confusion and acknowledgement of said feelings, and the realisation that society will never accept it, would have been sufficient as a storyline. The second half of the book, which ventures more into the deep dark secrets of Rebekah’s family could have been an entirely new novel.

It felt a little like Holmes battling Moriarty, while Hetty Feather struggles to survive on the streets, with a modern twist on romance thrown in for good measure. I would really like to see Carlin follow through with the relaxed beautiful style of the first half of the book. Both styles have their merits, just not when fused together as one.

Leaving all that aside for a moment, I enjoyed the friendship and emerging romance between the two of them. Neither of them willing to admit the attraction is there and perhaps not even fully comprehending what it is they are feeling, because it goes against all the conventions they know. Carlin also describes the worlds between the classes well and the invisible wall keeping them apart. The stark reality of poverty and the rules of the streets the poor have to abide by to survive.

I certainly wouldn’t be averse to seeing Rebekah and Hester teaming up together again.

Buy The Wicked Cometh at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @Hodderbooks

#BlogTour The Confession by Jo Spain

You’re in for a treat with this cat and mouse game of a read by Jo Spain. The Confession is a the kind of read that keeps you on your toes and captivated till the last word.

About the Author

Jo Spain’s first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. She has writte two further in the series, featuring DI Tom Reynolds. Jo has has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and is now writing full-time. She lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

Follow @SpainJoanne @Quercusbooks #TheConfession

About the book

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal? This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who

– of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

Review

Don’t we all carry an element of guilt around with us, perhaps some more than others. Secrets can erode the foundations of relationships. Guilty secrets can destroy lives. This author takes us on a riveting journey of doubt, blame and meticulous planning in this well thought out crime story.

Spain has woven the criminal activities of the bankers involved in the financial crisis of 2007 into this story of a senseless violent murder without any real rhyme and reason. Risk-taking banks, and greedy bankers caused what many economists consider to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Harry is one of those bankers and Julie is his wife. The wife who sat and watched as a stranger bludgeoned her husband to death. Did shock and fear make her freeze or is there another more nefarious reason she didn’t lift a finger to help him?

The reader follows the story of Julie and the killer, as the police try to connect the dots in this supposedly spontaneous crime. Their childhoods, their relationships and their past in general. There must be some reason why JP walked into that particular house and picked that man.

Spain presents the perfect game of strategy between her protagonists with no prior connection to each other. Whilst both are busy evading the truth in an effort to keep the police in the dark, they re-evaluate their choices in life and how they paved the path to murder.

With compelling characters and an engrossing premise, Spain plays the long game with her plot. She keeps her readers hooked until the very last word.

The Confession by Jo Spain will be published by Quercus in hardback on the 25th of January 2018.

Buy The Confession at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

#RandomThingsTour