Mexico by Simone Buchholz Orenda Books March 5th 2020
Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…
Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect.
Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty. The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.
Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards…
In these uncertain times what better tonic than picking up and reading Mexico Street, the latest offering from Simone Buchholz.
Once again, we became embroiled in the chaotic life of Chastity Riley, the hard drinking, chain smoking state prosecutor.
Oh how she frustrated me, with her ever complicated love life, and her car crash journey to what could only be inevitable self destruction at some point in the future. When that will be only Buchholz can decide, but when it does happen I am expecting it to be of epic proportions!
In Mexico Street, her investigative techniques were sorely tested, as she and her colleagues attempted to infiltrate the notorious Bremen clan and the murder of Nouri Saroukhan. And what a clan they were, brutal to those that opposed them, and unflinching in their pursuit of money and dominance.
Their treatment of women was scary and almost archaic, their attitudes much like how you would ill treat an animal. The disgust you felt was strong, and disbelieving.
The investigation took them deeper into their world, and cars burned as they came up against veritable brick walls and dead ends. Yet this is what Buchholz excels at, as she pulled her characters through a dense complex plot, their emotions and patience were tested to the max. You the reader, felt that frustration, wondered where it would all end before a chink of light emerged and slowly the truth pushed to the surface. What you didn’t expect was the blow away last moments which were somehow surreal, a real kick ass moment that sent my imagination into overdrive and had me cheering from my sofa!
Buchholz narrative was on top form, short and snappy perfectly befitting of its characters and the plot. It’s structure with the odd short chapter, it’s myriad of differing voices, filled in the background of the varying strands, gave the novel that special Buchholz feel that we have come to love and expect.
What will Chastity Riley get upto next? Only Buchholz has the answer and I for one cannot wait.
I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of Mexico Street to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
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 in 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.