Tuesday, 10 March 2020

#BlogTour Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz, translated by Rachel Ward.
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.

About the book
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…

I can't heap enough praise on the author for the intricate well-researched plot. She has outdone herself when it comes to explaining the complexity of the immigrants and the gang culture that exists in Germany. How the cultural differences come to a grinding halt in regards to Western culture. There is no comparison, but more importantly where one side is open to change and cultural assimilation - the other is not.

The lack of respect or acknowledgement for the rule of law plays the biggest role in this story, because the Bremen clan has their own antiquated system, which is mired in ancestral myth and deeply embedded in the male dominated society. Violence begets violence. Women are belongings. You break the rules and you're out. Nouri Saroukhan isn't just out, he is dead, and his family doesn't give two monkeys.

It's up to Chastity, who is still as tough as old boot nails by the way and only ever one Schnapps and a beer away from not quite fit for duty, and her colleagues to find out why someone wanted Nouri dead.

Buchholz writes a vicious urban crime thriller, and just in case there is any misunderstanding by vicious I mean excellent. She really knows how to write about the grit, decay, corruption and captures the Beton-Dschungel element of city life. The way the cement has encroached upon life and the living. The authenticity and realism in the plot always overshadows the fiction, which is very much trademark Buchholz style, as is the snarky self-deprecating humour.

As always it is a cracking read.

Buy Mexico Street at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.Publisher: Orenda Books; Pub date 5 March 2020 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Blue Night and Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz.

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