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…
‘Reading Buchholz is like walking on firecrackers. Her prose crackles with wit and off-kilter observation. Mexico Street finds her prosecutor-heroine Chastity Riley on the brink of an existential crisis, self-medicating with fags, booze and as much human contact as she can bear. The plot, which concerns the murder of the prodigal son of a Mhallami clan, is both gripping and achieves an emotional resonance that transcends the genre. It’s her finest book yet to appear in English. Truly a unique voice in crime fiction’ Graeme Macrae Burnet
‘A stylish, whip-smart thriller set in Hamburg, where burning cars soon contain burning bodies, and Public Prosecutor, Chastity Riley finds herself in the midst of what could be a gang war. Go read’ Russel McLean
‘A dead man in a burned-out car kicks off Chastity Riley’s latest investigation across Hamburg and far beyond Mexico Street, the high-rise ghetto where the original crime takes place. With the help of gifted translator Ward, Buchholz has been building Riley into a go-to brand for readers in search of a sassy female investigator with DNA straight out of the classic American noir playbook’ The Sunday Times Crime Club
‘Tautly written … In Rachel Ward’s sharp and idiomatic translation, this is further proof that Simone Buchholz is a writer to watch – a fact that is becoming clear to more and more readers. The influences here are not of German crime writers of the past (or present), but lean and stripped-down American models, which are echoed in the economy of the prose – which means that the 200-odd pages fly by at speed. The appeal of the novel is further enhanced by the fact that Chastity Riley is a very distinctive heroine’ Barry Forshaw, European Literature Network
I was incredibly lucky to attend an Orenda Road Show event a few weeks ago and heard the author read from this intense and addictive read. Therefore when I dived the book I did so with her voice swirling around head and it was amazing!
Mexico Street is many things, too many to list, because you will all get bored. So here are just a few-
Its Stylish. Not oodles of description and prose, more tightknit contolled language that gets under your skin and leaves you feeling unnerved.
It is of course exciting, because right from the start your hooked by a death, that thought to be suicide, turns out to be murder. Better than that it’s all tied up in past events, which bubbling to the surface, threaten to blow past vendettas apart, exposing lies and secrets.
It’s full of a bucket load of tension that is drip fed to you throughout the book, sometimes your sat there with Chastity in a club feeling all relaxed and next your sat bolt upright, feeling like you have been engulfed by a wave of electric shocks, as the novel reaches a tense and thrilling end. The imagery used by the writer adds to this and it can’t be ignored, the power it has to keep the reader on edge! Other than Chastity herself, one my favourite things about this the latest instalment in the series, is how Buchholz creates this impending sense of danger right from the first page, with the feeling that cities all over Germany are on fire, cars being torched, seem to morph into a feeling of a approaching danger all around.
It has the type of writing that sucks you in and wraps you in a cloak of nirvana. Really it’s like being in a liberating frame of mind, that is free from pain, worry, and the world around you. The author has a voice that is enveloping, you’re there on those streets with Chastity Riley tracking down a killer, you can hear the voices of her colleagues swirling through your head and you’re sat in smoky clubs with a heroine who in my imagination is like a young Marlene Dietrich. It is not over egging it to say that as a character I adore her, in fact frankly I think she is a bit of a literary heroine! Feisty, smokes too much, drinks to abandon, come on what’s not to like? Chasity Riley makes mistakes, her personal life resembles a disaster area, but she lives life with passion, believes in justice and spends this fabulous book tracking down a killer with a fearless determination. You know as a reader that she is damaged goods, but she is so utterly addictive that you can’t help wanting to spend time with her. She is iconic!
This is another superb read brought to us by Orenda books. So why not purchase it directly from their eBookstore
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, and second place in the German Crime Fiction Prize, for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. The next in the Chastity Riley series, Beton Rouge, won the Radio Bremen Crime Fiction Award and Best Economic Crime Novel 2017. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.
The writer can be followed on Twitter.
About the Translator
Rachel Ward is a freelance translator of literary and creative texts from German and French to English. Having always been an avid reader and enjoyed word games and puzzles, she discovered a flair for languages at school and went on to study modern languages at the University of East Anglia. She spent the third year working as a language assistant at two grammar schools in Saaebrücken, Germany. During her final year, she realised that she wanted to put these skills and passions to use professionally and applied for UEA’s MA in Literary Translation, which she completed in 2002. Her published translations include Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang and Red Rage by Brigitte Blobel, and she is a Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.Follow Rachel on Twitter @FwdTranslations, on her blog http://www.adiscounttickettoeverywhere.wordpress.com and on her website http://www.forwardtranslations.co.uk