Book Review: Blue Night

BLUE NIGHT | Simone Buchholz
(Chas Riley #6)
09.01.2018 | Orenda Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Chastity Riley, Hamburg’s state prosecutor, has found herself demoted to witness protection due to some recent trouble she’s stirred up. Shooting off the crown jewels of a gangster and convicting your superior of corruption aren’t exactly acts that are going to gain you friends. Riley has recently been assigned to look after an anonymous man who’s landed in the hospital after being beaten and having his finger cut off. Who is this mystery man? Why would anyone want to do this to him? Riley can’t get these questions out of her mind and thanks to her determination she’s able to gain a few hints her charge.

Riley soon finds herself on the trail of a synthetic drug, which is making its way into neighboring towns and killing off large numbers of addicts. In addition to tracking down the drugs, Riley soon discovers that her former coworker is determined to bring down Hamburg’s version of a mafia kingpin, known as the Albanian. Her coworker, Faller, is determined to do this on his own and refuses to care about the danger or listen to reason. Riley’s boring punishment is about to take a turn for the intense!

It’s always the same when I hold this kind of thing in my hands: clothes, or a murder weapon, or some bloodstained item from a person who didn’t get out of an incident in one piece. I think that these things ought to tell me a bit about what happened. As if objects have a memory. But as always there’s only a feeling. This time it’s: It wasn’t a surprise.

BLUE NIGHT is a twisty, fast-paced ride into Hamburg’s criminal underworld. Through the eyes of state prosecutor, Chas Riley, the reader gets to experience first hand the discovery of a drug smuggling operation and tag along on the ride to take it down. I believe this is my first time reading a work of translated German crime fiction and I found the experience of getting to know Hamburg quite entertaining! Riley was the perfect, wit-filled narrator to take me on my journey. She truly didn’t hold back on her opinions of her work situation or the actions of those closest to her.

Buchholz fills the pages of BLUE NIGHT with a plethora of characters. Off the bat I thought I would never figure out who was who and how they were all connected. Then I got through the first chapter and discovered that Buchholz had prepared for my fear and included a section at the end of each chapter that glimpsed back in time with several characters. These passages, albeit quite brief, allowed me to connect with the characters outside of the main storyline. The flashbacks also helped to bring me up to speed on how the drug and mafia situations that the story focuses on came to be of importance. I found myself looking forward to these sections in hopes to gain more insight into the characters.

The longer I do this job, the more I disappear. Sometimes I don’t even know myself if I’m actually still there.

With a storyline that has the potential to be viewed as gritty, Buchholz makes sure to balance the dark with a light, humorous undertone throughout the book. Riley in particular is not afraid to point out the irony or absurdity in her life or the situations she finds herself in. In addition to her blunt take on life, Riley is a no nonsense, take charge, and get shit done woman! In under 200 pages, Buchholz fills the pages of this book with a story that will make you want to keep reading. While things launch as a slow-burn, be prepared for the fun ride that lies ahead!

Amazon| Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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