Blog Tour: Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz tr. Rachel Ward

Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.


With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge. Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.

What I Thought:

So far for me, translated crime fiction has been a real winner. I like crime novels in general, but there’s just something a bit more exciting in novels written abroad instead of reading about the same old things happening in gritty London.

In Hotel Cartagena, we’re in Hamburg and there’s just as much going on!

This is my first Simone Buchholz novel and, although it is part of a series, it still packs a punch as a standalone novel. Could I have understood the relationships in play among the police colleagues a bit more from reading the other books? Maybe, but there is plenty here to keep you gripped.

I really liked the style of this book – there is the hostage situation going on, but intercut with it is the story of a young German man, Henning, who finds himself mixed up in a drug cartel in Colombia. We follow his story as the hostage situation escalates until we find out exactly who he is and what the whole situation is about. This is paced really well and, by the time of the big reveal, we’re ready for the fast-paced and explosive resolution.

Books in translation owe a lot to their translators and Rachel Ward has done a great job here – I see that she has translated all of the Orenda editions of Simone Buchholz’s books so obviously this is a strong partnership that, I hope, will continue.

I felt that reading this book gave me a taste of what the Chastity Riley series has to offer and I look forward to picking up the previous books in the series. I’ve just taken a look at them and I *love* the covers! The dark colours with the neon is right up my street – great job, Orenda…

Hotel Cartagena is published by Orenda Books.

To find out more about Simone Buchholz, you can check out her website or, alternatively, you can connect with her on Twitter.

This post is part of a blog tour celebrating the release of Hotel Cartagena. Why not take a look at the other participating blogs below?

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