Easing myself back in gently after being ill with Covid for the last few weeks, I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz. Thank you as always to Anne Cater for the invitation and for being so supportive during my illness and to Orenda Books for allowing me to share this extract with you today.
After being unable to even look at a book for almost a month I’m doing my best to catch up on my reading and will share any outstanding/upcoming reviews as soon as I possibly can. Thank you to everyone for your lovely messages and to the wonderful blog tour organisers as always for your support, it really does mean the world to me. The recovery process is slow (my brain feels like mush at the moment!) but hopefully I’ll be back to full strength again soon! 🙏😊
And now on to the extract…
About the book:
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.
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.
He could say that Brückner and Schulle remind him of his daughters, that casual optimism, that absolute engagement, that respect for all living beings, that somewhat simple but not in the least silly sense of humour, yes, they could be brothers, or Faller’s daughters, and in any case they’re probably simply sons of the north wind.
He could say that Inceman’s lost right arm is, strictly speaking, on his account, because he was kicked into retirement too early back then, because that’s why they needed a successor, who turned out to be Calabretta, so then they needed a new fourth member for his former team in the murder squad, and because that fourth man then turned out to be Bülent Inceman, previously the hottest shot in drugs. First it was bottoms up, then my heart got blown up, then firebombs rained in through a window, and then his arm was gone.
Sometimes I wonder if Inceman wishes he’d just stayed put in drugs, then there’d still be a right arm in his life, but then again he wouldn’t have me or the looks that constantly flit back and forth between him and Klatsche.
Sometimes I wonder that.
He could have had so much: his peace, wholeness, a wife, a family maybe, all he once wished for before he met me.
Faller could say that he didn’t actually want to get the evening here started until Stepanovic finally turned up, but, hey, you just never know with him, and in the end you can always trust that he’ll be there when he’s needed.
Where is the pea-brain anyway?
Hey, he can’t leave me on my own here.
But on the other hand, the bathtub’s full already.
In that respect.
Of course, now would be the moment when Faller could say something to me, or about me or for me or right through me, but he doesn’t do that either.
He says none of all that.
He tries to sum it up with a helpless but really sweet gesture, with a kind of circle that he draws in the air, then he adds a couple more spirals to it, then puffs out his cheeks and lets the air out again through his teeth, then he gets wet eyes and says something like:
‘Yes, then, good, so, well, uh cheers.’
So now that’s floating over the table like a neon sign, and if I look at all of us like that, you couldn’t actually have put it better.
He sits down again.
Carla talks to Rocco, Anne Stanislawski talks to Calabretta, Faller Inceman, Schulle and Brückner make up a flat back four, Klatsche and I look into each other’s eyes. Help.
‘So?’ he says.
‘So?’ I say.
‘What are you up to, then?’
‘I’m trying to give up smoking.’
‘Since five minutes ago.’
He shakes his head. ‘Can’t you talk seriously to me?’
His pina colada arrives, there’s a lump of coconut and an impressive disc of pineapple stuck on the side.
‘I should talk seriously to someone with a salad in his drink?’
He breathes in and out again, he rubs his hand over his forehead, and I know that was mean. The waiter gives me an ice-cold look.
‘OK, let me take the greens out,’ I say, ‘and then let’s try again.’
He smiles at me the way he always used to smile at me, with that blend of cheek and love. He pushes his glass over to me, but does so rather too fast, I jam my left hand pretty much into the pineapple, and the leaves or thorns, or whatever they are, as sharp as a dragon’s teeth, rip open the inside of my thumb, I say, ‘wow, deep,’ Klatsche says ‘oh,’ Anne Stanislawskiraises her eyebrows and says ‘fuck,’ Carla says we’d better put some disinfectant on it, and stands up to go to the bar, and that’s the exact moment that the first shots are fired.
End of extract
Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz and translated by Rachel Ward is available let to purchase now: Amazon UK
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