State prosecutor Chastity Riley must get inside the mind of a serial killer targeting dancers from a club in Hamburg’s red-light district, and taking their hair and scalp as a trophy.
A serial killer is on the loose in Hamburg, targeting dancers from The Acapulco, a club in the city’s red-light district, removing their scalp as a gruesome trophy and replacing their hair with plastic wigs. Chastity Riley is the state prosecutor responsible for crimes in the district, and she’s working alongside the police as they investigate. Can she get inside the mind of the killer? Her strength is thinking like a criminal; her weaknesses are pubs, bars, younger men and dingy light, but as Chastity searches for love and a flamboyant killer–battling her demons and the dark, foggy Hamburg weather–she hits dead end after dead end, and it may be too late. For everyone…
Hi and welcome to my review of The Acapulco!
Massive thanks to Anne Cater for the tour invite and of course to Orenda Books for the eARC!
The Acapulco is the first book in the Chastity Riley series, but it is actually the sixth Chastity novel published by Orenda Books, after Blue Night, Beton Rouge, Mexico Street, Hotel Cartagena and River Clyde.
So, if you’ve been meaning to dip your toe into this series but you haven’t got around to it, this is your chance to start at the very beginning! Or if you, like me, have been with this series from their English start with Blue Night, this is your chance to find out how it all kicked off.
I have to say, I really enjoyed going back in time and finding Chas a little younger, a little less jaded and perhaps a teensy bit softer around the edges. It’s not an origin story, but it did feel a little like one to me.
State prosecutor Chastity Riley and her team are trying to solve two cases in this first instalment. The case that draws the most attention, and the one that completely absorbed me, is a serial killer on the loose. This person kills young women, removing the scalp and leaving a wig in its stead. Gruesome, you say? You betcha, I say! I loved how Chas tried to get into the culprit’s mind to solve this case.
Typical of this author, The Acapulco has short and snappy chapters and is super addictive. Even when I knew I had to stop reading, I couldn’t help but read the first sentence of the next chapter as I was turning the page, and it always lured me into reading the whole chapter. (Was I late for work? No, but it was a close shave!)
Also typical of this author, amid the crime and grime, you’ll find these sentences that are unexpectedly poetic, stop you in your tracks, make you do a double take and read them again. And again. I say it every time I review a Simone Buchholz book, but this is a style that is wholly hers and I absolutely adore it. Although this author’s writing style is definitely unique, her books are always extremely readable, and The Acapulco is no exception.
Simone Buchholz and Rachel Ward are a fantastic team. I’d say this is not their first rodeo and they’ve become a well-oiled machine, but the truth is, they were fantastic from the start and The Acapulco is just more confirmation of what a magnificent writer / translator duo they are.
If you like your crime thrillers / police procedurals short and snappy, fast-paced and action-packed, with a snarky female lead who is simultaneously tough as nails and rather vulnerable, I cannot recommend The Acapulco, and the entire Chastity Riley series, enough. I can’t wait for more Chas!
The Acapulco is out now! Order it directly from Orenda Books here.