Beton Rouge, Simone Buchholz: Book Review

Dry humour mixed with crime fiction? Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz might be for you…

The plot:

On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.

Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks; an investigation which goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect… to the dubious past shared by both victims.

They step into the world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred… monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

A good one if you’re looking for a starter book into the crime fiction genre

I have really mixed thoughts about this one, because the concept is right down my street, but in the end, it just fell a bit flat for me.

I’m not someone who needs closure in a book, but Beton Rouge just left it too open, and it felt quite rushed near the end. With a book like this, it needed a solid ending, from my point of view.

There were a few chapters which I just saw as unnecessary, but on the other hand, I really loved the writing style. The sentences were short and sweet whilst giving enough description to understand. The book itself was mainly from the protagonist’s point of view, which was great as her tone of voice came across so very, very well.

The dry humour was definitely to my taste, and I often find myself not laughing when something is supposed to be funny, but I did chuckle quite a lot in Beton Rouge.

It’s quite a short book at 186 pages, and a few chapters are only one page long, so it’s definitely quick to read, and because they are so snappy and conversational, you do just want to read another page or twenty.

I read my fair share of these books, and I just didn’t get that same wow factor with Beton Rouge. I think if there was more focus on the crime itself than on the protagonist, I would’ve enjoyed this much more. I expected it to be much darker than it was, and there were a few times where it was just about to hit the mark for me but didn’t.

It’s a tough one, because I honestly adored the concept and it raised an important issue which is modern and something you’d probably hear on the news (although I hope not… please don’t get any ideas); it just didn’t hit that top mark for me because of the ending.

This is a good one if you’re looking for a book between heavy reads, or if you’re looking for a starter book into the crime fiction genre, without there being too many distressing paragraphs.

Beton Rouge, Simone Buchholz, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository 

Pages: 186

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Crime Fiction

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