Simone Buchholz

Hotel Cartagena

Chastity Riley #4
(German title: Hotel Cartagena)
ca. 229 pages
Simone Buchholz
Foto: Simone Buchholz
© Gerald von Foris

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. She has been writing for women’s magazines for more than 15 years, but has always written about football, the economy, and journeys to foreign countries as well. In 2008, she published her first crime novel, Revolverherz, which was subsequently translated into French and Italian. Blue Night, the first installment of the Chastity-Riley-series to be published by Suhrkamp Verlag, was #1 on the KrimiZEIT-Best of Crime List for months. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as the 2nd Place of the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night. Film rights for Blue Night have also been optioned. Mexico Ring (2018) won the German Crime Fiction Prize 2019. Together with her husband and their son, Simone Buchholz lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg.

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English world rights (Orenda), Finland (Huippu)

Cartels, Coke and Caribbean

The new novel from the winner of the German Crime Fiction Prize 2019


A chilly hotel bar in the Port of Hamburg. Down on the docks, the lights are shimmering, above the tables are rather sparsely occupied. Suddenly the doors open, twelve heavily armed men hijack the bar, take patrons and staff hostage. Right in the middle of it all: Chastity Riley, who had actually been bracing herself for a painful reunion with old friends, but now she and all the other hostages have to learn that there are injuries that just can’t be repaired…

St. Pauli, Hamburg’s red-light district, in the 1980s. A young man wants out. He gets on a ship to Colombia and learns what happens if you party with the wrong people on the beach of Cartagena. The raging party is followed by hell. At first, it’s big drug business, then betrayal, escape, going to ground. Later still: the chance for revenge. The man, no longer all that young, decides to take it.

And so, St. Pauli is rocked by a spectacular hostage situation. The police are on the outside and seem to be condemned to the role of spectators while state prosecutor Chastity Riley is forced to activate her inner John McClane.


»Simone Buchholz stokes up the storm above St. Pauli with virtuosic narrative instruments. Razor-sharp dialogues, psychological studies thrown down in precise strokes, breath-taking scenes, and on top of that the merciless combination of irony and melancholia […] plus a cetain amount of crazy – this is what the author knows how to do as skilfully as hard anyone else.« Alexander Cammann, DIE ZEIT

»Visor down, high above St. Pauli. Simone Buchholz puts The Count of Monte Cristo, Die Hard, drugs and state prosecutor Chastity Riles into a blender. High-octane. Incredible. Knocks you off your feet.« Die Literarische Welt

»No one rivals Riley when it comes to repartee, to close dialogue combat, she is the coolest arm of the law north of Frankfurt, but beneath all the coolness her heart always shines through.« Sylvia Staude, Frankfurter Rundschau

»Simone Buchholz’ Chastity-Riley-books are like drugs: You need more and more oft hem, faster and faster. But [unlike drugs] they make you happy permanently and are thus very healthy [...]« DIE WELT am Sonntag

» ... the way Simone Buchholz arranges hard-boiled dialogue as if it was just a casual game of table tennis – balls zinging here and there, smashes coming out of nowhere –, this is real literary talent.« Oliver Jungen, DIE ZEIT [on Mexico Ring]

»With wonderful dry humour, Simone Buchholz writes about her heroine Chastity Riley and the consequences of the cocain consumption within Hamburg’s high society.« freundin

»It’s about true love, lousy traitors and two men too many in this hommage to Die Hard, dense, fast-paced, wonderfully told.« Brigitte

»Buchholz interweaves [Henning‘s] story (of revenge) with the first-person narration of xtate prosecutor [Riley] and sets a fast pace from the beginning that she maintains throughout effortlessly […]« Iris Hetscher, Weser Kurier

» [...] it’s impossible to go without Simone Buchholz’s way of telling gritty and sensitive stories with great suspense even after this ninth installment.« neue-buchtipps.de

»It hardly needs repeating that Buchholz has an ability to write wonderfully cool dialogues like no other German author of crime ficition.« Dietmar Jacobsen, literaturkritik.de

Other publications

Mexikoring/Mexico Street (2018)

Sold to:

English world rights (Orenda), France (L'Atalante), Denmark (Dreamlitt), Finland (Huippu)

Beton Rouge/Beton Rouge (2017)

Sold to:

English world rights (Orenda), France (L'Atalante), Italy (Emons), Denmark (Dreamlitt), Finland (Huippu)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg)

Blaue Nacht/Blue Night (2016)

Sold to:

English world rights (Orenda Books), France (L'Atalante), Italy (Emons), Denmark (Dreamlitt), Finnland (Huippu)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg)