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The Acapulco

The breathtaking serial-killer thriller kicking off an addictive series

Translated by Rachel Ward
Published by Orenda Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Hamburg State Prosecutor Chastity Riley becomes involved in the horrifying, chilling search for a violent serial killer targeting dancers from a club … the first book in an award-winning, wildly original, addictive series…

‘Such a revelation’ Laura Lippman

‘Gruesome and assured, Buchholz’s work remains as persuasive as ever’ Barry Forshaw, Financial Times

‘Reading Buchholz is like walking on firecrackers … a truly unique voice in crime fiction’ Graeme Macrae Burnet

‘Unpredictable, shocking and funny … Simone Buchholz is my favourite German crime writer’ Mark Sanderson,The Times

**WINNER of the CWA Crime in Translation Dagger**


A serial killer is on the loose in Hamburg, targeting dancers from The Acapulco, a club in the city’s red-light district, taking their scalps as gruesome trophies and replacing them 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 and destructive relationships, 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.

As panic sets in and the death toll rises, it becomes increasingly clear that it may already be too late. For everyone…


‘Caustic, incisive prose. A street-smart, gutsy heroine. A timely and staggeringly stylish thriller’ Will Carver

‘The coolest character in crime fiction … Darkly funny and written with a huge heart’ Doug Johnstone, Big Issue

‘Modern noir, with taut storytelling, a hard-bitten heroine, and underlying melancholy peppered with wry humour’ New Zealand Listener

‘Dark, atmospheric, and complex, with often surprisingly emotional … a classy piece of fiction from an author who never disappoints’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews

Praise for the Chastity Riley series:

'Combines nail-biting tension with off-beat humor ... Elmore Leonard fans will be enthralled' Publishers Weekly

'Buchholz doles out delicious black humor ... interwoven in a manner that ramps up the intrigue and tension' Foreword Reviews

’Lyrical and pithy' Sunday Times

'Fierce enough to stab the heart' Spectator

'A real blast of adrenaline' Big Issue

'Simone Buchholz writes with real authority and a pungent, noir-ish sense of time and space' Financial Times

'A stylish, whip-smart thriller' Russel McLean

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 Krimi ZEIT Best of Crime List for months. The critically acclaimed Beton Rouge, Mexico Street, Hotel Cartagena and River Clyde all followed in the Chastity Riley series. Hotel Cartagena won the CWA Crime in Translation Dagger in 2022. The Acapulco (2023) marked the beginning of the Chastity Reloaded series, with The Kitchen out in 2024. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Orenda Books (April 13, 2023)
  • Length: 276 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781914585661

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