Today it is my turn on the blog tour for Beton Rouge and I am delighted to be sharing a guest post by author, Simone Buchholz. This post is presented with thanks to Anne Cater, who invited me on the blog tour, and of course, to Simone Buchholz for writing her post!
On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of the biggest German newspapers. Closer inspection shows he is a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in similar circumstances.
Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect … to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the elite world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred … monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.
I Think I Saw Your Soul In A Kebab Shop Late Last Night.
September in Scotland, somewhere between Glasgow and Edinburgh. A small town with a castle, a lot of pubs and those uniquely British hotels. Four days full of events and people, all melted together.
And then suddenly, one night, there was a moment when I did not know anymore which evening exactly it was: the first? the second? the third?
I asked all the people in my head, but they had no answer. I decided it was not important. Since I arrived I had been walking down from the castle with a burning torch in my hand, I had been swimming in gin & tonic in a hotel bar, I had been singing a capella sea shanties in a dark pub, and my English was slowly taking on the colours of the Scottish accent.
Then, late at night, in one of those shops where they sell greasy food, I fell asleep for five seconds, propped up against the back of a colleague from London.
It must have been the second evening … maybe.
Next morning: a message on my phone from a Scottish author I’d fallen in love with when I read his novel two years before.
He asked if I was awake. If I was aware that we were to be on stage together in half an hour.
Yes, I wrote, I am awake, but I can’t find my brain, and I must have lost my face and my soul somewhere.
He wrote: I think I saw your soul in a kebab shop late last night.
But, no problem, we could go there and get it after the show. And if I wanted to I could have one of his faces. Brains wouldn’t be needed because everyone in the audience would have a terrible hangover.
OK, I wrote, I’d love to use one of your faces. Thank you. See you in a minute.
On stage we spoke about politics and emotions, about Brexit and storytelling. The faces did very well; the absence of brains did not attract attention.
Afterwards, we went to that kebab shop where we thought we would find my soul hanging around. The shop was closed. The windows were crowded with neon signs. We could not see if anyone was inside; and souls? Well, they’re so fucking transparent in daylight.
‘Come on,’ said the Scotsman, ‘let’s go to the next pub. We should drink beer and eat haggis. Or something else with a lot of salt and pepper.’
‘Uh, wow,’ I said. ‘Haggis.’
He smiled at me. So what could I say?
Who was sitting in that pub when we came in – at a small table in a sticky corner?
My brain, my face and my soul – and his brain was joining them. They did not say a lot to each other, but they seemed to be very satisfied with the situation.
‘What the hell are you doing here?’ I asked.
‘We’re working on a new Oasis album,’ said my soul; and I said: ‘Aha, and what will be the name of this new Oasis album, you little bastards?’
The Scotsman embraced me carefully and showed me some shimmering words that suddenly lit up over the bar: I THINK I SAW YOUR SOUL IN A KEBAB SHOP LATE LAST NIGHT.
We ordered a huge amount of haggis for everybody and all sat down together.
Beton Rouge is available from Amazon.
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