TBR Thursday 117…

Episode 117…

And still I have managed to avoid the Big 200! I seem to be working on a one in, one out basis at the moment, since for nearly a month now the TBR has remained stable at 196. There is some progress though – the number of outstanding review copies has dropped 2 to 35 – woohoo! That’s a good enough excuse for reward chocolate for me!!

Here are a few that I should get to soon…


Courtesy of Amazon Vine. I never got around to reading Laline Paull’s acclaimed first book, The Bees, though I really wanted to – still do. So I was pleased to be offered a copy of her new one – this time I have no excuse…

The Blurb says: It’s the day after tomorrow and the Arctic sea ice has melted. While global business carves up the new frontier, cruise ships race each other to ever-rarer wildlife sightings. The passengers of the Vanir have come seeking a polar bear. What they find is even more astonishing: a dead body.

It is Tom Harding, lost in an accident three years ago and now revealed by the melting ice of Midgard glacier. Tom had come to Midgard to help launch the new venture of his best friend of thirty years, Sean Cawson, a man whose business relies on discretion and powerful connections – and who was the last person to see him alive. Their friendship had been forged by a shared obsession with Arctic exploration. And although Tom’s need to save the world often clashed with Sean’s desire to conquer it, Sean has always believed that underneath it all, they shared the same goals.

But as the inquest into Tom’s death begins, the choices made by both men – in love and in life – are put on the stand. And when cracks appear in the foundations of Sean’s glamorous world, he is forced to question what price he has really paid for a seat at the establishment’s table. Just how deep do the lies go?

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Courtesy of NetGalley. I always love Tóibín’s Irish-set novels, but the book that introduced me to him was the wonderful The Testament of Mary. So I’m delighted to see him go back into antiquity again for this one…

The Blurb says: “I have been acquainted with the smell of death.” So begins Clytemnestra’s tale of her own life in ancient Mycenae, the legendary Greek city from which her husband King Agamemnon left when he set sail with his army for Troy. Clytemnestra rules Mycenae now, along with her new lover Aegisthus, and together they plot the bloody murder of Agamemnon on the day of his return after nine years at war.

In House of Names, Colm Tóibín brings a modern sensibility and language to an ancient classic, and gives this extraordinary character new life, so that we not only believe Clytemnestra’s thirst for revenge, but applaud it. He brilliantly inhabits the mind of one of Greek myth’s most powerful villains to reveal the love, lust, and pain she feels. Told in fours parts, this is a fiercely dramatic portrait of a murderess, who will herself be murdered by her own son, Orestes. It is Orestes’ story, too: his capture by the forces of his mother’s lover Aegisthus, his escape and his exile. And it is the story of the vengeful Electra, who watches over her mother and Aegisthus with cold anger and slow calculation, until, on the return of her brother, she has the fates of both of them in her hands.

* * * * *


Courtesy of NetGalley again! I loved Erin Kelly’s The Ties That Bind, so despite my legendary iron willpower I couldn’t resist her new one, especially after reading Cleo’s fabulous review

The Blurb says: In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share. But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his.

The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder—did she trust the wrong person?

15 years later, Kit and Laura are living under assumed names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.

* * * * *

Crime on Audio

Courtesy of Audible via MidasPR. This falls somewhere between a short story and a novella in length – just over an hour in terms of listening. It’s been many years since I read the China Thrillers, so I’m intrigued to see Peter May resurrect the characters…

The Blurb says: Li Yan and Margaret Campbell return in a new story, years after the dramatic conclusion of Chinese Whispers.

‘I saw your missing girl at a ghost wedding last week. She was the bride.’

It has been a whirlwind few years for Li Yan and Margaret Campbell. Nowadays, both are busy juggling their huge professional workloads – Li as the newly promoted chief of Beijing’s serious crime squad and Campbell as lecturer at the University of Public Security – with the day-to-day raising of their young son, Li Jon.

When a desperate mother appeals to Campbell’s own maternal instincts, Li agrees to look into the disappearance of a 17-year-old Beijing girl, Jiang Meilin. Yet Li’s investigation soon turns from a favour into a full-scale murder enquiry. And when he receives an anonymous note, he learns Jiang Meilin’s death is tied to a dangerous underground trade and a dark marital rite from China’s past.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

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So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?

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41 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 117…

  1. I’ve heard a lot about Erin Kelly’s He Said She Said and even read the sample opening chapter or two, but have yet to read the whole thing. It does tempt me. I have The Ice as well on my TBR pile, because it sounds more like me than The Bees (although I thought the idea was very intriguing).

    • The Ice appeals more to me than The Bees too, in terms of storyline, so here’s hoping! I loved Erin Kelly’s last one, but was going to resist this one (iron willpower!) until Cleo’s review pushed me over the edge. So I can blame her if it all goes horribly wrong… 😉

  2. The House Of Names looks great – right up my street!! I actually got quite excited reading the blurb, although I think my senses had already been pricked by that lovely picture of the Easter Basket 🙂 So probably anything would excite me after that. I have seen lots of hype for He Said She Said so it might be interesting to see how that turns out.
    If I don’t ‘see’ you beforehand, have a super Easter FF – I shall think of you as I stuff my little face with as much chocolate and wine as I can find! 😀

    • Doesn’t it look brilliant? There are five books ahead of it in my pile but I think it might jump the queue! He Said/She Said could go either way, I feel – the blurb doesn’t appeal too much, but I liked her writing in her last book, and this one is getting a lot of great reviews…

      Happy Easter, Lucy! A perfect excuse for chocolate sausages, I feel… 😀

  3. I couldn’t agree more that this calls for chocolate, FictionFan. I am impressed! As to your books, I’ve been wanting to read the Kelly for a bit now. I’m glad you reminded me of it. And that Peter May looks mighty tempting, too. I’d say you got some good ‘uns there.

    • The great thing about chocolate is it works as either reward or consolation… 😉 I’ve seen loads of positive reviews for the Kelly, including Cleo’s of course, so couldn’t resist. The May is just a short thing, so I’m intrigued – I’m not aware of him having written any shorts before, and I’m also wondering if it’s a hint he’s going to resurrect the China series…

  4. All of these tempt me! Toibin, May…….. what are you trying to do to me? I read a book about Ghost Weddings years ago – very scary!

    • The Toibin is the pick of the week, but the May is interesting – I wonder if he’s going to resurrect the China series? Ooh, I didn’t know Ghost Weddings were a thing – now I’m intrigued…

    • I still have The Bees on my wishlist, but it’s never made it onto my TBR yet (it’s all so complicated! 😉 ), but the story of this one actually appeals to me more. Fingers crossed!

  5. Hahahaha chocolate is always a great reward! And no need for a reason to get it either 😛
    I’d never heard about these before but I’d be interested in trying any of them. I really need to broad my tastes a little bit!

    • Ah, yes… and if you can’t find an excuse for a reward, it works just as well as a consolation! 😉 I have a butterfly mind so I can never stick to one genre for long, but this week’s selection does sound particularly appealing…

  6. A Toibin is always a treat so that’s on the list, and He Said, She Said has a Cornwall connection so I’m tempted. I’m mostly tempted by the chocolate though 😐

    • Leave my chocolate alone! Well… you can have an egg, but don’t touch the bunny!! 😉

      The Toibin should be brilliant, I hope, and I liked Erin Kelly’s writing in her last book, so I have high hopes of He Said/She Said. Fingers crossed!

  7. Ooh you’re basket of chocolate tempts me – maybe I’ll treat myself if my TBR reaches 196 😉 I am also tempted by the Peter May and glad you went for He Said/She Said – which I strongly tip to be one of my books of the year!

    • Huh! I was going to offer you one of the bunny’s ears, but I won’t now – anyway you’ll be higher than me again any time now, I’m sure! The Peter May intrigues me – I’m not aware of him ever doing a short story before. I’m wondering if it means he’s going to resurrect his China series. And I’ll hold you personally responsible for He Said/She Said… 😉

        • *blows raspberry* I finished one today, so it is 195 now! Nyah-nyah-nyah!!! I think you need to move all the China ones to your TBR – 200 is such a nice number…

  8. House of Names sounds grand, but then so does He Said She Said. No wonder your TBR doesn’t shrink when you consider intriguing books like these! I’d have a hard time choosing which to dive into first, you know. If I don’t see you before, have a lovely Easter — that basket full of candy makes my mouth water!!

    • Yep, it’s all these book bloggers – they’re always putting temptation in my way! It shouldn’t be allowed! 😉 Have a great Easter, Debbie – and don’t eat all of Dallas’s eggs!

  9. I’ve received House of Names from NetGalley too and am looking forward to it, as part of my aim to read more fiction about Ancient Greece. None of your others tempt me this week, although the Easter eggs do. 🙂

    • I’m really hoping House of Names will be great – I loved The Testament of Mary so I have high expectations. Hope we both enjoy it! And if not, we can always console ourselves with Easter eggs… 😉

    • Hah! But what if they’re both brilliant, and you’ve missed out? Think how sad you’d be then. Better to add them just to be on the safe side… 😉 Have a great Easter! 😀

    • Ooh, I’ll be interested to hear what you thought of it! I should be reading it very soon – I’ve got a bit bogged down in a couple of books I’m not hugely enjoying, and that always makes me read slower. Maybe next weekend or so, with luck…

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