TBR Thursday 118…

Episode 118…

Hey! A massive drop in the TBR this week – down 2 to 194! Admittedly this is because I abandoned one (hundreds of pages of present tense – ugh! Just couldn’t take it…) and discovered a duplicate in the list. But it’s still a reduction, right? Right!! And outstanding review copies have also fallen 2 to 33 (yeah, OK, it’s the same 2, smartypants – I admit it). So there can be no doubt about it… I deserve a medal!

Here are a few that will soon reach the top of the pile…


Courtesy of NetGalley. I don’t know much about the Lizzie Borden case except for the little rhyme – Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41“. So I’m intrigued to read this fictionalisation of the case, which is getting good reviews…

The Blurb says: In this riveting debut novel, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

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Courtesy of NetGalley. I never know whether to count Turow’s books as crime or fiction, but this one looks like a bit of a departure from his usual American courtroom thriller, so I’m going with fiction for the moment…

The Blurb says: At the age of fifty, former prosecutor Bill ten Boom has walked out on everything he thought was important to him: his law career, his wife, Kindle County, even his country. Still, when he is tapped by the International Criminal Court–an organization charged with prosecuting crimes against humanity–he feels drawn to what will become the most elusive case of his career. Over ten years ago, in the apocalyptic chaos following the Bosnian war, an entire Roma refugee camp vanished. Now for the first time, a witness has stepped forward: Ferko Rincic claims that armed men marched the camp’s Gypsy residents to a cave in the middle of the night-and then with a hand grenade set off an avalanche, burying 400 people alive. Only Ferko survived.

Boom’s task is to examine Ferko’s claims and determinine who might have massacred the Roma. His investigation takes him from the International Criminal Court’s base in Holland to the cities and villages of Bosnia and secret meetings in Washington, DC, as Boom sorts through a host of suspects, ranging from Serb paramilitaries, to organized crime gangs, to the US government itself, while also maneuvering among the alliances and treacheries of those connected to the case: Layton Merriwell, a disgraced US major general desperate to salvage his reputation; Sergeant Major Atilla Doby,a vital cog in American military operations near the camp at the time of the Roma’s disappearance; Laza Kajevic, the brutal former leader of the Bosnian Serbs; Esma Czarni, Ferko’s alluring barrister; and of course, Ferko himself, on whose testimony the entire case rests-and who may know more than he’s telling. 

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Courtesy of NetGalley again! I loved Koethi Zan’s debut novel, The Never List, so I’ve been waiting impatiently for her second. I have high expectations, but the second book is notoriously difficult…


Julie has the perfect life

A kind boyfriend, loving parents and good grades. She has everything ahead of her.

Cora’s life is a nightmare

A psychopath for a husband, a violent father and a terrible secret. There’s no way out.

But one night, their worlds collide

Locked in an isolated house together, they must work out what has happened – and who they can trust to set them free.

From the bestselling author of The Never List, this is a breath-taking new thriller about the wife of a kidnapper and her relationship with his last victim.

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Crime on Audio

Courtesy of Audible via MidasPR. Having recently enjoyed my first venture into Maigret after many years, I leapt at the chance to listen to one of them on audio. The narrator is Gareth Armstrong, who sounds good on the sample…

The Blurb says: The thirty-seventh book in the new Penguin Maigret series. While keeping watch outside Mademoiselle Clément’s boarding house to await a suspect in a local bar robbery, a man named Janvier is shot in the chest. When Maigret, whose wife is away caring for her sister in Alsace, hears of the crime, he moves into the boarding house to solve the case. But the web quickly grows ever-more tangled, and Maigret must navigate generations-long secrets and a torrid affair to find his answers before it’s too late.

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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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37 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 118…

  1. Please allow me to fan myself while I am in utter awe at your amazing willpower medal!
    I’d love to know if they have a slight French accent for Maigret, or have gone for the slight Cockney twang of the most recent TV adaptation.

    • I’m very proud of it, I must say! If only you had willpower, I could lend it to you occasionally… 😉 Sadly the sample makes it sound as if he does it in standard English – after the huge success of the Russian accents for The Tsar of Love and Techno, I was really hoping for a gorgeous French accent for this. I may start a campaign…

      • Nope, no willpower me! I just about managed not to buy any books during the first three months of the year and it nearly killed me (I did borrow plenty and received ARCs, in case you are wondering how I survived).

  2. A well deserved medal, FF! I hope it is accompanied by wine and chocolate, which such a sterling feat surely deserves? (Bottom lip trembling at the poor, abandoned present tense novel…)
    Now, these all look good – the first one especially. I like the idea of a fictionalised account of a true life event and this was a particularly interesting one. And Maigret – who doesn’t love Maigret! Excitement all round, dear FF! 😀

    • I think so – I got tired of waiting for the government to recognise my amazing achievements, so it seemed only fair to award it myself! (Hahaha! Sorry about that! But you know I make exceptions for my friends from Old College… 😉 )

      See What I Have Done has been getting good reviews, so fingers crossed – I’d like to know more about the background to the Borden case. Maigret should be fun, though I’m disappointed the narrator doesn’t have a sexy French accent…

      • When I am PM, you will be awarded medals on a weekly basis, for your services to literature, blogging and awesomeness in general 🙂
        (We at Old College are beyond flattered and honoured. If I’m honest, I almost never like anything I read in present tense either)
        I actually did a bit of googling on the Borden case today, inspired by your post. I know we complain about fictional police officers always being incompetent, but the real life ones involved in this were verging on comedy-stupid, from what I’ve read! I think this will be my little pet interest for awhile 🙂
        As long as he doesn’t have a Brummie accent – Brummie Maigret wouldn’t work at all!!

        • Hahaha! Thank you – I shall vote for you then! Now I know how to make medals I feel they may swamp the blog for a while… 😉

          I’m tempted to google as well, but since I’m going to read the book so soon I’ve decided to maintain my ignorance so I can read it as pure fiction, then I can check afterwards how close it is to actual events… Haha! I almost hope it is Brummie now just for the fun of it… 😉

  3. Testimony looks very good! I missed that one on netgalley but I think I’ll head over and request. I haven’t read Scott Turow in years:) I’ll wait for your review of See What I Have Done before adding to the tbr but I’m really curious about that one.

    • I love Turow, so his books are always a treat. They’re always quite slow but I enjoy his writing style, so fingers crossed! I’m really looking forward to See What I Have Done – so far every review I’ve seen has been positive! Should be reading it soon… 🙂

  4. I am in complete awe at your resilience, FictionFan! To stay the course and reduce that TBR the way you have is, well, it’s astounding! You are a role model for the rest of us!

    As to what’s coming up next on your TBR, it’s good to see you have some Simenon ahead. The Maigret stories are really good. And Turow writes very, very well. It’s unusual to find a ‘literary’ author who also writes a great legal novel, but he does. I’ll be interested in what you think of that one.

    • I know – I’m so proud of myself!! If only your own willpower was as good as mine you could borrow my medal for special occasions… 😉

      The Turow sounds a bit different this time and I feel it might be quite harrowing, but I’m sure he’ll do it well as he always does. And I’m looking forward to listening to the Maigret – the shorter format always works better for me on audio than lengthy novels, so I reckon it should work well…

  5. GOOD for you, FF! Well done on reducing the bloated TBR (I could take a few notes from your resilience!!) This week’s offerings look most interesting, especially the Lizzie Borden novel. I saw the movie of that one (black and white, I think), and it was pretty horrific. The Follower sounds intriguing as well.

    • Haha! Thank you! I think my medal will look great on my ballgown, don’t you? 😉 The Lizzie Borden is the one I’m most looking forward to – I only know the vaguest outlines of the story so I’m intrigued to learn more. If The Follower is anything like her first novel, it’ll be pretty dark, which doesn’t always appeal to me – but I liked her writing very much, so fingers crossed! 🙂

    • My medal is very well-deserved, isn’t it? i shall wear it with pride… till next week, anyway… 😉

      Yep, it’s crime heavy this week since I’m stuck in Russia and Doone-land for factual and fiction. But they all look like fun…

  6. Definitely the Maigret one and also the Lizzie Borden book.
    Yes, you deserve a medal! And some chocolate. I’m handing you some of my leftover Easter chocolate eggs. . . . There. Did you get them?

    • They seem to be the popular winners this week – and my top choices too!

      Ooh, thank you – virtual chocolate is (almost) the best kind! And calorie-free… 😉

  7. Haha an impressive drop this week and as you know I have See What You Have Done but as much as I enjoyed Koethi Zan’s debut I shut my eyes to The Follower – I do hope you don’t make me regret my rare show of willpower 😏

    • You’re jealous of my beautiful medal – admit it! Wait till you see what I get when my TBR drops below yours…!! I must say the blurb of Koethi Zan’s new one doesn’t really appeal to me much, so I’m depending on her past success… but I hope I do make you regret it… 😉

  8. I hesitated over See what you have done when it was being offered, but passed on by – wondering if I would regret my willpower. We shall see. And Maigret – memories (not good ones) of struggling to read a Maigret in the original at school, has meant I never really ventured on with Simenon. Am wondering if it’s time I dd – in English, though, Zut, alors!

    • I didn’t go for it at first either, but snuck back when I started seeing positive reviews pop up around the place. My French wouldn’t be able to cope with Maigret either, but BigSister actually uses the Maigret books to try to keep her French from getting too rusty – mind you, she did it at Uni level for a year or two, if I remember rightly. I’ve only read one recently and rather enjoyed it, more for the picture of gay Paree than the plot to be honest…

    • Thank you! 🙂 I think See What I Have Done seems to be the most popular this week, and I suspect it’s going to be more of a character study than a traditional crime novel, but we’ll see! Fingers crossed that it’s good anyway…

    • You’re just trying to get your own willpower medal, aren’t you? Everyone’s so jealous of mine! Yes, it’s a very crime week, mainly because I’m stuck in Lorna Doone in fiction with no visible way out…

  9. See What I Have Done sounds interesting – I read about it on another blog earlier today. (Today’s my day to play catch-up!) I’m not fully committed yet to putting it on my own TBR, but I’m intrigued. As for me, well, I’m back up to 412 (!) I’ve decided that it’s pretty much useless for me to try and keep it under 400 – as long as I keep reading book blogs, that is! My medal would say: Throwing In The TBR Towel 2017! 🙂

    • Hahaha! Well, your 412 cheers me up, so that makes it all worthehile, eh? 😉 I’m looking forward to See What I Have Done – it seems to be getting a godd reaction from the reviews I’ve read. I should get to it very soon, I hope…

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