TBR Thursday 193…

Episode 193

Well, I’ve had a little influx of books this week, so I must be getting through them too, since the overall increase is just 1 to 231. Surprises me, since I feel as if I’ve done nothing except gaze at the farce put on by our revered and well-paid politicians for weeks now.

Order! Order! Here’s what’s next on the order paper…


Courtesy of 4th Estate at HarperCollins. This one popped unexpectedly through my letter-box a couple of weeks ago. I always enjoy getting the occasional book sent to me that I haven’t specifically chosen because it kicks me out of my rut. Sometimes they turn out to be great reads – fingers crossed for this one!

The Blurb says: A gripping literary thriller and the first of a new crime series, from the bestselling author of Before We Met.

Detective Inspector Robin Lyons is going home. Dismissed for misconduct from the Met’s Homicide Command after refusing to follow orders, unable to pay her bills (or hold down a relationship), she has no choice but to take her teenage daughter Lennie and move back in with her parents in the city she thought she’d escaped forever at 18. In Birmingham, sharing a bunkbed with Lennie and navigating the stormy relationship with her mother, Robin works as a benefit-fraud investigator – to the delight of those wanting to see her cut down to size.

Only Corinna, her best friend of 20 years, seems happy to have Robin back. But when Corinna’s family is engulfed by violence and her missing husband becomes a murder suspect, Robin can’t bear to stand idly by as the police investigate. Can she trust them to find the truth of what happened? And why does it bother her so much that the officer in charge is her ex-boyfriend – the love of her teenage life? As Robin launches her own unofficial investigation and realises there may be a link to the disappearance of a young woman, she starts to wonder how well we can really know the people we love – and how far any of us will go to protect our own.

* * * * *

Scottish Classic

Courtesy of Oxford World’s Classics. I know very little about this one except that it always shows up on lists of Scottish classics, and that I mercilessy mocked my brother for years for reading obscure Scottish books like this and he’s now getting his own back. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed the Scottish section of my Classics Club list, so my hopes are high… well, fairly high… though I’ve just read the blurb… maybe I should have done that before I put it on my list… 

The Blurb says: Smollett’s savage, boisterously funny lambasting of eighteenth-century British society charts the unfortunate journey of the gout-ridden and irascible squire Matthew Bramble across Britain, who finds himself everywhere surrounded by decadents, pimps, con-men, raucousness and degeneracy – until the arrival of the trusty manservant Humphry Clinker promises to improve his fortunes.

Populated with unforgettable grotesques and written with a relish for earthy humour and wordplay, and a ferocious pessimism, Humphry Clinker is Smollett’s masterpiece.

* * * * *


Courtesy of HarperCollins. Hurrah! A new one in the wonderful Maeve Kerrigan series! It’s been a long wait for this, so hopes are astronomically high…

The Blurb says: Leo Stone is a killer. A year ago, he was convicted of murdering two women and sentenced to life without parole. But now, a juror from his trial has revealed the jury was prejudiced, and a retrial is called.

Detectives Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent are tasked with re-examining the evidence. Before long, they uncover links between Stone and a possible third victim.

But with Stone behind bars, a fourth woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer out there, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start? And will Maeve discover the truth before another innocent victim is killed?

* * * * *

Gothic Horror

Courtesy of Head of Zeus via NetGalley. I loved Paver’s Dark Matter, finding it up there with the very best of classic horror, and was pleased to see my opinion reinforced when it was one of the few modern books mentioned by the illustrious horror expert, Darryl Jones, in his history of the genre, Sleeping With The Lights On. So… no pressure for this one, then, Ms Paver… 😉

The Blurb says: In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father. When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened.

Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past.

Spanning five centuries, Wakenhyrst is a darkly gothic thriller about murderous obsession and one girl’s longing to fly free.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads.

* * * * *

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

48 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 193…

  1. Michelle Paver’s new book does sound tempting. You’ll never believe it but I read Tobias Smollett in my late teens/ early 20s when I was hoovering up everything in British literature (I think I read his Peregrine Pickle as well). I don’t remember much about them now, but they were very much in the Tom Jones or Tristram Shandy school of writing. I seem to remember them being not only funny (in a Chauceresque, sometimes infantile or bawdy way), but also quite satirical and critical of the society they were living in.


    • Ha – my brother will be thrilled to know he’s not alone! I think it’s the bawdiness that has put me off over the years – I quite enjoy visual bawdy humour but never seem to find it funny when it’s written. But I’ve found I’ve enjoyed several Scottish classics I’ve been avoiding for years – some kind of reverse cultural snobbery going on in my brain, I think – so maybe this will be another surprise hit!


  2. Critical Incidents and Cruel Acts are good titles for the work of some politicians. But those tempt me.
    (Will be less sporadic about commenting when I finally return from my writer retreat. I’m in a cabin in a remote area with spotty wifi.)


    • (Oh, that sound great! I hope it’s got your creative juices flowing! 😀 )

      Ha – yes! I could do with a few less critical incidents in British politics at the moment, and they’re certainly tempting me to commit some cruel acts… but I’ll stick to Twitter trolling to keep my blood pressure down… 😉


  3. Glad to see you have a Casey here, FictionFan. She really does write a good story, doesn’t she? Critical Incidents sounds intriguing, too. I’m usually not one for dysfunctional detectives in my crime fiction. But it can work when they’re done really well. I’ll be interested in how you get on with that one.


    • Looking forward to the Casey – I’ve missed Maeve!! Critical Incidents wouldn’t have been one I’d have picked from the blurb, but sometimes these unsolicited books turn out to be unexpectedly good, so here’s hoping! On a different note, I was sorry to see your post yesterday – your blog will be sorely missed! But I do understand how time-consuming it is, especially with the amount of effort you’ve always put into it. I hope your new projects will be all the more successful for your increased focus!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so pleased that there’s a new Jane Casey at last – it’s been so long! And I’m really looking forward to Wakenhyrst – she’s another author who’s becoming a must-read for me… 😀


  4. I’d be willing to take a chance on any of these! Well… I’m not sure about that Scottish classic, but any of the others. 😉


    • Haha, yes, I must admit to wariness about this one too – it really doesn’t sound my cup of tea at all. But at least it’s not hugely long… and who knows? Maybe it’ll be great… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve received a NetGalley copy of Wakenhyrst too. I haven’t read any other Michelle Paver books so I don’t know what to expect, but I’m glad you loved Dark Matter!


    • Oh, I have high hopes for Wakenhyrst – hope we both enjoy it! I loved Dark Matter, and enjoyed her next one, Thin Air, too, though not quite as much. But she’s a great writer and pretty much on my must-read list now… 😀


  6. It sounds like there will be plenty of reviews of Wakenhyrst which is a very good thing. Reading about it often enough might boost my courage sufficiently that I’ll feel able to read it for myself. A sort of desensitizing process… 😀


    • Yes, loads of people seem to have gone for it – no wonder, it sounds great! Certainly, although there was horror in Dark Matter it was of the psychological chilling kind rather than anything gruesome, so I’m hoping this will be the same… 😀


  7. I have high hopes for the first one, and the last one. And although I don’t fully understand what is going on with Brexit, I feel for you, that must be so frustrating! It seems like such a big decision that’s hanging in the balance…


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