TBR Thursday 197…

Episode 197

Goodness! The TBR is down another 3 this week to 222! At this rate, two things will happen: 1) I will run out of books and 2) several of you (you know who you are!) will turn purple with rage, green with envy and yellow with terror that the same thing might happen to you. Which will officially qualify you to join Clan Abercrombie…

Here are a few more that will be taking the high road soon. No heavy fiction since I’ll be starting Middlemarch soon and that might take me two or three decades to read, so it’s another Crime Week…


Courtesy of riverrun at Quercus. I saw several glowing reviews of the first book in this series, so when I was offered this second one, I grabbed it, especially since the publisher says each book works as a stand-alone. I realised recently that I’m not following very many current series since some have come to an end (or I’ve grown tired of them), so I’m on the lookout for a couple of new ones. Could this be one?

The Blurb says: The two boys never fitted in. Seventeen, the worst age, nothing to do but smoke weed; at least they have each other. The day they speed off on a moped with a stolen mobile, they’re ready to celebrate their luck at last. Until their victim comes looking for what’s his – and ready to kill for it.

On the other side of Kent’s wealth divide, DS Alexandra Cupidi faces the strangest murder investigation of her career. A severed limb, hidden inside a modern sculpture in Margate’s Turner Contemporary. No one takes it seriously – not even the artwork’s owners, celebrity dealers who act like they’re above the law.

But as Cupidi’s case becomes ever more sinister, as she wrangles with police politics and personal dilemmas, she can’t help worrying about those runaway boys. Seventeen, the same age as her own headstrong daughter. Alone, on the marshes, they’re pawns in someone else’s game. Two worlds are about to collide.

Kent and its social divisions are brilliantly captured in Deadland, a crime thriller that’s as ingeniously unguessable as it is moving and powerful.

* * * * *


I’m slowly re-reading my favourite crime series of all time, Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe series. This is number 5, and I remember when I first read it being utterly shocked at the idea of snuff movies. (In case you haven’t come across the term before, snuff movies are a variation of porn films where the violence against women portrayed onscreen is not acting, but real, up to and including the victim’s death.) I’d never heard of them and wondered if Hill had invented the idea, but apparently they actually exist or are at least rumoured to. The world is a sick, sick place…

The Blurb says: Love, or at least pornography, are for sale at the arty Calliope Kinema Club on posh, proper Wilkinson Square. According to Yorkshire police superintendent Dalziel, it’s all legal. Detective Peter Pascoe, however, doesn’t believe it. His dentist, who knows real broken teeth and blood when he sees them, insists that the pretty actress wasn’t playing a part when it happened. But the action that puts Pascoe into the picture is homicide. The sudden death of the Calliope’s proprietor soon turns a sleazy sex flick into serious police business. And now Dalziel and Pascoe are looking into the all-too-human desire for pain, pleasure…and murder.

* * * * *


Courtesy of Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley. This series is darker than I usually go for, but I love her writing – she usually creates a really creepy or tension-filled atmosphere. And I like the two lead characters too…

The Blurb says: The police find out about the crime the way everyone does: on Snapchat. The video shows the terrified victim begging for forgiveness. When her body is found, it is marked with a number 2…

Detective Huldar joins the investigation, bringing child psychologist Freyja on board to help question the murdered teenager’s friends. Soon, they uncover that Stella was far from the angel people claim – but even so, who could have hated her enough to kill?

Then another teenager goes missing, and more clips are sent. Freyja and Huldar can agree on two things at least: the truth is far from simple. And the killer is not done yet.

A brilliantly suspenseful story about the dark side of social media, The Absolution will make you wonder what you should have said sorry for…

* * * * *


Courtesy of Orion via NetGalley. I enjoyed Cavanagh’s debut novel, The Defence, a few years ago and really meant to keep up with his new releases – didn’t happen! However, I keep seeing glowing reviews of his books, so I’m jumping back on board with this new one. The blurb is singularly unhelpful, I must say, and if I didn’t know anything about the author, would certainly not tempt me to read the book… WRITING BLURBS IN CAPITALS DOESN’T MAKE THEM MORE EXCITING!!! (FF’s Eleventh Law… 😉 )


1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.

2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.

3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads.

* * * * *

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

61 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 197…

    • I’m looking forward to Deadland – the reviews for his earlier book were pretty universally positive. And I’m going to need a lot of crime to help me get through Middlemarch… 😉

  1. Well, first off, FictionFan, I give you a great deal of credit for that plummeting TBR! I’m very happy for you. An extra piece of cake for you! You have some great crime fiction choices, too. For one thing, I think the Dalziel/Pascoe series is always worth (re)reading. And The Absolution looks very good, too. Hopefully, you’ll find Middlemarch enjoyable enough that it won’t feel like a slog.

    • Haha! I’m getting quite worried about it now – it’s so unlike me! Maybe I’m sickening for something… 😉 I’m really looking forward to Middlemarch – I’m in the right mood for a major classic, I think. These all sound good too. I like having crime novels alongside heavier fiction – my brain needs the variation!

  2. Oh, and is there special significance for Clan Abercrombie? I’ve got a ‘live and let live’ feeling about my TBR these days. Books are too pleasurable to associate with stress 🙂

    • Haha – no, it was just the only tartan I could find with those colours in it! My new system of selecting eighty books from my existing TBR for the year is working surprisingly well – I’m enjoying reading them and it’s stopping me taking so many review copies. Hence the drop! 😀

  3. I have the first Yrsa (insert difficult last name here) on my list of for the 20 Books of Summer Challenge, which I’m quite excited about. Not saying a word about Twisted but do look forward to seeing what you make of it.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to contact MI5 so I can get your address and send you books myself because this is going massively wrong! 🙄

    • Ooh, The Legacy? I think you’ll love it! There’s one particular murder method in it that still give me nightmares… 😱😂 Hahaha – oh dear! I’m going to hate Twisted, aren’t I? Oh well… 😂

      Don’t forget to wear your tartan! I’ve bricked up my letterbox though, so even MI5 can’t get books through… 😉

  4. Look at you! You are on a roll! with the book drops! 😀 Your TBR list is getting movie star slim.

    The Absolution and Twisted sound fascinating and odd when paired together.

    • I know!!! I’m not sure how it’s happening but long may it last! 😀

      They do! They both sound awfully dark – I may have to wake up the porpentine… 😱

  5. Congrats on your new slimmed-down TBR! Way to go!! Why does yours decrease and mine increase though? Could I send you some of mine to even them up a bit?? At least I’m safe this week — none of these capture my interest, especially that CAPITAL LETTERS thing and the snuff thing. Yep, we live in a world of sickos.

    • Hahahaha – no way!! Anyway you know my decrease will be a temporary blip – the underlying trend is always up… 😉 Yes, this is quite a dark bunch this week, not really by design. I may have to slot in a couple of nice vintage mysteries to lighten things up…

  6. Although Deadland is advertised as the second Cupidi novel she actually makes her first appearance in Birdwatcher, which is excellent. I am a great fan of Shaw. Have you read his Breen and Tozer series, set in the 1960s? If not add them to the list.

    • It was seeing so many glowing reviews of Birdwatcher that convinced me to go for this one since the publisher made a point of saying they can stand alone. I haven’t come across that series – I’ll check it out! I don’t know why I’ve suddenly ended up with so few series on the go, but it’s a lovely thought to be able to actively look for new ones… 😀

  7. You’ve tempted me with several of these, but probably most by Twisted. All caps aside, the three statements do pique my curiosity!

    I’ve always thought of snuff films as any where a real killing is shown in the film, porn or not…. though it wouldn’t surprise me if most of them were porn films. Ugh. I don’t even want to think about it.

    • Twisted is getting rave reviews all over the blogosphere, though I think it sounds as if it’s going to be very dark… 😱

      You’re probably right – in this book, they’re porn films so I’ve just assumed that’s the norm. Wikipedia seems to suggest they might not actually exist, interestingly… but that films get marketed as snuff films to promote interest. Which might be even sicker!!

  8. I shall eagerly await your thoughts on Deadland. I have several William Shaw’s here (maybe even this one) and I must get to them. I’m hooked on Lousie Penny and Inspector Gamache at the moment. Much as I adored Dungeness when I read my first Shaw there, Quebec has a stronger pull right now. I’m hoping your review of Deadland will tell me it’s so good that I have to recross the ocean for my murder fix 😀

    • Ah, yes, you were one of the ones who put his name on my radar! I haven’t tried the Louise Penny books yet, but I do have the first of that series on my TBR too. I’m planning to dig out all these firsts of series I’ve accumulated, read a few and then see which ones I want to continue with. Now all I need is a free month to do it in!

  9. Middlemarch is one of my very favourite books of all time – even though it is huge, it only took me a week or so to read, so hopefully it won’t feel like a slog!

    • I’m really looking forward to getting into it now, especially since several people have now said how much they love it! I quite like to take my time with major classics – just read a couple of chapters at a time and spend a few weeks with them… 😀

  10. Can’t type….too busy turning purple with rage, green with envy and yellow with terror 😀

    I loved Middlemarch so much I whizzed through it in 3 days, so sadly I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge rise in the TBR…

    • Hahaha – the colour scheme suits you, though!! 😀

      I started Middlemarch at the weekend and so far, so good! I do like to read classics slowly though, so I’m pacing myself…

    • Ah, the art of culling! I do like to keep mine down to a level where it’s at least possible I might read them all one day – otherwise it just becomes overwhelming… 😀

  11. Ugh snuff films…just the idea of them are so horrific, it’s hard to fathom that something that terrible in our world even exists! I’m not sure i can read a book about it, even if it’s fiction.

    And yes to Steven Cavanagh! I read the one before this latest, and I enjoyed it. And I totally agree-capitals are annoying in book blurbs, I just picture the author/publisher/publicist yelling at me and I don’t like it…

    • I know – that’s how I felt when I first read this one. Wikipedia seems to think they might be an urban myth, but I don’t know… The book isn’t as dark as that aspect makes it sound though – from memory the plot develops into something else quite quickly.

      I’m looking forward to the Cavanagh, though one of my other blog buddies has hinted she thinks I’ll hate it… 😂

Leave a Reply to FictionFan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.