TBR Thursday 261 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 261

(A reminder of the People’s Choice plan. Once a month or so, I shall list the four oldest books on the TBR, then the next four, and so on, and each time you will select the one you think I should read, either because you’ve read and enjoyed it, or because you think the blurb looks good. And I will read the one you pick within three months! If I begin to fall behind, I’ll have a gap till I catch up again. In the event of a tie, I’ll have the casting vote.)

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OK, time for the next batch of four! Still got loads from 2015 – seems to have been a big year for acquiring more books than I could feasibly read! As usual, I’m planning three months ahead so the winner will be a January read. I bought the Pascal Mercier novel after enjoying another book of his, Night Train to Lisbon – pre-blog, though, so no review. RJ Ellory is a hit-and-miss author for me, but when he’s good, he’s very good, and I’m told this is one of his best. Ann Cleeves also has had a mixed reaction from me, based on the only two books of hers I’ve read so far. Attica Locke (I seem to be developing a theme here) is another whom I sometimes love and sometimes don’t. All of these appeal to me still, so you really can’t go wrong!

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…


Perlmann’s Silence by Pascal Mercier

Added 20th April 2015. 691 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.62 average rating. 625 pages.

The Blurb says: In a quiet seaside town near Genoa, experts are gathering for a linguistics conference. One speaker, Philipp Perlmann is recently widowed and, struggling to contend with his grief, is unable to complete his keynote address. As the hour approaches, an increasingly desperate Perlmann decides to plagiarize the work of Leskov, a Russian colleague who cannot attend, and pass it off as his own.

But when word reaches Perlmann that Leskov has arrived unexpectedly in Genoa, Perlmann must protect himself from exposure by constructing a maelstrom of lies and deceit, which will lead him to the brink of murder.

In this intense psychological drama, the author of Night Train to Lisbon again takes the reader on a journey into the depths of human emotion and the language of memory and loss.

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City of Lies by RJ Ellory

Added 20th April 2015. 503 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.66 average. 468 pages.

The Blurb says: John Harper has just made a discovery: the father he believed to be dead for more than thirty years is alive, though lying in a coma in a Manhattan hospital. Returning home to New York brings with it memories of childhood, many of them painful, and yet Harper could never have prepared himself for the truth.

Confronted with the reality of his father’s existence, Harper finds himself seduced by a lifestyle that he seems to have inherited–an underworld life of power, treachery, and menace. As he desperately tries to uncover the facts of his own past, he is faced with one lie after another, and with each new discovery he becomes more and more entangled in a dark and shocking conspiracy.

From the acclaimed author of A Quiet Belief in Angels and A Simple Act of ViolenceCity of Lies is a tense and gripping thriller, each twist and turn more shocking than the last.

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The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

Added 20th May, 2015. 11,334 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.87 average. 561 pages. 

The Blurb says: At the isolated Baikie’s Cottage on the North Pennines, three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal…

For team leader Rachael Lambert the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double-betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide…

When Rachael arrives at the cottage, however, she is horrified to discover the body of her friend Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide – a verdict Rachael finds impossible to accept.

Only when the next death occurs does a fourth woman enter the picture – the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women’s tangled lives…

* * * * *


Black Water Rising by Attica Locke

Added 3rd June, 2015. 5,727 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.52 average. 450 pages.

The Blurb says: Jay Porter is hardly the lawyer he set out to be. His most promising client is a low-rent call girl, and he runs his fledgling law practice out of a dingy strip mall. But he’s long since made peace with his path to the American Dream, carefully tucking away his darkest sins: the guns, the FBI file, the trial that nearly destroyed him.

Houston, Texas, 1981. It’s here that Jay believes he can make a fresh start. That is, until the night he impulsively saves a drowning woman’s life – and opens a Pandora’s Box. Her secrets put Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him his practice, his family, and even his life. But before he can get to the bottom of a tangled mystery that reaches into the upper echelons of Houston’s corporate powerbrokers, Jay must confront the demons of his past.

With intelligent writing that captures the reader from the first scene through an exhilarating climax, Black Water Rising marks the arrival of an electrifying new talent.

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(Click on title and then remember to also click on Vote, or your vote won’t count!)

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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

50 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 261 – The People’s Choice…

  1. This is a tough one, because I also want to read the Pascal Mercier, so was tempted to vote for that, even though I’ve no idea what it’s like. But I do know Black Water Rising and although it is Attica Locke’s first novel (and therefore slightly flawed in parts), I absolutely love her as an author.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved The Cutting Season but was a bit less enthusiastic about a more recent one – Bluebird, Bluebird. I still enjoyed it though, just not as much. I’ve heard lots of good things about Black Water Rising, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to say, FictionFan, I’m voting for Black Water Rising. All of the books are good choices, so I think you’ll be fine whichever is the winner. But Black Water Rising is, to me, a very strong story with some well-defined characters. Attica Locke is a very talented writer, and I am eager to see what you think of that one, whether it wins or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved The Cutting Season, which was why I added this one all those years ago. I’d be quite happy if Black Water Rising wins – it still appeals to me as much as it did back then, especially with your recommendation! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Decisions, decisions, they all seem promising this week. I would be most likely to read Perlman’s Silence, but I’m sure you will enjoy whatever wins this time around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I added your vote for Perlmann’s Silence – I’d be quite happy if it wins, since I really enjoyed Night Train to Lisbon by him, although having not reviewed it means I can barely remember what it was about now! This bunch do all look good – I’m feeling confident… 😉


  4. I plan to read Ann Cleeves because both my wife and daughter have recommended her books. They also enjoyed SHETLAND which I intend to watch on Netflix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I watched a few of the episodes of Shetland when it came out over here, and really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the first book in that series. So I’ll be quite happy if this one wins, since I’d really like to read more of her… 😀


  5. I’m feeling rather ambivalent with these choices, but decided to go with The Crow Trap. I think it might have the best cover, too…. not that that really makes a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the sound of all of this batch – they all seem like books I’d still be willing to buy today, which has not been the case with some of the earlier ones! 😉 So I’ll be quite happy if The Crow Trap wins… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I really enjoyed the first book in her Shetland series. This one is the first in the Vera series, and I’ve enjoyed a few episodes of the TV version, so I’ll be quite happy if The Crow Trap wins! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Most of the oldest books lingering on my TBR are horrendously long – I suspect that’s why they linger! 😉 Usually I don’t mind a long book so long as it’s not full of padding, but I’m struggling to get through them at the moment. But hopefully by January my slump will be a misty memory… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hurrah! I was beginning to think City of Lies was going to get a big fat zero! Ellory’s great when he’s on form, but quite often he’s not. However, this was one of his early ones, and I think they were usually better than the more recent ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The only title I’ve heard of is the Pascal Mercier novel, which I seem to remember got some favourable crits. And though the Vera tv series has many fans I’ve no idea how well the novels read (well enough, I suppose) so the Mercier gets my ❎!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly enjoyed Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon, so I’m looking forward to reading this one sometime. But it looks as though Vera has won, so I’ll find out soon if the books live up to the TV series!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Seems as though the Crow Trap is in the lead! That’s the one I picked so I hope it wins. The idea of bunch of women getting together (who aren’t friends!) sounds unique. A great starting off point for a mystery…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry, I can’t decide, I’d need to be convinced to pick up any of these at the moment (though there are elements in three of them that appeal, so I may be enticed) – I’m feeling the need for a bit of lightness in reading at this moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know the feeling! I’m throwing put my list and sticking to vintage crime and horror for a bit – my reading enthusiasm has reached new lows this last couple of weeks! But I’m hoping that by the time this one is due to be read in January I’ll have got my mojo back.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I loved The Cutting Season so am still looking forward to reading Black Water Rising sometime, but it looks like it won’t be in January unless there’s a mad rush to the polls before they close! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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