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The Black Jersey

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A fast-paced mystery where Murder on the Orient Express meets the Tour de France--someone's killing off cyclists one by one.

There are riders willing to die just to win a single leg of the Tour, careening downhill at a suicidal ninety kilometers per hour; now I know there are also riders ready to kill for it.

Marc, a French-Colombian professional cyclist with a military past
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Random House
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  130 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Nancy Oakes
(read earlier)

The narrator of this account, Marc Moreau, says close to its beginning that

"We understood that every so often there would be an annus horribilus, a cursed year, for the Tour de France. By the time we finished the first four stages of the tour, we would start to suspect that this could be the worst of all."

He's not joking -- the mystery within this novel centers around the attempts to discover who is responsible for a string of horrific incid
Ron S
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Someone is killing off professional cyclists during the Tour de France. Bicycling themed fiction is usually best left to fanatics, but this is far better than most and could appeal to a broader spectrum of general whodunnit readers.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With more than a little intrigue added to the stress of riding in the Tour de France, this book might give you some joy if you follow this competition. Who is behind the threatening atmosphere with a murder or two thrown in? It's a page turner.
Jillian Digiantonio
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was hesitant to read this at first, but once I started I got really into it! I had no idea about cycling or the Tour de France before reading it. The author weaved the murder story with the intrigue of the race, leading to the highest peak(climax) of the novel. I couldn't put it down. The main character, Marc and the secondary characters are fully fleshed out and everyone has motives. The twists and turns of the story, especially towards the end make the book hard to put down. I highly recomme ...more
Doug Yonce
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Tour is a killer of a race, but in this exciting novel participants are falling in numbers beyond comprehension. What’s happening to them? Why? As the race reaches its final stages, Marc, a racer with a military past, looks to see if there’s a target on him too.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘There’s a killer among us, and the police have tasked me with finding out who it is.’

Even if you don’t know much about cycling, you will have heard of the Tour de France, possibly the toughest gig in any sport. This murder-mystery is set during those torrid 3 weeks as strange accidents befall some of the competitors, and as events take on a more murderous intent the web of intrigue and fear widens. At the start of the race our main character and narrator, Marc Moreau – a French-Colombian domest
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Marc is a domestique. His job is to make sure his team’s leader wins the Tour de France. As tragedies continue to befall the race, Marc is also drafted to help uncover who is behind the sabotage. And, well, maybe get the yellow jersey for himself? This book is the perfect merger of mystery and cycling. Those who like mysteries might feel there is too much cycling. Those who like cycling might feel there is too much behind the scenes mystery. But combining both results in an action packed race to ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
You don't need to know much about cycling or the Tour de France (I don't) to enjoy this fast paced (no pun) and entertaining mystery. In fact, you'll learn something and that's always a plus. Marc's helping the French police investigate an attempt to sabotage the Tour. His own team, headed by his friend Steve isn't having the same problems as the others. Inspector Favre knows something is wrong- but can't put his finger on it so Marc, who has inside access, pokes around. Marc's girl friend Fiona ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder, Cycling, more Murder . . .

. . . What's not to love!?! Set during the Tour de France, this story incredibly describes the sport of Cycling at its highest level. Though Patterson has majored in the fascinating details of professional cycling, he has also crafted a very good murder mystery. A terrific read anytime but especially while watching the Tour de France! Cycling enthusiasts will love this book.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcn
6/14/19 Really terrific. Would have finished much sooner but the World Cup has really interfered with my reading. Full review tk at
L.E. Fidler
The first tour I watched, I developed a - let’s say - enthusiastic protective feeling for great domestique George Hincapie.

And I annoyed my then-boyfriend (now-husband) with repeated queries about WHY George didn’t just say “fuck this” and go for the win himself.

Reader, I tried so hard to understand why great riders take subservient roles in the Tour (beyond the money and steady reliability of work)...and I got there in my understanding...but, like, three tours later, tbh.

This book is like what
Diane Hernandez
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
You are racing on a bicycle in the Tour de France. It’s your first race as a professional earning 50 euros a week (or almost $57 American). Not enough to support this expensive sport but enough to enter the race. If you win the yellow jersey (first place) in even one of the twenty-one stages of the race, you will get some sweet endorsement deals. Unfortunately, you are a domestique destined to help others win but never win yourself. When a series of mishaps befall some of the top racers, the Fre ...more
Started reading this and was in the story from the start. Made me think of the many years that I was glued to the Tour coverage during July. While I haven't come across anything about the Tour that I was not at least somewhat familiar with yet, for those you are not fans there is a section at the beginning explaining some of the most important aspects of the race set up and during the writing, the roles of various members of a team are also highlighted so even someone unfamiliar with the race sh ...more
Paul Harmon
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Ive always had a mild interest in bicycle racing. In the 80s when I was a teenager BMX was HUGE. Every kid dreamed of owning a Mongoose Bike. In the 80s Greg Lemonde was huge in America followed by Lance Armstrong in the 90s and I actually got some renewed interest a few years ago when I began watching Yowamushi Pedal so When I saw this book I was curious and bit excited to read it.
A Murder Mystery that takes place during cycling biggest event the Tour De France. You follow One cyclist Marc M
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, arc
Thanks to Random House for the free copy!

Sometime in my young reading life, I realized that as long as an author wrote well and compellingly, I'd read and enjoy their book. This has led me to books on the ocean, fishing, hotels, the history of science - things I never gave much thought to until a writer made me see it through their eyes. Now I can add professional cycling to this list!

Before I read this, my understanding of the Tour de France was this: People race on bikes in France. Something a
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Murder on the Tour de France! And though there aren't many killings there's certainly some foul play. Beyond that, our narrator Marc is besieged by his girlfriend and his mentor trying to convince him that he should be the star cyclist on his team, not his longtime friend and bro Steve. Can Marc help solve the crime before he's the next victim? Will he decide to to try and make a play to betray his friend and win the yellow jersey for himself?

This is probably more of a 3.5. It's a pretty decent
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, library-book
A mystery set during the Tour de France. Riders and support staff are having more accidents than would be expected and the Race organizers begin to think there's something more sinister going on. The French police are called into help and Marc Moreau, a rider for one of the main teams, is conscripted to be their man on the inside by virtue of a previous stint in the military police.

The set of suspects keeps changing and Marc's relationship with his best friend, the top rider and favorite to win
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature, cycling
This is a tour de force Tour de France murder mystery (couldn't help myself). Patterson crafts a detailed first person narrative of an ideal fictional cyclist: the half-French, half-Columbian Marc Moreau. The story is historical fiction with the most recent real world reference being the Froome and Wiggins relationship of 2012/2013. The daily Tour descriptions and sabotage drama are interspersed with flashback chapters. This allows for a good amount of character development and helps explain the ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Hurray, another cycling novel! And on the Tour de France: perfect reading for July. The book gets better after the first few chapters, and turns into a twisty mystery. However, I don't think that the author quite gets cycling. His descriptions of the race often skip over important sections, and the characters don't seem to be authentic professional athletes (e.g., forgetting to eat after a race stage, or waiting hours for a massage?). I think that Tim Krabbé's "The Rider" (1978) and Joe Mungo Re ...more
Mary Jane
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Marc Moreau is a Frenchman/Columbian who is part of a French team in a Tour do France. He is a "domestique," the guy who enables the leader to win. Only, people (including him) have their lives in danger. They get poisoned. They get strangled. Their bicycle tires blow. They get the brake lines in their cars cut and they run off the road.

At first I was really intrigued by this because of the setting with the Tour de France, something I admire but don't know much of this. Alas, the slow pace of t
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Overall, I enjoyed the book.

I think that there were a few translation issues that got in my way until I got used to them "We became addicted to training, going much further than the schedule established by thd trainers." How about 'than the training plan dictated?' Calling the coach a trainer (not the same). Small things like that.

Then there were some plausibility issues regarding the amount of energy -- both physical and mental -- that a TdF participant of any level could devote to
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having only marginal knowledge of bicycle racing, but aware of the drama of the famous and grueling Tour de France, I enjoyed most in this work the technical descriptions of the roles each of the team members play in the overall strategy in gaining points and the treasured jerseys. The plot and characters were somewhat cliched in my view, but it was an interesting read. The author has done a lot of homework.
Trace Nichols
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Highly entertaining "action-mystery", particularly for fans of cycling races. This book throws you headlong into the world of cycling and the circuit of races, in this case the tour de France. So much detail is placed on the activity, its equipment, strategies for racing, placement, timing, teamwork, etc.. The crime mystery itself is engaging and certainly drives one reading to get to the who-dun-it in the end, but the passion in this work is about cycling.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I figured that a murder mystery set during the Tour de France would most likely go one of two ways: a great mystery by someone who didn't actually know very much about cycling, or an okay mystery by someone who definitely knew what he was talking about. This book is very much the latter. I figured out who the killer was about halfway through the book, so the ending wasn't very satisfying, but I really enjoyed the writing that took place during the TdF stages.
Ro Wilson
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
In some ways this was an interesting book, but overall it told me a whole lot more about bicycle road racing than I really wanted to know. Although I read most of it, I didn't actually finish it because I realized that I honestly didn't care who won the race or how they won. There may come a time when I'll give it another try, but I doubt it; I have lots more on my "to read" list that I'm SURE I'll enjoy, and I'd rather devote my reading time to those.

Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 The setting of this story is the Tour de France. I knew there was an issue with doping but I hope these other issues such as murder and bike meddling don’t exist. I just want the purity of the sport...but that’s being too naive on my part! Profession sports just live by different standards. I didn’t find this book very exciting.
Steve Payne
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the racing parts of the books but the murder mystery part was repetitive and slow. I found it interesting the book paralleled the recent Tour de France with super domestique Egan Bernal defeating the team leader Geraint Thomas from Ineos. I was pretty sure I knew who was behind all the mischief. I didn't understand why Ray did what he did at the end.
Lena Ro
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Kind of an interesting book but I got lost in the weeds occasionally of "Who's who?" This is because the "who dunnit" part of the book was just average, and not entirely suspenseful. But I really learned a lot about how the Tour de France is run including all the details and even a glossary. So I enjoyed that part. Worth reading.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm a long-time Tour de France follower so I might be extra lenient with my review. The book was fairly compelling on both the racing and murder mystery elements. I thought it dragged a bit in the middle, but really picked up at the end. That said, if I understand the ending, it disappointed me - almost made me angry - although I bet others will love that final, unexpected twist.
Julienne Bramesco
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a slow start I found myself racing through it (pun intended!). I think there were a few translator mistakes (Lake de Como? Stevlana?). Good, exciting read with a great insight on the inner workings of the Tour.
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Economista por la Universidad de Guadalajara, Maestro en Ciencias Sociales por Flacso, UNESCO. Estudios de Doctorado en ciencias políticas en la Sorbona, París.

Formado periodísticamente en El País de Madrid, España, fundó y dirigió el periódico Siglo 21, de Guadalajara en 1991. En 1997 fundó y dirigió el periódico Público, en Guadalajara. De 2008 a 2010 fue director del periódico El Universal en l