The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

Was there any doubt that Richard Osman’s second book in the Thursday Murder Club series would be a huge hit? The Thursday Murder Club was immensely entertaining and introduced readers to Osman’s witty style but the second book is even better. We return to Coopers Chase, a retirement village in the British countryside, which is home to former spy Elizabeth, retired nurse Joyce, psychiatrist Ibrahim, and activist Ron. They make up the Thursday Murder Club, a group that meets to investigate unsolved murders along with Donna and Chris, members of the local police force.

A particularly satisfying aspect of the book is the way Osman brings together various strands towards the end in an impressive denouement. At the start of this instalment, Elizabeth discovers that her ex-husband is involved in a covert operation that went wrong and he needs her help. Closer to home, Ibrahim is mugged and seriously injured whilst in the seaside town of Fairhaven. Meanwhile, Donna and Chris are trying to bring down a local drug queenpin. What makes Osman’s books different is their wittiness but also their heart. Because, although the main characters work outside the law to come up with elaborate plans to solve the crimes the police can’t, they are also constantly concerned about their own health and about each others’. So, although they often seem inhumanly tough, they are also incredibly vulnerable and ordinary and, in my opinion, this is why so many readers, myself included, are fascinated with these characters.

About the writer

Richard Osman is an author, producer, and television presenter. His first novel, The Thursday Murder Club, was a #1 million-copy international bestseller. Critics have already described The Man Who Died Twice as “his second novel.” He lives in London.

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