The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman
It has been a long ol' time since I added a book review to my blog, not because I haven't been reading (it's all I do!) but because I'm not usually up to date on the most recent book releases. Recently, however, I heard about the release of The Thursday Murder Club written by none other than TV quiz show, Pointless, presenter Richard Osman. Reserving my opinion on the author (I'm sorry, I just really dislike the show Pointless!) I decided to give it a go, considering the glowing reviews received by other authors and publications alike, and in the knowledge that Osman is known as a devilishly witty and intelligent man.
The Thursday Murder Club follows an unlikely union of four pensioners living, somewhat, peacefully within the walls of their gated retirement village. Every Thursday the group meet in the Jigsaw Room, under the false name of "Japanese Opera - A Discussion" to remain undisturbed, and work together to solve crimes. Using their investigative skills and intuitive nature, they mull over old case files of cases long since gone cold. That is, however, until a real-life murder occurs, with suspiciously close links to the retirement village itself. The group take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of the crime, letting nothing stand in their way. The question is; who will crack the case first, the police, or four wily pensioners?
Throughout the book, I smiled, laughed and also at parts felt a true sadness through the characters over the loss of friends and loved ones in their old age. Osman does an absolutely fantastic job of character introduction, I really felt that I had a good understanding of everyone's personality and came to love them all individually for their own little quirks. Adam Kay (author of best-seller This Is Going to Hurt) hits the nail on the head in his review: "Funny, clever and achingly British", as I'm sure most British people reading the novel will be able to link at least one of the characters to their own grandparents or loved ones. The Thursday Murder Club is definitely not your typical 'whodunnit' murder-mystery, as much as a refreshing, wholesome adventure, packed with twists and turns throughout, which just maybe you may find yourself routing for the underdogs...
What I liked
Incredible character description, which made it seem like you knew them, finding yourself predicting their behaviours and thoughts. From getting to know the characters as well as I did, I may even think twice about the lives lived by the elderly men or woman that I pass on the street.
Enough twists and turns to not make the ending predictable or chiché.
Intelligently written, not in a hard-to-understand way, but within the sharp humour and the occasional use of some complex vocabulary (most likely Osman's subtle way of reminding us exactly who the author is).
It brought out emotion in me, from laughing out loud, feeling sadness for the characters, to the feeling of pure contentment and fullness that you can sometimes get when you close an amazing book after reading the final page.
Although there are a few deaths thrown in, there is nothing gruesome or depressing which is often found in other crime novels of the more gritty variety.
Just an all round feel-good novel. I can't wait for the sequel, which is available to pre-order now.
What I didn't like
One small flaw I found with the book was that sometimes the twists and turns left me a little confused, and I had to read certain passages a couple of times to make sure I had the right idea. Honestly, this could just be due to me getting distracted sometimes and not giving the novel my full attention, but sometimes I had to backtrack and confirm I knew who certain minor characters were in relation to the story, before I could move on.
Overall rating: 9.5/10
Would I recommend?: Absolutely
I hope you enjoyed this review, it's been a while so I'm probably a little rusty, but as you can probably tell: I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I'd love to hear what your thoughts on it was too, if you do decide to read it.