The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
|The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Book two in The Thursday Murder Club series lives up to expectation and is a superb read. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432/12h30m||Date: September 2021|
|External links: Author's website|
Elizabeth Best was a little surprised when she received the letter. It came from a man whose body she had helped to pull from the Thames and who had never existed but then this is the sort of conundrum which retired spies have to deal with on a regular basis. When she visits the sender of the letter (he's moved into the Cooper's Chase Retirement Village) it comes as no surprise that it's someone with whom she has a long professional history - and who used to be her husband. He's made a bad mistake - something to do with a mask being removed within the range of a CCTV camera on a raid, a missing twenty-million pounds in diamonds and a few death threats. He's now in hiding with a young woman called Polly, who's his MI5 handler as well as being an incompetent waitress.
Help is obviously needed and who better to provide it than the members of The Thursday Murder Club? Ron Ritchie is a bolshie former union official. Joyce Meadowcroft used to be a nurse who appears to be an other-worldly flibbertigibbet, but who has the innate knowledge of how to hold a knife in a dangerous situation. Ibrahim Arif was a psychiatrist. He's generally a fount of knowledge and organisation but a young thug leaves him badly injured and feeling decidedly unsafe in today's world - a feeling which many older people will readily recognise. Time is running out and you sense that sometimes that's almost welcome.
Still, a mystery involving £20,000,000 in stolen diamonds must enliven the senses. Obviously they'd hand the diamonds over to their police connections, DCI Chris Hudson and PC Donna de Freitas, should they happen upon them. Or would they? But what, exactly, would they spend that sort of money on, at their age? Richard Osman captures old age well, but with humour and affection.
I did have a suspicion as to who was the villain of the piece but it was based on guesswork rather than logical reasoning and certainly didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book. You're probably wondering why - when my praise has been so fulsome, I have given 4½ stars rather than 5. Well, part of the solution to the crime involves a mirror - and I couldn't make it work. Yes, I know. I can be very picky.
As well as reading the book I listened to an audio download, read by Lesley Manville. She captured all the individual voices perfectly and I was in no doubt as to who was speaking. Her pacing was perfect and I never felt that she intruded between the author and the reader. Manville made listening to the book a real pleasure.
I was delighted by The Thursday Murder Club (which I read before realising that the author was a television presenter) and The Man Who Died Twice has more than lived up to expectations. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
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