The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman

Published by: Penguin
Pages: 382
Date released: 03/09/2020
Date read: 14/09/2020

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

I am always a bit wary when it comes to reading book by “celebrity authors” as I wonder whether they would have got a book deal if it wasn’t for their name. Whilst some have proved me wrong, unfortunately, this book only confirmed my fears.

I pre-ordered my copy and so the only reviews I had read were pre-releases written by book editors in magazines. I didn’t hear one negative word said about it and I was excited. I’m not one for murder mysteries normally, but it sounded more like a comedy that just so happened to have a murder in it. Everyone was heaping praise on it and I thought this could have been the book of 2020.

I have to say I was deeply disappointed with it. I found it such a struggle to get through. Richard Osman’s writing wasn’t bad per se, but I found the storyline too confusing and too convoluted. There were too many characters and tangents which really did nothing for the main murder mystery storyline and only confused me more. I persevered as I wanted to know who the killer was, but I really had to make myself get to the end. I did eventually finish it, but I couldn’t actually tell you who the murderer was in the end. In fact, I couldn’t tell you anything about it. Nothing stuck in my mind about it unfortunately.

I also heard that the movie rights had been bought by Steven Spielberg before it was even published and that doesn’t surprise me. In my opinion, it is written clearly with a movie deal in mind. I can see it being a more successful film than book.

Since I finished it, I leant it to a number of people and all of them agreed with me. One of them even gave up halfway through, the lure of a murder mystery outcome not enough to keep them hooked. Reading reviews now it’s been out for a while, it seems you fall into one of two camps. You either think it’s a fantastic book, light-hearted, thrilling, and a real pleasure – the perfect book that has helped people get through the 2020 lockdown. Or, you agree with me. It’s too confusing, unenjoyable, and you sit there in disbelief that a sequel is already on its way.

I feel slightly bad about this because I adore Richard Osman, he seems like such a lovely man, but I do think his strength lies in television presenting rather than novel writing.

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