When you finish a book that you just wanted to go on and on, then you know it’s a winner. And Richard Osman’s crime debut, The Thursday Murder Club, is a book that will deserve all the awards it will most certainly win.
Suspense, humour, pathos and twists are all here wrapped up in a charming, yet powerful, yarn of a group of ageing sleuths cracking murder mysteries while living in the modern-day comfort of their Kent retirement home.
Osman’s writing is effortless with wonderful observations of everyday life and no fancy nods at ‘literature’. As each chapter passes, and each of the wide cast of characters develops, you are transported into the Murder Club’s intimate world and you just want to enjoy the ride.
The style reminded me very much of another equally entertaining book of a couple of years ago , Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – and like hers The Thursday Murder Club will, I’m sure, go on selling beyond the normal shelf-life of novels.
Great comedy – Only Fools and Horses, for example – has elements of great compassion, sadness and an understanding of the bitterness of life, and Osman’s novel has all these in bucket-loads. Link this to superior story-telling, a complex but authentic plot, characters who feed off each other with ease and perfect pacing, then you have what ‘Thursday’ is – a winner.
As for pacing, the short, often punchy, chapters help the characters and story move along smoothly. I also heard the novel on audio-book and Lesley Manville’s often wry delivery is a perfect match for the words.
I can’t believe there isn’t going to be another Thursday Murder Club novel – or perhaps a whole series – and when it happens I will definitely be reading and listening.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is published by Viking (Hardback) and Penguin (Audiobook)