Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club is one of the most talked about debuts in crime fiction in recent years. It’s a record-breaking number one platinum bestseller, shifting over one million copies in the same year as its release, and notably the only book to have done so. I don’t read much crime fiction, but this novel is so talked about, I wondered if I was missing out on something special.

As soon as I began reading, I was drawn in by Osman’s voice and the clarity and simplicity of his writing. The book is opened by Joyce, the narrator, who makes regular appearances in first person throughout the work. Chapters that aren’t narrated by Joyce are in third person, written from the viewpoint of the narrating character. That may sound complex, but it isn’t. It’s a really effective approach.

The pace is quick, and the momentum rarely eases as The Thursday Murder Club, residents of an affluent retirement community, try to solve a number of serious crimes independently of the police, who meet with them regularly and seem both grateful and frustrated, but powerless to do anything about their amateur sleuthing.

There are a lot of characters in the book, and even minor characters who don’t personally make an appearance are named. For me, this was particularly noticeable at the end, when a couple of names I didn’t recognise at all popped up and threw me. Despite this, the novel is an entertaining read, and very difficult to put down.

I can’t comment on how it compares to hard-boiled crime novels, but I would recommend this book to others who are new to the genre. Everyone seems to love it, and should you choose to read it, be prepared for strangers to approach when they see it open in your hands.

View all my reviews.

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