Book reviews by Mobilism's Book Review team
Oct 31st, 2020, 6:42 pm

TITLE: The Thursday Murder Club
AUTHOR: Richard Osman
GENRE: Fiction > Mystery/Thriller
RATING: ★★★★★


Description: In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings. But when a local property developer shows up dead, 'The Thursday Murder Club' find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it's too late?

Review: When I first got this book, I must confess I was not expecting this level of writing; so simple yet so complete. Characters, plot, settings, time jumps… Everything is so well-coordinated to create an entertaining murder story.

It also surprised me to find in the index most chapters untitled and the few chapters with titles... were equally titled, Joyce. Was she the murderer? Was she the protagonist? Made me wonder from the moment I laid my hands on the book but going beyond the mysterious index the author manages to create a universe in which everyone could be suspicious yet also innocent at first sight.

I got hooked immediately - in the book's 3rd paragraph...
“I was at lunch, this is two or three months ago, and it must have been a Monday, because it was shepherd’s pie. Elizabeth said she could see that I was eating, but wanted to ask me a question about knife wounds, if it wasn’t inconvenient?”

I encourage you to embark on this murder mystery. You will become one of the gang in a luxurious retirement home full of interesting people and interesting events. Challenge yourself to find the murderer before he/she… is revealed. You won’t be disappointed.

Regarding the characters, there are many of them and each is pretty well defined in a way that everyone could be a suspect. I particularly like how the author treats the senior cast. I love the club members’ positive attitude towards the challenges they face but at the same time, they show a realistic vision of their limitations due to their ages. Moreover, the author adds from time to time humorous touches in their dialogues that take you away for a second to a better place giving you a break from this chess match. An example:

“I would have made a terrific heroin smuggler, I think” or “Don’t you think someone should invent flat peas?”

Another plus that deserves to be praised is that as a reader, you are led to expect some characters to do their thing and then… something unexpected happens although it is not a repetitive pattern that you end up expecting. In other cases, the reader is left waiting for something to occur, and… it was just ordinary life. One clear example of this (and I do not want to say too much so I do not spoil this for you) is when the doorbell rings.

Nobody is untouchable in this story. Everyone could either be a murderer or murdered at any point. Don’t you think there is no way this character because... BANG, plot twist! Through the whole book, you have a feeling of tranquillity and reassurance but still, you will find tons of events, action, and plot twists and turns that will keep you busy and entertained.

The Thursday Murder Club is one of those books that you wish would be longer. It might seem a long read but I’ve found chapters short and engaging. The classic… just another one and I will go to bed. Some build-ups are so irresistible! At some points, I ended up screaming at the book in the same way you could scream at the TV while watching a horror movie: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! WHY WOULD YOU MEET THIS PERSON ALONE?! For example, when someone is walking towards a shed at night. I would love to see this novel become a movie.

Then, there is the fact of who does one trust? Is the author lying at some point? The thing is that everyone seems so lovely in a way (apart from Ian, obviously). It is so easy to get attached to some characters always helping and taking care of each other. I loved the story so much that I read the book again to see if all ends meet. All in all, great critical thoughts on getting older, friendship, family, unconditional love, and other relevant topics.

Will you manage to solve it before the truth is revealed? I did not and that was so much fun. I would definitely recommend this book to readers keen on murder mysteries, to senior readers as well since I would love to know their point of view about how the older generation is portrayed and last but not least to all adult readers looking for a well though story waiting to be enjoyed.

By the way, some of my favourite quotes...
    - “The sun is up, the skies are blue and murder is in the air”.
    - “Ian is sure this little display will blow over, but he hopes the police show up soon. With the amount of tax he hypothetically pays, it’s really not too much to ask”.
    - “So, we were all witnesses to a murder,’ says Elizabeth. ‘Which, needless to say, is wonderful”.
    - “Is easier to lie with the truth”.
    - “In life, you have to learn to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you. So I’m putting today in my pocket and I’m off to bed”.

I am interested to know what you think of the novel... Please share your thoughts on the book as a comment below!
Oct 31st, 2020, 6:42 pm
Nov 9th, 2020, 10:44 pm
tchristin wrote:I am interested to know what you think of the novel... Please share your thoughts on the book as a comment below!

This was my review (more of a reaction, really) at The StoryGraph

This book started off very bright and promising. It was funny, and witty and seemed to promise a genuine partnership between the Murder Club and the two police officers. Then around the 2/3 mark, it tanked spectacularly.

I have a strong personal preference for likeable leads, I need to be able to support the chief protagonist to really enjoy a book. Elizabeth, the lead in this story was utterly UNlikable - smug, written as nearly omniscient, super competent and as the story went on ever more condescending and dismissive of the police officers she used as tools. The partnership of the early part of the book was forgotten as the 80s team donned their superhero capes and solved everything. This story fizzled into yet another 'all-knowing amateur shames PCs Plod". I scored it as low as I did because of the massive disappointment that a book which started off promising ended up putrid.
Nov 9th, 2020, 10:44 pm
Nov 11th, 2020, 9:17 am
I completely agree with the OP’s review. I’d love to see this produced as a tv series. There’s a wealth of actors, who would suit the roles very well. It would also be great to have a prequel covering Elizabeth’s younger days.
I’m very much looking forward to his sequel to this book.
Nov 11th, 2020, 9:17 am
Nov 26th, 2020, 2:06 am
You made me want to read this now!
Nov 26th, 2020, 2:06 am

My Favourite/Recommended Book series:
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin, The Culture Series by Iain M. Banks, The Book of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe