The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

(Reviewed for Penguin from a free copy supplied by Netgalley.com)

First, the cover blurb…

THE SECOND NOVEL IN THE RECORD-BREAKING, MILLION-COPY BESTSELLING THURSDAY MURDER CLUB SERIES BY RICHARD OSMAN

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

***

I was thrilled to get a chance to review The Man Who Died Twice because I enjoyed The Thursday Murder Club so much.

Rejoining the four members of the club (five if you include Bogdan, who is surely an honourable member now) was like sinking my feet into my battered old slippers, at once warm, soothing and comfortable but with the ever-present risk that something is going to become unstitched and fall away.

This time, their adventure carries a little more threat of imminent death – the baddies are definitely ‘badder’ – so our quartet has to be a little more circumspect and play smarter to outwit the assorted villains of this piece, ranging from a local small-time drug dealer and her teenage runner to a genuine New York mafia don with an axe to grind. With a murderer to identify, missing diamonds to find and some personal scores to settle, it’s a testing time for Elizabeth – has she finally lost her edge?

The plot isn’t quite as convoluted as last time, but you still never know what they’re going to find around the corner. All great fun and I was sad when it ended – Famous Five for 21st Century grownups.

Note for Richard: readers who missed The Thursday Murder Club’s first outing might struggle to work out who Bogdan is and exactly what he’s doing there…