Book Review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (2021)

The second installment in the Thursday Murder Club series has us following Elizabeth, Ron, Joyce, and Ibrahim on several new mysteries.

Elizabeth

Ex-spy Elizabeth is trying to care for her husband, Stephen’s failing health and live a quiet life in the idyllic senior citizen complex of Cooper’s Chase when she is thrust into her past when she receives a letter signed from Marcus Carmichael, a man she saw pulled from the Thames River several years previously. Marcus Carmichael is supposed to be dead, but he is alive and has supposedly stolen 20 million in uncut diamonds. With his current handler dead, and the mafia on his trail, Marcus Carmichael turns to the only person he has left to trust, his ex-wife Elizabeth and the only person who knows his actual name and identity, Douglas Middlemas.

Ibrahim

Gentle and persnickety Ibrahim is just trying to live an orderly life when his whole world is turned upside down after he is the victim of a racially motivated attack. He struggles with feelings of hopelessness, fear, anger, and grief. As Ibrahim recovers in the hospital, he must stop his friends from avenging his attack (with varying degrees of success) and use his previous experience as a therapist to counsel himself to a place of acceptance.

Ron

While Ibrahim struggles to reach equilibrium, Ron chooses to exact revenge. He uses all of his and his son’s shady contacts to track Ibrahim’s teenage attackers. He soon gets sucked into an underworld of drugs, black market trading, and vice, all masterminded by the beautiful, brutal, and surprisingly friendly Connie Johnson. Ron ultimately outsmarts Connie, but behind bars, she vows revenge–and will probably get it!. Will Ron’s sloppy frame job lead to his death? I guess we’ll find out in The Bullet that Missed, the next installment in the Thursday Murder Club.

Joyce

Joyce is making bracelets for her friends, learning to run a successful Instagram, and adopting a little dog named Alan. She chronicles their hijinks in her diary and is happy to help her friends with their larger-than-life troubles.

The Man Who Died Twice

The Thursday Murder Club is joined by their resident fixer, Bogdan, who has ties to Connie Johnson and is falling in love with Donna Freitas who is just trying to be a succesul woman in her thirties on the dating scene. Her boss, Chris has recently started dating Donna’s mom and is trying to eat healthy and exercise. Their mundane problems are real and funny, and are totally enveloped by the larger issues of murder, mayhem, and mafia.

The Man Who Died Twice discusses in great detail what it means to love and to grieve love that is lost due to death, illness, and aging. It is remarkably insightful as to how the struggles of love are different at every age and for every person, but are universal. Elizabeth must grieve the death of her first husband again, the death of their marriage, and conceal her feelings from her ailing husband Stephen. Bogdan and Donna let go of bad previous relationships to start a new healthy love life. Ibrahim must learn to love his community and his place in it after a vicious attack. Love and grief are powerful motivations in an objectively silly crime caper.

Helping everyone through their troubles is the hilarious and often at-odds-found family of The Thursday Murder Club. They help each other grieve, hope, and also solve murders. They recover the diamonds, ingeniously set traps for killers, and solve many crimes through their endless pursuit of the truth and deceptively harmless natures.

Grab yourself a cup of tea, a snack and curl up with The Man Who Died Twice from Amazon now.

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