HCAU Book Club: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

*Spoilers ahead* 

Her Campus Aberdeen’s overall rating: 8.6/10 

Normally getting through a book towards the end of the semester is one hell of a struggle. With exams, deadlines, etc. staking up, our beloved book club often gets pushed to the back of our minds. However, May’s book was so thrilling we at HCAU’s book club couldn’t put it down!  

The critically acclaimed ‘Thursday Murder Club’ by Richard Osman follows a group of eccentric pensioners who, (with a large amount of luck, a pinch of deceit, a hint of intelligence, and sheer force of will), set about trying to solve the murder of a property developer at their luxury retirement home.  

Together, we felt the plot was fairly slow-burn. It definitely draws you in, but also really draws out the ending. I felt as though this was a general trend among detective novels as the many twists and turns “help to sustain interest and prevent people from figuring out the ending too quickly”. However, while both Carlyn and I found the ending surprising, Iona thought the plot was a lot more obvious and had guessed some of the characters motivations before they were revealed.  

Speaking of characters, Iona enjoyed not having to read about teenagers for once and found this often-overlooked demographic of characters as very refreshing. The book plays with the classic stereotypes associated with the elderly. Some characters, namely Elizabeth, decide to use these stereotypes to their advantage by pretending to be more helpless than they are in order to collect more information regarding the murder. Carlyn particularly enjoyed these sections of the story, but also found it very hard to read about the sadder aspects of elderly life. One extract that stuck out to her was when the characters decided to ‘buddy up’ to check in and make sure everyone woke up in the morning.  

The fact we could all be so deeply moved and engrossed in the lives of these characters is a testament to Osman’s terrific writing style. The characters were all well-rounded, with rich interesting personal lives that make you really root for them. Not only that, but we found the chapters were short, making it easy to read. We also enjoyed the fact that the perspective changed per chapter which helped to keep momentum. However, I found Joyce’s diary entries, whilst fun at the start, slowly became more irritating as she frequently chose to withhold information or focus on (seemingly) irrelevant events.  

Finally, we all noticed as we read the book, the voice we heard in our heads slowly morphed into the voice of Richard Osman, almost as though he was reading the book to us, which was both hilarious and slightly disturbing. So do with that information what you will.  

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