The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman
Probably the biggest book of the year and one which I am sure will find its way onto many Christmas lists throughout the land is the 4th in the Thursday Murder Club series and the subject of today's review.
The marketing on this has been immense, and is in part down to the likeableness of Mr Osman and his obvious writing talents. Since the release of the last novel, we, as readers have been made aware of the next in the series. I would very much recommend signing up to Richard Osman's newsletter. In it, he provides updates on release dates, audiobooks and unveils the new cover. (I was wrong - I thought the cover would be yellow, it's not. But a beautiful purple colour that will sit nicely on the shelves). Best of all though are the quizzes, usually on a theme which Richard Osman has been running since lockdown.
So how did this book fare? Let's see shall we?
An old friend in the antiques business has been killed, and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing.
As the gang spring into action, they encounter art forgers, online fraudsters and drug dealers, as well as heartache close to home.
With the body count rising, the package still missing and trouble on their tail, has their luck finally run out?
And who will be the last devil to die?
As I spoke about on my To Be Read Pile post, this has been pre-ordered for a while and I was delighted when it arrived. I'm going to kick off by saying this is a 5 star read for me. Richard Osman has grown beautifully into this series.
The first thing to say is that I would gently recommend reading the series in order, from here you can follow the group from the very start and find out the history of such loved characters as Bogdan, Jill, Chris and Pauline and how they fit into the Thursday Murder Club world.
The main four though are brilliant characters; ex-spy Elizabeth, Union firebrand Ron, thoughtful Ibrahim and Joyce, who is probably the heart of the group. The dynamic between the four completely work and it was wonderful to learn more about gentle Ibrahim's past.
This group are in a wonderful retirement village with plenty going on. Indeed it was whilst visiting one such retirement village that Richard Osman was inspired to write the Thursday Murder Club series.
With this novel, there is an aching poignancy about it. Particularly as we lose a beloved character. This is written beautifully, movingly and with dignity, I did shed a tear myself and would defy you not to do the same.
Of course there are plenty of lighter moments to make you laugh out loud. The criminals are almost loveable rogues, accepting of the adage 'live by the sword, die by the sword, juxtaposed with a conversation about the family or new business ventures. The terrifying Connie, residing in prison, lives a life of luxury whilst running her drug business and being counselled by Ibrahim. The pair form an unlikely bond.
I was pleased to read in the acknowledgements that whilst Richard Osman will be taking a break from the Thursday Murder Club, it will NOT be the last in the series. Thank heavens is all I say! I want to read more about this brilliant group of characters.
This is a worthy addition to the series and is probably my favourite so far. I've loved them all, but this feels richer, more vibrant and especially poignant. Rush out and read this, or pop it onto your Christmas lists. You will not regret it!