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The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman - Review

Sunday, October 23, 2022

I have previously read and reviewed The Thursday Murder Club and The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman, so I picked up the third book not long after it came out. I don't love books by celebrity authors, but I do think Richard is a better writer than some. I did complain because in the first book there were 99 instance of the word 'agrees' within three hundred pages. You can just use the word said! Said is fine! It's more than fine! It was a tic that should have been edited out, but wasn't. However, that word is barely evident here which I'm really glad about. I do feel like the book is still ridiculously written - it's very tongue in cheek and while it is a 'cosy' mystery, that word barely encapsulates how twee it can be in parts. I rolled my eyes a lot.

And yet I found the book compelling and wanted to continue reading it, so it can't be all bad, can it? I will read the next one in the series too, we all know I will. So I'll shush.

The Thursday Murder Club is made up of four retirees who live in the same retirement complex. They are Elizabeth, an ex MI5 spy, Joyce, who's point of view we get in her diary entries, and who misses her late husband Gerry a lot, Ibrahim, a clinical psychologist, and Roy, who I love. They have been looking at the murder ten years previously of a news presenter called Bethany Waites. She was investigating a huge VAT fraud and seemed to be getting close to the ringleaders, when her car was driven off a cliff and she is presumably dead. Her co presenter, Mike Wagthorn, speaks to the group about her death. 

Meanwhile Elizabeth and her husband Stephen, who has dementia, which is a very sad part of the books, are kidnapped and taken to a house belonging to a tall Swedish man that Elizabeth nicknames The Viking. He says that he needs her to kill an ex KGB controller, Viktor something, and if she doesn't, he will kill Joyce. Elizabeth is obviously upset by this and doesn't entirely know what to do. 

Ibrahim goes to visit Connie Johnson in prison - she is the baddie in one of the earlier books and is now living a cushy life in prison, where she has all the warders under her control (I'm not sure how realistic this is, but there we go). Ibrahim asks her to speak to a woman called Heather, who is the only person who was prosecuted over the VAT fraud and is currently in prison. Connie does speak to her, but she is then found dead, having left a note where she said she needed help from Connie.

Then there's the police officers Chris and Donna. Donna has started seeing Bogdan, the odd job man at the retirement village. They are keeping it under wraps but everyone has guessed. Donna is happy about the relationship, which is quite cute. Chris is still seeing Donna's mother, Patrice, and he totally thinks that she has turned his life around. I actually find this quite annoying, but there we are. 

I thought the mystery had some good twists and turns. I liked Roy's friendship with notorious gangster Jack Mason. I guessed some of the twists but not others. I wonder who out of the new characters might make it into the fourth book. I'm giving this four out of five. 

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