Book Review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

The sequel to the record-breaking The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is now out. The Man Who Died Twice brings back all of our favourite characters with their wit, intelligence and dry sense of humour and introduces us to some new characters, expanding on this utterly enjoyable fictional world that Osman is building.

The Man Who Died Twice book review
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Set after The Thursday Murder Club, The Man Who Died Twice has quite the hype to live up to after Osman’s first book broke records for the speed at which it sold. With intelligent, funny characters, an utterly loveable fictional British town and Osman’s dry and very English writing style, this is another huge success.

Plot – 4.5/5

The Man Who Died Twice sees our favourite Thursday Murder Club appear once again to solve the mystery of murder and some stolen diamonds. Without spoiling too much of the plot, this book feels like a brilliant continuation of the story that Osman introduced in the first book. When an old friend returns back into Elizabeth’s life, everything is turned on its head as she and the rest of the gang become rather quite involved in the whole thing.

Richard Osman has stated on numerous accounts that he’s a huge crime and murder mystery fan and that’s evident within this book. Each chapter ends with. A small cliffhanger that has you itching to read the next and small little red herrings are thrown your way throughout to entice you in and keep you double guessing as to who the baddy might be.

One thing I did note within this book though is that it is very easy-going. There’s not really any moments within this book where it feels tense. This is in huge part to the tongue in cheek style that Osman writes where even when in danger, the main characters aren’t really bothered because of their knowledge they’re old, death doesn’t really scare them and they’ve seen everything there is to see and so nothing surprises them anymore. I do hope in the third novel (which he’s confirmed) that there does feel like there’s a little more at stake. Other than this though, it was utterly enjoyable throughout – and I read it in under 2 days so that must say something!

Characters – 5/5 

I’ve mentioned it already a few times but Osman’s personality shines through in this book. He’s known on television for having a dry and smart sense of humour – he’ll make you laugh without you really knowing why you’re laughing and he plays on irony a huge amount. This is awash throughout this book with Joyce’s personal diary-entries feeling very human and real – going off on tangents, commenting on the way she says things and little personal notes on other people.

Osman does well to give each of the Thursday Murder Club and the new characters their own personality. They each have their own thing going on and each has their own way of looking at life and approaching it. Joyce is carefree, Ibrahim thinks more, Elizabeth feels like she constantly needs to impress and so on. There’s no fear of anybody feeling bland either – they’re either all funny or utterly fascinating to read.

The Man Who Died Twice summary – 5/5

The Thursday Murder Club shocked a lot of people when it came out. There are always hesitancies when a “celebrity” writes a book – especially an adult book. Yes, some of the initial sales may well have come under the categories of Osman having a large social media following or being a fan of his, however it was soon realised that he’d written a genuinely brilliant crime novel, utterly unique to a lot else out there. The Man Who Died Twice, therefore, doesn’t come with that surprise element but does manage to prove to us it wasn’t a fluke and that Osman has found a fantastic formula for writing witty and engaging characters. Simply put: if you liked The Thursday Murder Club – you’ll love The Man Who Died Twice and if you like crime, murder mysteries or simply something with a bit of humour, you’ll also like this. 

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