This week’s Mini-Confessions is all about murder and mayhem. Both of these books were excellent and I highly recommend that you give them a look.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Publication Date: September 3, 2020

“After a certain age, you can pretty much do whatever takes your fancy. No one tells you off, except for your doctors and your children.”
― Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club

This was such a fun and delightful read, kind of a cross between a cozy mystery and an Agatha Christie. Even though it was light and at time laugh out loud funny, it was still a well done mystery with lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing till the very end.

The four members of the mystery club, are all sprightly and very intelligent septuagenarians who once a week get together to solve cold cases. Elizabeth is the leader, and has a past that we can only guess at, but it is heavily hinted that she probably worked for MI5. Ibrahim and Rob are also quite the pair and were often the comic relief of the team. Joyce is sweet and always baking, but she used to be a nurse and often is able to comment on the medical aspects of murders. I loved them all and had such a great time with them.

There are also two police officers who help the group out, unwillingly and even unknowingly at times. Donna is a young PC who is struggling with some personal demons, but is bright and sees how helpful the Murder Club could be to the police. Chris Hudson is the head of the police team investigating the murders, and he is also a character that many people can relate to.

The plot is very involved and it can at times be a bit difficult to keep track of all of the secondary characters. The writing and pacing is steady and even though there are not what you would call action scenes, there is always something going on that will keep you interested in the characters and in solving the murders right along with them.

There will be a next book in the series coming out in September and I can’t wait to read it. This is a fun group of characters that I really enjoyed spending time with.

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Publication Date: June 29, 2021

“Movies are magical that way. Everything is magnified. The colors are brighter. The shadows are darker. The action more violent and the love affairs more passionate. People break out into song. Or they used to. The emotions—love, hate, fear, laughter—are all bigger. And the people! All those beautiful faces in full close-up. So beautiful it’s hard to look away.”
― Riley Sager, Survive the Night

This book was astonishingly good, and a really hard one to put down. I could have easily read it in one day, but it was also good to take my time with it.

Charlie was a very unreliable narrator at times. There were times in the story where she wasn’t sure what was real and what was one of the ‘movies’ that she sometimes sees in her head. She also didn’t make the best decisions at times, although I totally got why she made them. She was pretty bright and she used her knowledge of movies to her advantage and they got her out of some pretty tight spots.

Josh was also not very reliable at times, as he was keeping secrets that slowly get revealed over the course of the book. I sort of liked him even when he was being unkind.

There are three other characters that play important roles in the story, though their parts are not as big. Maddy was Charlie’s best friend and a victim of the Campus Killer. She mostly shows up in flashbacks, but she also stars in some of Charlie’s ‘movies’. Marge, a waitress who tries to help Charlie, but turns out not to be what she seems. Robbie is Charlie’s boyfriend and comes in and out of the story. I never was sure about him as he often seemed to good to be true.

I can’t say much about the plot as there really is no way to talk about it without spoiling it. I will say that it had the feel of a film noir mixed with a bit of horror. Very well done in that I was often debating along with Charlie about what was real and what was only going on in her head. The ending was perfect and I appreciated how movies were tied into it.

I so enjoyed this book, that I went out and picked up another book by this author. I am enjoying that one just as much, so I can safely say that Riley Sager is a new favorite author!

I hope you enjoyed these mini-confessions about these two really good books. I hope you will keep them in mind the next time you are in the mood for a mystery or a psychological thriller.

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