Richard Osman does not miss. Every single book in this series has been a knockout so far, and I am continually impressed with not only how great these books are but how Osman allows each novel to grow from the actions of the one before.
The Bullet That Missed takes the characters we love and takes them out of their retirement community to help solve a more country-wide crime. Bethany, a young, up-and-coming journalist, was apparently murdered as her car went over a cliff a decade previous. Elizabeth and the group end up becoming involved with finding her killer and keeping Elizabeth and Joyce out of harm’s way as they are targeted by an international hitman named Viktor. Viktor is one of the new characters this book introduces; holy hell, he rules. I hope he also pops up in the last volume because he is one of my new favorites.
This series doesn’t run on the plot; it runs entirely on the characters. That being said, the plot isn’t sloppy. The mysteries curated are entertaining and exciting, and I second-guessed the conclusion until the last page. That being said, the characters are indeed the highlight here. Every line adds more to the characters’ backstories and motivations. Osman’s true strength to me is his ability to write little one-off lines that tell the reader so much about a character without having pages of dialogue or flashbacks. When we meet Mike, our favorite TV broadcaster, Osman includes a line about how he had had botox before it was fashionable or safe. That single line tells the reader so much about his character; he’s vain to a point but also needs to look a sure way to keep his position in the news world. He’s wealthy because otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to afford a more experimental (at the time) cosmetic procedure. He’s an older man because otherwise, he wouldn’t be worried about wrinkles and aging, and if he had botox before its popularity, that leads one to believe he’s been on TV for a long time. So much to deduce from a single line; those lines are informative and amusing. I laughed aloud more than once while reading this book, and the entire process was a joy.
I know there’s only one more book planned for this series, but I could read about 100 more. Fantastic.
Title: The Bullet That Missed
Author: Richard Osman
Three Descriptors: Spirited, Sardonic, Engaging
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