Main / Books / The Man Who Died Twice / Summary

The Man Who Died Twice

Quick Recap & Summary By Chapter

The Full Book Recap and Section-by-Section Summary for The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman are below.

Quick(-ish) Recap

The one-paragraph version: the Thursday Murder Club gets involved in a new case as Elizabeth’s ex-husband, Douglas (a MI5 agent), shows up asking for help since he stole 20M in diamonds and is in hiding. When he winds up dead, they investigate. It’s eventually revealed that he stole them with help from Sue, his contact at MI5 who he was romantically involved with. However, Douglas planned to betray her. When she found out, she killed him. She then kept working with Elizabeth to try to uncover the location of the diamonds.

(This book picks up very soon after the previous novel ends with the same main characters — Elizabeth, Joyce, Ritchie and Ibrahim — at the Coopers Chase retirement community.)

In Part I, Elizabeth is revealed to be a former MI5 (British intelligence) agent, and she receives a letter from a “Marcus Carmichael”, a fictional person whose death she once faked as part of her work for MI5, asking to meet. Elizabeth shows up at the proposed and finds her ex-husband Douglas, there. He’s still active in MI5, and he’s accompanied by his handler, Penny, who is young and inexperienced.

Meanwhile, while Ibrahim is out in town, he gets randomly attacked with his phone stolen, and he’s hospitalized. Officers Donna and Chris determine that the perpetrator is Ryan Baird, a local teenager who works with a drug dealer they’ve been trying to build a case against, Connie Johnson. However, there’s insufficient evidence to charge him.

Douglas tells Elizabeth that he needs her help since he stole 20M in diamonds from Martin Lomax, a man who works as a middle-man for various crime organizations (like drug lords, mafiosos, warlords, etcetera). MI5 doesn’t know he stole them. He’s hiding out in Coopers Chase until he can escape to Antwerp, sell the diamonds and disappear. Douglas wants Elizabeth’s help in keeping a look-out for possible threats.

Elizabeth agrees to help in exchange for information on Ryan Baird, and Poppy soon gives her the file on him. Soon after, an intruder tries to shoot Douglas, but Poppy kills the intruder. Sue and Lance from MI5 arrive to clean up the scene. Poppy is shaken up from killing someone, and Elizabeth and Joyce try to comfort her. When Douglas and Poppy are taken to be questioned by Sue and Lance, Joyce finds a note in her pocket from Poppy asking Joyce to call her mother, Siobhan, along with a phone number. Joyce obliges, tells Siobhan what happened and invites her to tea.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth has a plan regarding Ryan and asks her friend Bogdan to acquire come cocaine. Bogdan does it and hands it off to Ron. Ron then goes to Ryan’s house, pretending to be a plumber sent by the housing association. He plants the cocaine and Ibrahim’s credit card in Ryan’s toilet and then “anonymously” calls Donna and Chris. Ryan Baird is arrested.

By now, the dead intruder has been identified as Andrew Hastings, one of Martin Lomax’s lackeys. Also, Douglas and Poppy have been relocated to a nearby town. Douglas asks Elizabeth to come see him there, and she agrees. However, when Elizabeth and Joyce arrive, they find Douglas and Poppy are both dead, having both been shot in the face (making them both barely recognizable).

In Part II, Elizabeth and Joyce are questioned about the discovery of the bodies. Sue gives Elizabeth a locket inscribed with her name that they found on Douglas’s body. Siobhan identifies Poppy’s body.

Afterwards, Elizabeth goes to see Martin Lomax who is anxious to get the diamonds back since they’re not his. He was holding them (as the middle-man) for a deal between some American mafia guys and some Colombians. If he can’t locate them, they’re threatening to kill him by the end of the week. Lomax admits to sending Andrew to scare (but not kill) Douglas, but he insists he wasn’t responsible for the shootings. Meanwhile, Lance at MI5 flags a flight that Frank Andrade Jr. (American mafia guy who owns the diamonds) is on headed to Fairhaven, likely for the purpose of killing Martin Lomax.

Later, Elizabeth recalls that Douglas had pointed out a hole in a tree, which he’d commented would be a good place for a dead-letter drop (a public place spies use to leave stuff to be picked up). Sure enough, when Elizabeth checks that spot, she finds a letter addressed to her from Douglas. It says that the diamonds were hidden in Locker 531 at the Fairhaven train station. If they’re still there by the time she reads this letter, it means he’s dead. If they’re gone, it likely means he somehow faked his death and escaped with the diamonds.

Meanwhile, Chris and Donna have continued to investigate Connie Johnson. Chris has also continued seeing Donna’s mother Patrice (who he met towards the end of Book #1) romantically. Connie drops by Chris house and threatens to hurt Patrice is Chris continues looking into her activities. Additionally, Ryan failed to show up for his court date and is nowhere to be found.

When Elizabeth and Joyce get to the train station, they find an empty chip bag in Locker 531. Elizabeth uses an infra-red light on the bag, and it reveals a hidden message. It says that this is an extra layer of security, that the diamonds are elsewhere and that Elizabeth should be able to figure out where. Elizabeth also asks Donna to procure the CCTV footage to see if anyone else has visited the locker. They eventually learn that Siobhan (Poppy’s mother) had visited the locker the day before the shooting.

In Part III, Elizabeth figures out where the diamonds are — she notes that there was a mirror in the locket that Douglas had on him and that he’d previously referenced a dead-letter drop in East Berlin which she knew was really in West Berlin. She figures out that those were hints that Locker 531 was meant to be inversed — and that the diamonds are in Locker 135. Elizabeth and Joyce recover the diamonds and take them home and hide them away.

Elizabeth theorizes that if Siobhan was the one visiting the locker, then Poppy must’ve found out about Douglas stealing the diamonds and gotten Siobhan involved in her scheme. Poppy could’ve overheard Douglas telling Elizabeth the truth (that he stole them) and then killed him and faked her own death (since Siobhan, her accomplice, was the one who identified her body).

From there, Elizabeth formulates a plan to get some answers. She plans a meeting with Martin Lomax at the pier saying she’ll give him the diamonds there. Then, when Frank Andrade lands in Fairhaven, she intercepts him and instructs him to attend the meeting as well if he wants his diamonds back. (Her plan is to force Poppy to come out into the open when Poppy realizes the diamonds have resurfaced and that this big meeting is taking place.)

As for Connie, they (Ron and Bogdan) invite Connie to attend the meeting telling her that it’s an opportunity for her expand her drug trade. So, they tell Connie to bring Ryan Baird with her to drive her to meeting (claiming that he’s someone they trust). Connie knows where Ryan is, so she agrees. (The idea is that by involving Connie and Ryan, it’ll implicate them in an illicit deal, and they’ll be conveniently present to be arrested.)

When the big meeting arrives, Frank, Martin and Connie meet up (with Bogdan and Lance in the room, too, and everyone else is safely outside). Frank gets upset when he realizes his diamonds aren’t there, and he shoots Martin. Connie then shoots Frank before he can shoot her. She then tries to leave, but is promptly arrested by Chris and Donna (who were waiting outside). Ryan is also arrested. Poppy does not show up.

Afterwards, Elizabeth and Joyce are in a car with Sue, and Elizabeth now confronts Sue about being the real killer. After Poppy failed to appear, Elizabeth figured out that things were less complicated than they seemed and there were no faked deaths. Poppy and Douglas are both dead. Instead, Elizabeth realizes that Sue must’ve been the one to put the note in Joyce’s pocket about Siobhan, not Poppy. Sue purposely wanted them to think “Siobhan” was Poppy’s mother (to set them on a false trail of investigating Poppy), when in reality “Siobhan” was really Sue’s accomplice.

Sue admits that she and Douglas planned to steal the diamonds together since they were romantically involved. Poppy later overheard Douglas telling Elizabeth about the diamonds and hinting at the dead-letter drop. Poppy then found the letter to Elizabeth (in the hole in the tree) and obediently told Sue about it. Sue read the letter and realized that Douglas planned to betray her, so she told Martin where Douglas was. When the guy Martin sent failed to kill Douglas, Sue did the job herself and shot Douglas (and killed Poppy in the process).

In present day, Sue tells Elizabeth that she has three armed dudes working for her and they’ve located the diamonds at Joyce’s house. Sue has the driver take them to Joyce’s — but as soon as they arrive, Sue is shot by Bogdan. (It’s soon revealed that Bogdan incapacitated the three armed dudes and told them to tell Sue that they’d found the diamonds.)

In the final chapters, Chris tells Patrice that he loves her, Bogdan decides to ask out Donna and Joyce adopts a dog named Rusty. The book closes by revealing that Elizabeth ended up fencing the diamonds in Antwerp and then donating the money to an organization called Living with Dementia (because her husband Stephen has dementia).

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($2, $3, or $5) or joining the Patreon!

Section-by-Section Summary

Part I: Your Friends Are Sure to Visit
Part II: At Times, You Won’t Believe Your Eyes
Part III: So Many Day Trips for You to Enjoy

Part I: Your Friends Are Sure to Visit

Chapter 1

(This book picks up very soon after the previous novel ends.)

At the meeting of the The Thursday Murder Club, they (Elizabeth Best, Joyce Meadowcroft, Ron Ritchie and Ibrahim Arif) finish discussing a cold case and start discussing whether Joyce should get a dog. The also comment on how the newest member of the Ruskin Court serving staff, Poppy, is not great at her job.

As they chat, Elizabeth thinks about a letter from Marcus Carmichael that had been slipped under her door. In it, he said was moving into the Coopers Chase retirement community and that he wanted to grab a drink to catch up. The letter had been jarring since she’d been under the impression that Marcus was dead.

The last time Elizabeth (who previously worked for MI5) saw Marcus was in November 1981. She’d been on an assignment which involved loading up a drowned man onto a van to be taken to the morgue. She remembers sitting in the van with a doctor who had a distinctive mustache. Marcus has been the drowned man in that scenario.

Chapter 2

Meanwhile, PC Donna De Freitas and DCI Chris Hudson are on a stake-out, keeping an eye on Connie Johnson, the “friendly local drug dealer” who took over the drug trade around here from the two Antonio brothers who went missing a year ago. It’s unclear whether Connie had something to do with their disappearance, hence the stake-out. Their team is also trying to collect enough evidence to take down the whole operation.

As they wait, a woman in a yellow jacket comes out, introduces herself as Connie Johnson and offers them some coffee and sausage rolls. She also gives them some photographs, letting them know that her people are watching them as well.

Chapters 3 – 6

Elizabeth arrives to meet with Marcus, not knowing what to expect. She finds Douglas Middlemiss there, her ex-husband before Stephen, who works for MI5. Douglas knew about Marcus, and she understands that he used the name to get her attention. In fact, Marcus Carmichael never really existed. He was a false identity used pass secrets to the Russians, and when “he” outlived his usefulness, his “death” was staged using a cadaver.

Douglas then brings out Poppy, who he says is actually there as his handler. He says they need her help with a man named Martin Lomax, who they believe is involved in international money laundering for major crime organizations. He works as an intermediary between these gangs, and he has a big house with a strong room that he uses to hold valuables for these illicit deals.

Meanwhile, Joyce has recently gotten into knitting and recently made friendship bracelets for Elizabeth and Bogdan Jankowski, which she’s selling with the proceeds going to charity. Ron is excited because his grandson Kendrick is coming for a visit soon. And Ibrahim has decided he needs to get out and explore life outside of Coopers Chase more. However, as Ibrahim out and about, a bicyclist rides by and steals his phone, knocks him over and kicks him in the head, seriously injuring him.

Chapters 7 – 8

DCI Chris Hudson has recently started seeing Donna’s mother, Patrice (who he was introduced to towards the end of the previous book). He gets a call from Donna saying that Ibrahim is in the hospital.

Shortly after, the whole group is gathered at the hospital, where Ibrahim is conscious but weak. Ibrahim provides a detailed description of the three assailants. He notes that the one who kicked him was referred to as “Ryan“.

Afterwards, Chris and Donna discuss how they’re certain “Ryan” is someone they’ve dealt with before, Ryan Baird . Unfortunately, there’s no CCTV where the incident occurred, so they can question him but he’ll likely get away with it. Still, Elizabeth thinks there’s perhaps something she can do.

Chapter 9 – 10

The next day, Elizabeth meets with Douglas and Poppy again. Douglas explains that not too long ago, he and another guy (Lance James) broke into Martin Lomax’s house to scope it out, with Poppy acting as a lookout. However, Martin found out it was him since he momentarily took his mask off and was captured on CCTV.

Moreover, Martin claims that 20 million in uncut diamonds went missing during their visit. The diamonds were part of a deal involving a Colombian drug ring and the New York mafia. Now, Martin plans on telling the Colombians and the Americans that Douglas has the diamonds if he doesn’t return them.

Now, Douglas is at Coopers Chase hiding out, and he wants Elizabeth’s help to keep an eye on potential threats. Privately, to Elizabeth, he admits that he did, in fact, take the diamonds. He just needs enough time to get to Antwerp where he can sell them. Elizabeth considers momentarily and then agrees to help him.

In exchange, she says she wants information on Ryan Baird, a teenager who lives in Fairhaven.

Chapters 11 – 14

Elsewhere, Martin Lomax is being interviewed by a woman from the Sunday Telegraph for possible inclusion in their “Britain’s Best Gardens” supplement.

At the hospital, Elizabeth meets with Ron, Joyce and Ibrahim to discuss the situation with Douglas and how they’ll be getting information on Ryan Baird in exchange. They agree to help out, though they decide they also need to find out more about Martin Lomax.

At the police station, Chris and Donna interrogate Ryan Baird. Ryan says very little, and they let him go since they’re unable to charge him.

A short while later, Poppy sits down with Elizabeth and Joyce to chat, telling them how she doesn’t really like this job and would rather be writing poetry. Elizabeth shares that if she hadn’t joined the service, then she would have liked to become a marine biologist. Poppy gives them the file on Ryan Baird.

Chapters 15 – 17

That night, Douglas is in bed when he hears the sound of his door being quietly opened. He hides in the wardrobe, and sees a man walk in with a gun. The man finds him and asks, with an English accent, where the diamonds are. Douglas refuses to say, and the man begins to pull the trigger.

At the hospital, Ibrahim has mixed feelings about whether he wants revenge on Ryan Baird for the attack. He thinks about how, in principle, he doesn’t believe in seeking revenge. He considers how a client of his, Eric Mason, had gone down a dark road trying to seek revenge until finally going to see Ibrahim (a former psychotherapist). Intellectually, he realizes that forgiveness is the best course. At the same time, Ibrahim is angry that Ryan robbed him of his sense of security and thinks of the thrill that getting revenge would provide.

At 2:00 AM, Elizabeth calls Joyce over to Douglas’s unit. Douglas is alive, since Poppy had shot the assassin before he’d been able to kill Douglas. Poppy is now very visibly shaken and cry, saying that this isn’t the job she wants. Soon, Sue Reardonand Lance James from M15 show up and take charge. Some men dressed in black come to zip the body up in a body bag and carry it out. Poppy gives Elizabeth and Joyce a hug before she leaves with Sue and Lance.

After Poppy has left, Joyce finds a slip of paper that says “RING MY MUM” plus a phone number in her pocket, which presumably Poppy had slipped in there.

Chapter 18

Ryan Baird, 18, makes his money selling stolen good to Connie Johnson, and Connie sometimes gives him packages to deliver, too. Tonight, Ryan is at home playing videogames, ignoring the doorbell ringing which he assumes are complaining neighbors.

That night, Martin Lomax gets a call from MI5. They want to know if someone named Andrew Hastings was working for him tonight. Martin answers that Andrew works for him, but not tonight. They let him know that Hasting has been killed while trying to murder a member of the British Security Services.

In a house near Godalming, Poppy and Douglas are being questioned about the night’s events in separate rooms. Poppy gets released, but she can still hear them questioning Douglas as she leaves.

Chapters 19 – 20

The next morning in Ruskin Court, Elizabeth updates Ron and gives him the folder with Ryan Baird’s information. She also says that Douglas is being moved to another location, so this no longer involves them.

Right before they leave Ruskin Court, Bogdan notices a man with gloves that he doesn’t recognize get out of a van and enter Ruskin Court, but Elizabeth lets him know not to mind the van and that the man is a MI5 risk-assessment underwriter. Instead, Bogdan heads to Elizabeth’s place to play chess with her husband, Stephen, as he frequently does.

Elizabeth then brings out a tote bag full of cash, and she asks Bogdan to help her acquire 10,000£ in cocaine.

Chapters 21 – 22

Douglas and Poppy have now been relocated to Hove, near the sea. He thinks about how the diamonds are his escape from this life. He also wonders who could’ve told Martin Lomax about him being in Coopers Chase. He decides he can trust no one, apart from Elizabeth. Despite the many affairs he had during their marriage, all of which she discovered, he still trusts her.

Meanwhile, Joyce calls Poppy’s mother, Siobhan. Joyce tells her what happened, and Siobhan is taken aback, since she’d previously believed that Poppy worked for the Passport Office. Joyce also invites Siobhan to have tea with her and Elizabeth, and she gets Siobhan’s address so that she can send her a friendship bracelet.

Chapters 23 – 30

The next day, Ibrahim is well enough to return to Coopers Chase and goes in for a hair appointment before alerting the others that he’s back. When he goes to pay, he sees his credit card is missing.

Around the same time, Bodgan contacts Connie (who once asked him out, but he declined) to make the purchase of cocaine. He then goes to the pier to meets Ron, who is dressed as a plumber and hands it off. Ron then goes to Ryan Baird’s place, claiming he was sent by the Housing Association to check the water pressure. He places the kilo of cocaine in Ryan’s toilet cistern along with Ibrahim’s credit card. He then leaves and calls Donna to report that he’s an anonymous plumber who has found cocaine in someone’s toilet.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Joyce head to Hove to see Douglas and Poppy. As they head over, Joyce admits to Elizabeth that she called Poppy’s mother. As they near the house, Elizabeth gets a key from someone in a Virgin Media van (a lookout). As Joyce and Elizabeth enter the safehouse, Elizabeth notes that it’s oddly quiet and the back door is open. Elizabeth then grabs a knife and heads upstairs without Joyce.

In one of the bedrooms, she finds the dead bodies of both Douglas and Poppy, both with gun wounds to the face. Elizabeth quickly photographs the scene. Elizabeth steps outside to alert the van driver of the situation. She then hides her phone behind a loose brick nearby since she knows it’ll be confiscated when they question her.

Part II: At Times, You Won’t Believe Your Eyes

Chapters 31 – 33

In the evening, Chris gets a call from Donna that Ryan Baird has been arrested for possession with intent to supply (because of the cocaine) as well as robbery (because of the discovery of Ibrahim’s credit card). Chris and Donna are well aware that the Thursday Murder Club has set Ryan up, but they feel confident the truth won’t come out.

In Godalming, Elizabeth and Joyce are being questioned by Sue and Lance about the discovery of the bodies. Elizabeth admits to them that Douglas had told her about stealing the diamonds. They show her a locket that Douglas had on him when he died which is inscribed with Elizabeth’s name. They also ask her for her phone, and they say they’ll have to search her apartment if she doesn’t voluntarily produce it.

Right after Elizabeth and Joyce leave, Siobhan arrives to identify her daughter’s body. Doctor Carter shows her the body, and Siobhan confirms that it’s Poppy. She points out the identifying marks such as a scar Poppy has and a tattoo she had of a Daisy (because her grandmother’s name was Daisy).

Chapters 34 – 37

The next morning, back at her flat which MI5 has finished searching, Elizabeth looks at the locket which she is surprised that Sue let her keep. She searches it for any hidden messages, but can’t find anything. Bogdan is also there since Elizabeth had asked him to make sure Stephen was okay last night as MI5 checked her apartment.

Elizabeth asks Bogdan to go pick up her phone from behind the loose brick and to drive her to go see Martin Lomax later today, and he agrees. Elizabeth then calls Chris to meet up tomorrow to discuss the situation. Chris declines at first because he has plans with Patrice, but Elizabeth convinces Patrice to cancel their plans and come along instead.

In Hambledon, Martin Lomax at home when he calls the Americans to discuss their missing diamonds. They say that if they don’t have the diamonds by the end of next week, then they’ll kill him. Around the same time, Bogdan is driving Ron, Elizabeth and Joyce over to Martin’s house. When they arrive, they pretend to be there to enjoy his gardens at first, but Elizabeth then asks him about the deaths of Poppy and Douglas.

Elizabeth tells Martin that they’re his best bet to get his diamonds back. At that point, Martin becomes more helpful. He admits that he threatened Douglas and that he sent Andrew Hastings to scare, but not kill, Douglas. He learned where Douglas was from someone in MI5. Lomax hadn’t, however, been able to learn the second location, so those two killings were ordered by someone else.

Before they leave, Elizabeth and Lomax agree that they have a shared interest in finding the killer, and she offers him her contact information. Joyce also sells Lomax a friendship bracelet (with Elizabeth insisting that she won’t leave until he buys one). Lomax also reminds them that he has no problem killing all of them if he suspects they are keeping his diamonds from him.

Chapters 38 – 39

That night, Elizabeth invites Sue to have dinner with them, and Ibrahim joins them as well. Over some pizza, Elizabeth tells Sue that she doesn’t think Lomax was responsible for the killings.

Moreover, she says that Douglas was always a planner, and she thinks that he meant for her to see his dead body when he asked her to come over. However, she suspects the body may have looked like it was him (the face was blown to bits by the gunshot), but perhaps Douglas faked it and escaped with the diamonds. Sue says that they did a DNA test and it matched, but Elizabeth points out that someone could have found a way to fake a DNA test to force it to match.

After Sue leaves, Elizabeth says that she has a hunch that Douglas did reveal the location of the diamonds to her, and the Thursday Murder Club proceeds to head out into the woods to test out her theory. They head to a big tree with a hole in it, which Elizabeth and Douglas had stopped at the day he told her about the diamonds. Elizabeth recalls that he had commented that it would make a good “dead-letter drop” (a public place that others are unlikely to come across where spies leave stuff).

In the hole, they find a letter from Douglas. He explains how he needed a way out of this mess, and he doesn’t know if he’ll get away with this. He also says that the diamonds are in Locker 531 at Fairhaven train station. He tells Elizabeth that if she goes looking for them and finds the diamonds, that means he’s dead. If she goes looking and they’re no longer there, it means he probably got away with it and is on his way to Antwerp to meet Franco (a fence) and exchange them for cash.

The next morning, Elizabeth and Joyce head onto the mini-bus to go to the Fairhaven train station.

Chapters 40

Meanwhile, Lance James, 42, is at work mulling over his financial troubles. He’s living in an apartment he can’t afford since he originally bought it with an ex-girlfriend, except they’ve broken up and he doesn’t have the money to buy her out. Instead, he’s stuck paying her rent.

Lance notices a flight for “Andre Richardson” that’s been flagged. “Andre Richardson”‘s real name is Frank Andrade Jr., and he’s the owner of the missing diamonds. He’s flying from New Jersey into the airfield in Farnborough, which is near Martin Lomax’s home.

Lance suggests that he go there for week to check out the situation, and Sue agrees it’s a good idea. Privately, Lance wonders if he can somehow end up with the diamonds and end his financial troubles.

Chapters 41 – 43

Ron has just picked up his grandson Kendrick and is showing him around Coopers Chase. He’s watching the boy since Ron’s daughter, Suzi, is at a conference in the Caribbean since she works in travel. Suzi’s husband Daniel is joining her, too.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Joyce arrive at the train station and locate Locker 531. The lock is damaged, but they get it open. The diamonds are gone. There’s an empty chip bag in the locker instead. They pocket the bag and head out. They walk over to the police station where they meet Donna. Donna has an infra-red light which they use on the chip bag and a written message appears. It says that the chip bag is an “extra layer of security” and that the diamonds are elsewhere. It also indicates that Elizabeth should be able to figure out where to find them.

As they discuss, Joyce brings up how it’s suspicious that the lock was damaged. Donna agrees to procure the CCTV for the locker room for the past week so that Ibrahim can review it to see if anything suspicious appears.

Chapters 44 – 46

Later that day, the Thursday Murder Club meets up with Donna, Patrice and Chris. They tell them about what happened with Douglas and Poppy, and Elizabeth shows them the photos of the crime scene. They’re interrupted by Siobhan who is looking for Joyce and Elizabeth after identifying Poppy’s body. She’s now staying in Joyce’s spare room.

Later that night, Stephen who (because of his dementia) is worked over a bad review of his book that was written many years ago. It takes a long time for Elizabeth to calm him down. Afterwards, Elizabeth reviews Douglas’s letter (the one they found in the hole) again and to try to suss out where the diamonds might be.

Chapters 47 – 50

The next morning, Ron and Ibrahim are playing with Kendrick when Ron notices Siobhan walking by. He thinks about how attractive she is. That night, Donna and DCI Jordan/Jayden (she’s not sure which) stake out Connie Johnson’s place. Jordan/Jayden is from London, and he’s convinced that the London police force is much more capable than that of Fairhaven. Meanwhile, Patrice left earlier that day to return to south London since the school year is starting back up again, and Chris feels lonely without her.

Late in the day, Connie Johnson shows up at Chris’s house. Chris quickly messages Donna to let her know. Connie lets Chris know that she finds their poking around her business rather intrusive and that her patience for them is waning. She also hints that something might happen to Patrice if Chris fails to heed her warning. After Connie leaves, Donna calls to ask what happened, and Chris doesn’t mention the threat against Patrice.

Chapters 51 – 54

Lance and Sue go to visit Martin Lomax. They assure him that they don’t have the diamonds. Martin explains that he really needs to diamonds since he doesn’t have the assets to pay the Colombians and Americans for them.

Meanwhile, In Ibrahim’s room, he and Kendrick look over the CCTV footage. Ibrahim instructs Kendrick to look out for anyone messing with Locker 531. In the video for the day before Douglas and Poppy were murdered, they see a figure in a motorcycle helmet visit the locker, they see the chip bag and toss it back in. As to who it is, they know the person can’t be Douglas since he was in protective custody at the time and he was the one person who knew the locker didn’t have the diamonds (since he’d intentionally stored them elsewhere).

When the whole gang gathers to view the footage, Kendrick points out that they have a clue — the person in the video is wearing one of Joyce’s friendship bracelets. They then make a list of everyone with a friendship bracelet: Sue, Lance, Siobhan, Martin Lomax, as well as various others from around Coopers Chase.

Joyce then gets the idea to go talk to the receptionist for the train station locker rooms. The receptionist confirms that anyone entering the lockers with a helmet would have had to take it off at some point to identify themselves. Elizabeth then contacts Donna to ask for more CCTV footage.

Chapters 55 – 60

Chris is at Maidstone Crown Court where Ryan Baird is to be tried. Ron and Bogdan are with him, and as they wait to hear the verdict, he asks for their help in dealing with Connie, since he’s worried that something might happen to Patrice. After some waiting, they see Ryan’s lawyer who tells them that Ryan didn’t show up, his phone is disconnected and that he’s nowhere to be found.

Meanwhile, at Le Pont Noir, Elizabeth meets with Sue to try to get ideas on what clues Douglas’s letter might be hiding.

Back at Coopers Chase, Donna arrives with the footage, but she goes to see Ibrahim first since she needs someone to talk to. She says that she’s unhappy. At some point, all her friends left or moved on. The two main people in her life, her mom and Chris, are sleeping with each other. Meanwhile, she spends too much time hanging out with a punch of pensioners. She’s upset that she no longer knows anyone that’s her age. Ibrahim reminds her that having ups and downs in life is natural, but the important thing is to try to keep getting back up.

When Donna and Ibrahim view the video, they are surprised to find the person in the motorcycle is Siobhan.

Chapters 61 – 63

By now, Ryan is at his cousin Steven’s place in Scotland, and he’s decided to go by “Kirk” now since his name is on the news for being on the run.

Meanwhile, the whole group (Thursday Murder Club, plus Chris and Donna) is soon gathered near the natural lake in Coopers Chase. Ibrahim plays the CCTV footage on his tablet and they see that Siobhan is the one at Locker 531. They discuss what they think may have happened. Joyce realizes that Poppy was wearing headphones the day that Douglas told Elizabeth about the diamonds, so she may have found a way to listen in on their conversation. Poppy then must’ve found the letter and told Siobhan about the locker.

Elizabeth then theorizes that when Siobhan ended up finding nothing, Poppy must have confronted Douglas, killed him and faked her own death. Siobhan was the one who identified Poppy’s body, and ultimately they know very little about Poppy or Siobhan.

Part III: So Many Day Trips for You to Enjoy

Chapters 64 – 67

The group takes a trip to Antwerp to see Franco, who works as a diamond dealer. Franco says he got a from Douglas a month ago, but hasn’t seen or heard from him since. Elizabeth asks if anyone had tried to sell 20 million in diamonds, and he also says no. Back at Coopers Chase, the group continues to theorize about what could have happened with Poppy and Douglas. (Privately, Joyce continues to doubt that Poppy was secretly a cold-blooded killer.)

At Martin’s place, Lance and Martin chat about Frank Andrade’s pending arrival on Monday. Lance has been assigned to stake out Martin’s place, but since Martin never leaves anyway, they’ve ended up just hanging out there. Martin hopes that they’ll find the diamonds before then so he won’t be killed, but Lance knows that even if he or Elizabeth found them, Martin wouldn’t be the one to get them. He thinks about how no matter what, “Martin Lomax is a dead man”.

The next morning, Elizabeth and Joyce head to Fairhaven. At the train station, Elizabeth tells Joyce that she figured out what the locket was for — inside is a cheap mirror meant to let her know to reverse the numbers of the locker number. Douglas had hinted at it when he mentioned a dead-letter drop in East Berlin, except that it had really been in West Berlin. Elizabeth had thought it was a mistake at first, but it was a clue.

In Locker 135, they open it up to find the diamonds and a letter. In the letter, Douglas congratulates Elizabeth on finding the diamonds, but he also says that if she finds this letter then it means that he is dead.

Chapters 68 – 70

Elizabeth soon gathers everyone (the Thursday Murder Club, plus Donna and Chris). She tells them that she has the diamonds and she plans to meet with Martin Lomax as well as Frank Andrade (the mafia guy) tomorrow. She asks Donna and Chris to be nearby when it happens. They plan for the meeting to take place near the pier in Fairhaven. They suspect that Poppy will show up then since if she’s alive, she’s probably still waiting for the diamonds to materialize. Elizabeth thinks that once everyone is together, it’ll become clear what exactly happened regarding Douglas and Poppy.

Ron also suggests that they involve Connie Johnson, so Donna and Chris can use the opportunity to get something solid on her to use to arrest her. They’re going to convince her that the Thursday Murder Club is a gang from London that’s tipping her off on a big deal going down.

Meanwhile, Joyce has managed to track down Ryan Baird. In the file on him, there’s a list of his known family members and friends, and Joyce had the idea to look them up on Instagram and tracked down his cousin Steven Baird in Scotland. Joyce tells Chris and Donna about her discovery, but she also tells them that she has a plan regarding Ryan.

Chapter 71

Soon, Bogdan and Ron (pretending to be “Vic Vincent”, a London gangster) show up at Connie’s place asking her to participate in a deal. Ron claims that he (as Vic Vincent) has bad blood with Frank Andrade, but he needs someone trustworthy to do a trade with Frank — some diamonds in exchange for cash. He says that Bogdan recommended her for the job. As for what’s in it for Connie, they say she’ll be able to do a drug deal worth 50K with the potential for more if things go smoothly.

Connie agrees to participate. Ron also asks her to bring in Ryan Baird to serve as their driver, letting her know that he’s in Scotland (Ron lies and says that Ryan is family and that he trusts him, but in reality they want to implicate him in this, too).

Chapters 72 – 74

The next day, at Farnborough airport, Joyce and Elizabeth intercept Frank Andrade as he comes off the plane. They tell them that if he wants his diamonds that he should come with them. They tell him that they’ll take him to meet Martin Lomax and once things are worked out between them, he’ll get the diamonds.

When the meeting time arrives, all the various parties (Martin, Lance, Frank and Connie with Bogdan) show up and they meet in a small office on the pier. Donna and Chris are outside, while Elizabeth and Joyce sit in an MI5 van listening in with Sue. Ryan Baird drove Connie, so he’s parked in a car outside waiting as well.

As they get down to business, Frank asks to see the diamonds. Connie reveals what she has, but it turns out the Elizabeth only gave her a tiny fraction of the diamonds. Frank gets upset and pulls out a gun. As confusion sets in between the parties about what is going on, Frank goes ahead and shoots Martin in the chest, and Martin falls over. Before Frank can shoot Connie, Connie shoots Frank, and he slumps over as well. Connie then kisses Bogdan (who she has a crush on) and runs out of the room.

Connie rushes into the Range Rover that Ryan drove her here in. However, she finds DCI Chris Hudson inside, and he promptly arrests her. Ryan has also been arrested.

Chapter 75 – 77

After the commotion, Elizabeth thinks about how things ended up being exactly as they seemed. Neither Douglas or Poppy had suddenly materialized as a result of the mafia/Martin meeting, and now she and Joyce are headed to the morgue to take a look at the bodies.

Elizabeth and Joyce are now sitting in a car with Sue, who Elizabeth is now certain was the real killer. Joyce is recording their conversation, as Elizabeth had instructed her to do. Elizabeth then confronts Sue about being the one who shot Douglas and Poppy. Elizabeth tells Sue that she finally pieced together that Sue had been then one to put the note in Poppy’s pocket about containing Siobhan.

When Sue’s phone rings, she informs Elizabeth that the diamonds have been located (Elizabeth and Joyce had hidden them at Joyce’s place), and their car is going to head there instead to pick up the diamonds. Elizabeth is surprised that Sue managed to locate the diamonds, and she wonders if someone told Sue about their location.

As they drive over, Elizabeth talks about what must’ve really happened. She theorizes that Sue and Douglas were lovers and planned the plot to steal the diamonds and sell them together (Douglas hid the diamonds somewhere and Sue didn’t know where). When Poppy later found out about the letter that Douglas had planted, she obediently informed Sue of that discovery. However, in the letter, Douglas had written to Elizabeth about how he still loved her and would wait for her, and Sue realized that Douglas planned to betray her. Sue then decided Douglas needed to die. She informed Martin of where Douglas was, and he sent Andrew Hasting to kill Douglas. But Poppy killed Andrew. So, Sue decided to just do the job herself.

Sue admits that Elizabeth’s theory is correct. Sue also acknowledges that Siobhan was working for her, which is why she dropped the note in Joyce’s pocket about contacting her. She wanted them to think Siobhan was Poppy’s mother since she knew Elizabeth would eventually find the CCTV of her at the lockers and it would set them on a false trail (of thinking Poppy had engineered this scheme). Sue then began working with Elizabeth to find the location of the diamonds since she needed help in locating where they actually were. Sue also says that now that the diamonds have been found, it doesn’t matter if Sue is revealed as the killer or not since she’ll be gone either way.

In present day, the car arrives at Coopers Chase, and Sue (gun in hand) orders Elizabeth and Joyce to head into Joyce’s house. She warns them that she has three armed men waiting for them there. However, when they arrive at the house, Bogdan is there instead. He shoots Sue.

Chapter 78

Soon, they are all — Elizabeth, Joyce, Bogdan, Stephen, Siobhan, and an injured Sue — situated at Elizabeth’s place.

Stephen and Bogdan then explain what happened. Sue’s three armed men and Siobhan had shown up demanding to know where the diamonds were. As they were hassling Stephen, Bogdan had shown up and offered to show them where the diamonds were. As they headed to Joyce’s place, Bogdan had taken the three men out. He’d then instructed Siobhan to tell Sue that the diamonds had been located at Joyce’s place. Then, he’d gone over to Joyce’s place to wait for Sue to show up.

Once that explanation is done, Elizabeth then asks Siobhan who she really is. Siobhan says that her really name is “Sally Montague“, and Elizabeth remembers the name as one of Douglas’s exes (as were Sue and Elizabeth).

Chapters 79 – 83

Elsewhere, Patrice is at home grading homework when she hears a knock on her door. She answers it and finds Chris there, who tells her that he wanted to tell her that he’s in love with her.

At Ibrahim’s house, Joyce goes to see him, knowing that he’s been hesitant to leave his house ever since the attack. Joyce tries to coax him out. Ibrahim says too scared of being outside, but ultimately Joyce is able to convince him to drive her to the animal adoption center since she’s in the market to adopt a dog. Joyce ends up with a dog she names Rusty.

At Elizabeth’s place, Bogdan and Stephen play chess, and Bogdan tells Stephen that he’s thinking about asking Donna out on a date. Shortly after, Elizabeth gets back from a trip to Antwerp to see Franco.

Meanwhile, the group finds out that Poppy’s mother really is named Siobhan, though it’s a different woman than the one they met, obviously. They all plan on attending Poppy’s funeral next week.

Lance ended up dealing with the crime scene at the pier and pocketed the two small diamonds. After selling them for 35K, he’d been able to buy his ex out of their flat for 25K. With the remaining 10K, Lance plans to get a hair transplant.

Chapters 84

The book ends with a chapter following Sylvia Finch, who began working for an organization called Living with Dementia after they helped her late husband Dennis while he was still alive. She checks the organization’s bank account and then proceeds to ask the leadership board if anyone knows why they’ve received a 20M donation from Antwerp.

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($2, $3, or $5) or joining the Patreon!

Share this post


Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game