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THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE by Richard Osman (Penguin £8.99, 448pp)

THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE by Richard Osman (Penguin £8.99, 448pp)

THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE

by Richard Osman (Penguin £8.99, 448pp)

There’s a treat in store for anyone who finished Richard Osman’s debut The Thursday Murder Club with a sense of regret at parting ways with the resident detectives of the Coopers Chase retirement home.

The Club has a new case to solve and it begins very close to home, when Elizabeth’s sleazy ex-husband Douglas, a near-retirement MI5 agent, takes refuge in Coopers Chase.

Douglas was investigating Martin Lomax, a powerful local villain with a beautiful garden and a contact book of international criminals, when a bag full of diamonds went missing.

As the body count mounts, Joyce, Elizabeth and Ron offer their aid to the Fairhaven police. Funny, poignant and full of peril, The Man Who Died Twice reserves its surprises until the very last sentence.

ONE: MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Peter Schmeichel (Hodder £10.99, 416pp)

ONE: MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Peter Schmeichel (Hodder £10.99, 416pp)

ONE: MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY

by Peter Schmeichel (Hodder £10.99, 416pp)

“When you give your life to something, it has to have meaning. Because if not, then what? writes former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

He attempts to answer that question with an account of not just his footballing years, but the decades before and after. He grew up in Copenhagen: his mother was a nurse, his father a Polish jazz musician and double agent despite himself. But Schmeichel believes he also had two father figures in football: Sir Alex Ferguson and Per Bjerregaard.

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He’s an atypical footballer, quoting philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, but that’s what this most thoughtful and engaging goalkeeper does in his wise memoir: “Life can only be understood upside down,” said said Kierkegaard, “but it has to be lived forward”.

THE STRANDING by Kate Sawyer (Coronet £8.99, 368pp)

THE STRANDING by Kate Sawyer (Coronet £8.99, 368pp)

THE GROUNDING

by Kate Sawyer (Coronet £8.99, 368pp)

Former teacher Ruth books a ticket to New Zealand, promising to return in a year.

But when she lands, it’s clear something is wrong. Confused, Ruth heads to the whale conservation center where she had planned to volunteer, only to find a beached whale dying.

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As she frantically pours water on it, a stranger, Nik, appears. He knows the news that Ruth missed on her trip: the nuclear apocalypse is imminent. The survival instinct leads them to take refuge in the cavernous mouth of the whale.

Emerging raw and bloated but alive, they discover that the world has completely changed. Kate Sawyer’s powerful debut novel contrasts the disappointments of Ruth’s past with her struggle to live with Nik in a changed world, whose sorrows and challenges also offer hope for a different future.

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