I read and enjoyed The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton in August last year. I had heard great things about the book, so I treated myself to a paperback copy earlier in the year. For those of you that don’t know, I tend to only buy paperbacks when I have confidence that I’ll really enjoy them. Living in a two-bedroom flat, I don’t have a lot of room for books here. Since space is at a premium, I have to be selective about what I buy physical copies of.
I don’t regret getting The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in paperback. It’s unlike anything I have ever read before!
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER.
“Gosford Park” meets “Groundhog Day” by way of Agatha Christie – the most inventive story you’ll read this year.
Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.
It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.
But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.
The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…
SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, I PAPER, FINANCIAL TIMES AND DAILY TELEGRAPH.
Murder mystery meets Groundhog Day in this spectacular mystery/thriller novel! The clock is ticking and Aiden’s chance to solve the murder dwindles day by day. I love the concept of him waking up every morning in someone else’s body. Who he wakes up as on a given day gives him different access to other guests and information to piece together to solve a murder that doesn’t look like murder.
I cannot praise enough how well each different perspective is written! Each of the guests has their own distinctive attitude and personality, which you can see Aiden contending with as he wears their shoes. They have a strong influence over his behaviour – it’s clear whose body he is in at a given time.
Not only do the character shifts work well, but the author also successfully throws in a mix up of chronology in places. You’d think all this mix up would be confusing, but surprisingly, it wasn’t really. You have to concentrate, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t wading through the narrative completely lost as to what was going on and why. There’s enough left hanging to entice you to read on. Naturally, all the answers can’t be given at once. I was never in any doubt that the unresolved plotlines wouldn’t be tied up and explained.
There are plenty of plot twists to keep you hooked on the novel. I for one didn’t foresee any of it coming! There’s a lot of back story about now Aiden came to be at Blackheath, which I thought was very interesting and unusual. It’s amazing what we are able to learn about Aiden, given that we never meet him as truly himself. The characterisation in this book is fantastic.
There isn’t too much I can say without spoiling the story for you, so apologies if my review seems vague. I can say this; The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the most unique mystery novel I have read to date. I will without a doubt be picking up Stuart Turton’s future novels.
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