I bought my hardback copy of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton back in February, it was a book I spent some of my birthday money on. It has spent the last few months shouting at me to be read and I have now silenced it by finally reading it…. You will want to get our own copy and it can be bought from many book sellers and also Amazon UK I would suggest a hardback as there is a fantastic map printed on the inside front and back covers 🙂
‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’
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…
Evelyn Hardcastle has been murdered, and murdered and murdered again. How is this possible? Because each day is repeated! Aiden Bishop also re-lives this same day, can he change the outcome? Can he solve the murder?
“How the bloody hell am I going to review this?!!!!”, I said to myself when I finished this book…. because it is just a genius read and flipping fantastically fabulous… sorry for all the f-words, but at least they are all the polite ones rather than the ones I actually thought 😉
When I began reading this book it had already been open for a few minutes as I was busy scanning the map on the front cover. Then as i began the story I thought that it felt a little bit Agatha Christie like. Then a few more pages in I thought Christie didn’t write like this and that was where the similarity stopped and the style of this author came flying out. The setting of a mansion and a cast of characters that any one of which could be the murderer is what made me think Christie. But then as I learned more about Aiden it took on it’s time-loop style. It is up to Aiden to work out all the twists, knots, wrinkles and creases of this story, it is mind mindbogglingly clever….
So to the plot…..I am giving you nothing, nope not a damn thing… Not because I’m mean (some may disagree 🙄) but because I really don’t know how to explain it so that it makes sense, I mean it makes complete sense to me now as I have had time to digest and work out how it all worked out, but to try to explain it to someone who has not read the book would make it ludicrously confusing as I would be jumping back and forward, then I would be mentioning the things that I missed. This is a plot you really need to experience for yourself.
Characters, well there are a few and they are the essential part to this story. They really were a random mixed bunch, from serving staff, to lords and doctors, some I liked some I didn’t and you get a feel for who they are and what they do, but not always realising what their motives are. The one thing I did realise was the only one I could (almost) trust was Aiden, and only because it was his story but even then there is that “what is he hiding” thought.
Oh dear god! I am being so vague with this post it is ridiculous, so lets cut to the chase here. It is a book to be savoured, I took my time with it because I didn’t want to miss a single word in case I missed some crucial detail. I realised this at the beginning as I had to back track to something I had previously missed. If you take your time you will be able to digest the timings and twists as the plot gets deeper and deeper. It is a book that is so cleverly written that it beggars belief. It is one of the books you occasionally come across that is exceptionally and brilliantly crafted, one that left me a little stunned. You can also add into the mix of positives that it is extremely addictive, brilliantly atmospheric as the suspense and fear of the unknown creep and sneak around and it is so well written.
This is an absolute must read for those who love deceptive mystery and murder reads, with a great time loop twist on the classic whodunit style.
About the Author:
Stuart Turton is a freelance travel journalist who has previously worked in Shanghai and Dubai. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his debut novel. He is the winner of the Brighton and Hove Short Story Prize and was longlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition. He lives in West London with his wife.
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