Reviews

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton @stu_turton @BloomsburyRaven #TheSevenDeathsofEvelynHardcastle #StuartTurton #BookReview #BookBlog

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Raven Books February 2018

Book Description

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 exploded 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 her killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest.  And someone is desperate to stop him from ever escaping Blackheath.

My Thoughts

Oh my gosh, what a book.   I am blown away by the skill of the author, he said it took 3 years to write and copious post-it notes and I can well believe it.  Undoubtedly a masterpiece in the murder / mystery genre this is one intricate read.

Now I had heard this was a complex story, so decided to read it during a quiet week, hoping to read in large chunks to maintain the flow.  Essentially Aiden is tasked with solving a murder but every day he wakes as a different person, in a different host.  He maintains his memories of the previous days and in this way he pieces together the puzzle.

But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t occasions when I got lost, I had to track back and at times I had to go with the flow, trust the story even though I couldn’t quite recall a specific piece.  And for a pedantic reader like me that was a challenge!  I did know prior to reading that this book had a complicated plot and it did, but perhaps because I knew this I actually found the plot easier than expected.  The author recaps a lot which is helpful and as the story progresses the key characters become familiar, while the day is repeated the key events and actors are consistent and this is helpful.

There was no chance in the world that I was going to solve this mystery.  I wonder does anyone?  And if I was a re reader ( I say this quite a lot – I’m not), this would definitely warrant a read again as I think lots can be missed first time round.

The writing is very good and I think this is useful because the book does start confusing, as Aiden wakes in his first host, in the midst of something which is unclear to the reader.  The plot is very strong and tight but dense and dare I say at times impenetrable!  Despite this it remained an engaging read and I became increasingly curious about the nature of the remaining hosts and the details surrounding the death of Evelyn Hardcastle.

I would strongly recommend reading this quickly, I can’t imagine being able to keep track if this was read over a protracted time period.  Would I recommend it? I think so, for sharp readers who love a strong murder mystery.  This book has had rave reviews, which I think are well deserved.  But I wonder, how important is the detail to others, I often track back to check accuracy as I am reading, do others do this?  I know some use markers or make notes, which I never do as I fear this could detract from the pleasure of reading for me, although this is a book where I could see the benefits.

Have you read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle?  Tell me in the comments, what did you think?

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 London with his wife and daughter.

6 thoughts on “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton @stu_turton @BloomsburyRaven #TheSevenDeathsofEvelynHardcastle #StuartTurton #BookReview #BookBlog

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