The 7 12 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle review

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Review | Stuart Turton

Highly popular books often leave me dubious whether I’ll enjoy them or not. But it’s fair to say this one lived up to its expectations. The plot was unique, the characters engaging and the narration style different to what I’ve previously come across. It’s fair to say my review on The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle just proves how much I enjoyed it!

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmarks | Date: 2018 | Genre: Mystery

Plot: 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…

I received The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Review

There has been so much hype surrounding The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle that I put off reading it: hype always makes me dubious and I worried it would be disappointing.

That was a mistake.

This has been one of the strongest books I’ve read this year and I can’t recommend it enough.

It was unique, refreshing, complicated and keeps you guessing throughout. This is one of those tricky reviews to write where not only do you not want to give anything away, the premise is so complicated and caught up in itself that it’s not possible to explain it in one review.

Characters

Aiden Bishop doesn’t remember who he is. He doesn’t know what he is doing at the mysterious Blackheath, or how he got there. But he does know someone will be murdered, and it’s up to him to find the culprit. He has eight chances: eight different guests whose mind he will inhabit. I’ve never read a book where the plot is told through various characters, and at the same time you’re getting to know just one. Caught in a deadly race against time, Aiden must relive the same day eight times in his hunt for the killer.

“As a rule, I ignore half of everything he tells me,” I say distantly. “Call it a health scepticism of any wisdom delivered through a mask.”

But danger lurks in this house – and not just towards the murder victim. No one is whom they seem and Aiden has no idea who he can trust. He wants to believe he is a good man, but can’t be sure of it. Assisted by a maid known only as Anna and haunted by the Plague Doctor (a man with all the answers but forthcoming with none), Aiden must find out how far he is prepared to go – and how much is his own character and how much that of his hosts.

It’s impossible not to love Aiden, despite knowing nothing about him. He is trying so hard to do the right thing, disgusted and inspired alike by the bodies he inhabits and how they help him unravel the mystery. He has to make impossibly hard decisions and the reader – like Aiden – wants to believe that he truly is a good man.

Plot & Narration

This is one of the most intricate plots I’ve ever read. A time loop caught in itself, with each character trying to influence how the day will go; knowing that at midnight, the clock will rewind: their choices have to somehow influence events in such a way the repercussions are felt across a timeline that is far from linear. It’s the type that blows your mind a little the more you try and figure it out.

Pacing

Hats off to Mr Turton. He must have had a crazy timeline drawn up for everything to come together, seeing every event through multiple perspectives. Despite events taking place in just one day, the plot is fast-paced and you won’t want to put the book down.

Final Thoughts

This is the type of book that makes you wonder what choices you would make… A strong recommendation – the hype is worth it!

Have you read this book? Did it live up to the hype for you?

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38 thoughts on “The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Review | Stuart Turton

  1. This book is sitting on my TBR for a few months now! I’m also afraid to read it because I don’t want to get dissapointed. However seeing reviews like yours, makes me want to read it now! Great review!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy to read that a hype around a book is worth it. The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle sounds so exciting! I never heard of a book like this before. It is on my TBR now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I’m so pleased this lived up to the hype! I have been curious about it but wondering if it was just all hype and no substance for a while. I’ll definitely have to check it out now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I still haven’t read this one although it has been on my list for soo long! I already have my august tbr set, so I am thinking of moving it for september. It somehow feels like an autumn book, doesn’t it? Is it just me? :))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen a lot of talk about this book lately and nearly all of it is positive. I honestly didn’t even really know this book was out there until those reviews starting popping up. It certainly sounds like an interesting read. Going to have to add this one to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

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