The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on September 18, 2018 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 432
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The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…
The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.
A thoroughly unique and atmospheric mystery, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle has been compared to both Agatha Christie and Groundhog Day, and the combination really worked for me!
From page one, this is both intriguing and confusing. The reader is pulled into this story just as the main character forgets everything from moments before. He doesn’t remember his name, where he is, or what he is doing. And figuring it all out right alongside him is a twisty and entertaining ride.
To pull this story together, the plot is naturally complex. Each section is woven intricately with the rest to ultimately form a complete and satisfying picture at the end. And the world, it’s rules, and systems are well thought out and conveyed clearly one piece at a time. The characters, on the other hand, were where I had a bit of trouble. Although the main character is fleshed out and develops nicely from start to finish, there is quite a large cast and I started getting them confused with one another. I personally feel this could have been helped by a cast list with brief descriptions for each character.
I wouldn’t call The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle an easy read, it is one of those books that requires attention and thought. But if the synopsis intrigues you and you’re willing to put in some effort, this is a clever and original puzzle that is absolutely entertaining.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.