Book Title and Author: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Publication Date and Publisher: September 18, 2018, by Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 432 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: August 12, 2018 (e-arc)
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…
Stuart Turton has to be a genius, really. That’s all I could think while I was reading the brilliance that is The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, well that and the fact that I was utterly mind blown.
This is not an easy review to write because I don’t want to give away too much more than the book’s synopsis since The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a book you want to go into knowing very little so you will be as shocked, amazed, engrossed, and addicted to this wildly original, clever murder mystery like I was!
While reading it, I definitely understood the comparisons to Agatha Christie’s classic whodunits since it had that old-fashioned vibe. Yet Turton’s debut is completely modern with elements of fantasy, sci-fi, psychological suspense with his own intricate and complex touches! Just so fabulous and well-done, and I can’t say that enough!
But this is so much more than a murder mystery in the conventional sense of the word as Turton has written a tale with such a complicated, multi-layered, and detailed plot where the same events keep happening over and over again! It’s a race against time for Aiden Bishop to save Evelyn Hardcastle from being repeatedly murdered and he only has 8 days to save her and only 8 host’s bodies to inhabit before times up…tick-tock!
I will be honest and say that the first 20% of the book that I was confused and wondered what the heck was going on! I had so many questions!! Who was this Anna person that kept popping up? If the book was about Evelyn, then where was she half the time? Why on earth was there a Plague Doctor at a country manor house? And what is Aiden Bishop escaping from that he even needs to stop Evelyn from dying?
Trust me, you’ll have questions, and the answers aren’t going to be handed to you either. This is not a light read, and you have to intently follow the clues Turton’s masterfully weaved throughout the novel and put on your thinking cap to actually solve this puzzle! And I rarely ever get baffled or can’t figure out who did what or what twists are coming when I read a mystery or suspense, but I never saw anything Turton threw my way! I was shocked and flabbergasted every single time, and there were times I had to reread parts to make sure that what was going on just happened because it was so wild!
Be forewarned, this book will mess with your head, but that was half the fun in my opinion! I loved the way it turned me every which way but sideways and made me feel like I was drunk on a roller coaster…not that I have any idea what that’s like, but I can imagine! Whee!
Obviously, this book is not for everyone since it takes a lot of thought and attention as you delve into it, but I already know that it’s one of my favorites, if not my favorite read of 2018. It’s dangerous, sinister, captivating, enthralling, and one of the most shrewdly written books that I’ve ever read just for its sheer uniqueness and cleverness alone! Turton has a new fan, and I’ll eagerly be watching to see how he tops his debut! Highly, highly recommend The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle!
**Thank you, NetGalley, Sourcebook Landmark, and the author for an ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review.**