The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton #BookReview

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‘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…

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Stuart Turton. Man! I don’t know how he managed to write such a maze-of-a-novel. I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything like this before!

I knew this novel was being hugely praised and it made me even more determined and ready to solve this whodunnit on my own. If you already read this novel you’ll know how ridiculous my assumption was because there is no way that you can anticipate and solve this on your own, as I figured out quite soon as well ;-). There’s so much cause and effect in this novel, so much detail that went into this grand scheme of things that it just wasn’t possible to get a clear picture of the whole puzzle. It didn’t spoil any of the fun though, there was so much to be discovered in this novel, there were new insights and revelations with every character change.

Although I loved the start of the novel I was a bit worried how the story was going to develop and if I’d be able to keep up. I felt quite confused with what was going at first… was it just me I wondered? Should I start making notes of timelines and characters? Bell seemed awfully focused on someone called Anna but I thought it was all about a woman called Evelyn Hardcastle.. and then there was quite a large cast of characters in the novel that were kept an eye on. As the story progressed everything became clear though so not to worry, if you keep going it’ll all make sense eventually, you just have to go with the flow and let the main character lead you on, it’ll all become clear as water.

I had a hunch that the present mystery and a past event were in some way connected but I didn’t know how. I also had no clue who was chasing him, trying to get him killed or who this masked man is called The Plague Doctor. He’s the one who doesn’t let him leave unless he solves the murder but also provides him with info. Is he to be trusted and who is he? Lots and lots of intriguing questions *big smiles*. The main character (Aiden) will have to use each character’s strong points to his advantage and learn as much as he can about the others in order to solve this one. I was satisfied with all the answers in the end though and it exceeded my expectations entirely.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is not an easy relaxed read, one where you’re able to have one eye on your cooking, child or husband, but you will want to keep with it when reading anyway, in the end it’s really insanely twisted!

This novel takes you on a mind-boggling trip with many many twists, secrets, and even a little sprinkle of futuristic sci-fi in it. The details of that last part were not developed but it’s not something I wished for either, the idea was enough to make it work. Even the sci-fi part was great for me, go figure!

I’m going to stop here because I could keep going on forever. I think you’ll have realised by now that this is a must-read! Don’t give up in the beginning, it’s totally worth it. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the most complex novel I’ve probably ever read. It’s incredibly clever and utterly addictive. I don’t say this often but I most definitely would love to reread this in the future even when I know – and won’t forget any time soon – how it ends and who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. It’s that good!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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75 thoughts on “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton #BookReview

  1. Great review. I really is a brilliant book isn’t it. I don’t think I’ve ever read something so complex and twisty before. I ended up keeping notes to try and make sense of it but still failed miserably in solving it. What I thought was particularly great is how Aiden ended up in the bodies of a number of less than nice characters. It’s very unusual to have an obese or violent or whatever protagonist.

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    • Me neither, I can’t believe the author could still make sense of it all when he started plotting this novel :-), and you’re right the characters weren’t very likeable but he really was confined to their bodies, it was great to see he has to resist the host’s urges and such and he uses their personal traits in his favor. Thank you Ali!!

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    • Thank you Norrie. I thought I’d never get to read this because I wasn’t approved the first time.. but then another publisher left it ‘hanging’ and finally approved me :-). I then left it a few months but I couldn’t wait any more.. I was looking forward to this so long already :-). You can read this one any time so autumn is a lovely season as well to start this one 😉

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  2. I loved your review of this, Inge! I’ve seen mixed reviews, but I wonder if it’s because of that beginning hump to get over like you described. If I read it, I’d have to choose a good time for it. I am happy this one paid off for you in the end, and it sounds like it paid off BIG! 😊

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    • Thank you Jennifer. I think so, I hadn’t read about any struggles from others but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who struggled a bit with the first two, three characters and who was who… you have to give it time to make sense.. it will and it’s so worth waiting for.. don’t give up is all I can say if you decide to read it and I do hope you give it a chance 🙂 You can then join the fanclub 😉

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  3. Yours is the second enthusiastic review of this one, Inge! So I’ve moved this one off my Wish List and put it on my to Buy list instead. As it sounds like the perfect combination of thriller, sf, and who did it!

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      • You’re welcome! It was definitely worth reading! Thanks! I’ve so badly got to get caught up on reviews it’s not funny, lol. I’ve just been happily reading my ARCs one after another and now the release dates are coming up the next couple of weeks and I think I have 10 reviews to write (I’m glad I took notes so I can remember what the books are about Haha).

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  4. I have a big smile on my face because you loved this book so much. I haven’t read it yet, and I have heard great things of course, but your praise really makes me feel like I’ve missed out by not having read it already!
    Wonderful-wonderful review, your love for this title truly shines through!

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  5. Fantastic review! I just finished this one as well the other day and I’m still picking up the piece of my mindblown brain… My review is a real mess; maybe I should just like to yours and add the ‘read the damn book’ comment below haha. This book might have ruined any future thrillers for me… How on earth can they still be satisfying after Evelyn Hardcastle raised the bar that high?

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  6. Amazing review Inge! I’m so glad you loved it like I did, it really is one of the best and innovative books these days! 🙂 I was really afraid to spoil the book in my review, because basically everything starting chapter 2 is a bang and a new discovery, and I enjoyed each one so much, but now that I’ve read your review I feel like I could re-read it without worries, it’s so complex it mind-boggles you straight away. 🙂 I was really amazed at how Turton accomplished this feat, and at one point I was even doubting if he himself knew where the threads connect. 😀 Especially at the point where (I’ll try to be as vague as possible to avoid spoilers) Aiden is approached by another guest and told that he’ll be his future host, and that they need to work together to escape, and so I wrote down all the hosts and there was one extra, and I was like ha! I got you Turton, you made a mistake! Should have pointed my brain in another direction hahaha. 😀

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    • I’m going to wait a while before re-reading but I wonder if I will grasp it all much sooner the second time.. would I enjoy it more or less… it’s something to look forward to to find out. Haha I didn’t even try to outsmart Turton but wonderful that you gave it a shot! I wonder what he’ll write next, I hope for his sake that he writes something completely different that can’t be compared to this in any way. Thank you so much Marina!

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  10. Great review, but this book was one of the worst I’ve read all year. It started excellently, but it was too confusing and sidetracked too much. It had a plot of a soap-opera, not a mind-boggling Inception-like intelligence.

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    • Oh I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for you at all. I had no expectations and didn’t know what I was going to get at all (I heard a lot of raving but that doesn’t make me less sceptical) so I was very surprised how it all fit together. An extra thanks for still reading my review then!

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