BOOK REVIEW – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

THE SEVEN DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE

RWS RATING: 4/5 STARS

RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 18TH 2018

Imagine waking up in someone else’s body? Imagine reliving the same day over & over? Now, imagine you wake up in a beautiful mansion, in someone else’s body to solve a murder? Would you give up, or would you keep going?

In Stuart Turton’s debut novel, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, the concept of self discovery, right or wrong, and ultimate sacrifice are explored within this complex mystery.

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PLOT SUMMARY

A brilliantly original high concept murder mystery from a fantastic new talent: Gosford Park meets Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express

‘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…(www.kobo.com)

OPINION

Well, this book is going to stay with me for a long time. I’ve always been a fan of mystery stories – particularly murder mysteries. This book has so much to direct, interpret, and I think it would make a perfect October book club pick! It’s got a mixture of personalities all in one setting over the course of a few days. This is important to me in a murder mystery because it really does catch you off guard in terms of who the murderer is, and also the true nature of each of the characters. When faced with such traumatic events, a person’s true colours begin to show when faced under pressure and scrutiny. The beginning of the book actually includes a cordial invitation to the Hardcastle’s Masquerade which outlines every guest that is set to attend and their relationship to each other. This was SO incredibly helpful because there are so many characters to keep track of! Aiden Bishop bounces between different “body hosts” in the book, and at times it would get confusing at what was going on, and who was involved, but at the same time…I kind of liked that! I loved the amount of personalities that were involved in this book, and how everyone can be seen as guilty or innocent depending on the situation, and the body host. It’s all about perspective, right?

Along with that, the setting of the Blackheath house, owned by the Hardcastle family is so interesting, and so vast that it’s difficult to keep track, but it keeps you on your toes! At the beginning of the novel, a map of Blackheath House is actually included, allowing the reader to reference back throughout the story.

The main protagonist in the story, Aiden Bishop, is so complex, that at times I felt so bad for everything he was going through. One moment he was invited to a party by a well known, respectable family, and the next moment he is waking up in different bodies trying to solve a murder of one of his dear friends. Not only is this a classic murder mystery in some ways, but I loved the gothic element in this story. This novel had plague doctors, footmen, and just so much mystery, suspicion, and superstition! This novel kind of reminded me of a 1930’s murder mystery, with the ghosts of Mary Shelley’s past coming to visit. 

All in all, this book was eerie, curious, and really pushed the boundaries of an ordinary murder mystery. I loved the twists, and I loved how Turton was able to conjure up such a unique story within such a beloved archetype. Turton’s writing is eloquent and crisp, and truly had me wanting to turn the page and never put the book down.

Pick this novel up if you’re looking for a murder mystery with a twist!

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton will be available September 18th 2018 at Chapters/Indigo, Kobo, Amazon, Google Books, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and this does not affect my views , opinions, or thoughts on this book.

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