The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed--again. She's been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden's only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend--but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Details

TitleThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 8th, 2018
PublisherRaven Books
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Review

  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 maybe it is just me? But never the less confusing stars🌟🌟🌟The concept of this book was really quite brilliant... A little reminiscent of both Life After Life and Ground Hog Day.... with the added little twist of the body swapping....Admittedly it is holiday time and I was not as focused on this book as I needed to be.... so as far as me being confused throughout the majority of this book, it could very likely just be a me problem.... I kept needing to go back and reread parts because I reall 3.5 maybe it is just me? But never the less confusing stars🌟🌟🌟The concept of this book was really quite brilliant... A little reminiscent of both Life After Life and Ground Hog Day.... with the added little twist of the body swapping....Admittedly it is holiday time and I was not as focused on this book as I needed to be.... so as far as me being confused throughout the majority of this book, it could very likely just be a me problem.... I kept needing to go back and reread parts because I really got lost as to what body Aidan was in at what time..... I was also a little bit overwhelmed keeping track of all the characters and what part they played in the story, but again it could have been me!I liked the premise, I really was intrigued by the mystery, I just was not invested enough to probably grasp the full concept.... additionally I had a huge expectation of a fabulous ending that would make all of this make complete sense to me, and that sadly did not happen for me.....So while I found this book very clever in concept, I found it a little... ok really a lot confusing for me.... The good news is this book is not released until September, so I might give it another chance this summer when I can be a little more focused and give it the proper attention it probably deserves...*** i’d like to thank Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review *** This was a Traveling Sister read, that left Norma, Marie Alyce, and myself baffled... truly think it was bad timing, definitely not a holiday read! But thanks ladies for making me realize I was not alone in this! 😘You can find all the Traveling Sisters reviews at Norma and Brenda’s fabulous blog... https://twogirlslostinacouleereading....
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Stuart Turton has written an extraordinarily original, atmospheric, intelligent and fiendishly complex novel that I really loved! At one level it masquerades as an Agatha Christie style golden age classic crime, and indeed many of the tropes present in that genre are here such as the diverse range of characters at a country house party. It is no exaggeration to say it is so much more, including the presence of time leaps, and absolutely nothing is as it seems. Prior to the murder of Evelyn Hardc Stuart Turton has written an extraordinarily original, atmospheric, intelligent and fiendishly complex novel that I really loved! At one level it masquerades as an Agatha Christie style golden age classic crime, and indeed many of the tropes present in that genre are here such as the diverse range of characters at a country house party. It is no exaggeration to say it is so much more, including the presence of time leaps, and absolutely nothing is as it seems. Prior to the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle, there was another death 19 years ago where justice was not fully served. Aiden Bishop is a guest at the party where Evelyn is murdered, he is trapped in a nightmarish Groundhog Day, destined to relive that day until he solves the crime and identifies the murderer. Each day he takes on the body of a different character at the party, with all the consequent complications that ensue, such as the differing friend circles and enemies.Turton gives us a heavily detailed, inventive and ambitious story with beautiful, and lyrical prose. Whilst I found it compulsive reading, it is not a book for everyone, I can see many finding it frustrating. The author is to be congratulated for penning a tale, which whilst occasionally exasperating, allows the reader to exercise their little grey cells! This is a book for those who enjoy being taken out of their comfort zone, enjoy intriguing puzzles and have a penchant for the curious and the strange. A brilliant and twisted read that is never less than enthralling. Many thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC.
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  • Norma
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars 🌟 I have no idea how I actually feel about this one!This was probably one of the most confusing and complex novels that I have ever read. I actually quite enjoyed the premise of this story as it definitely was quite clever and really made me think but in the end I was a little disappointed with the “what just happened?” ending which left me feeling a little unsatisfied. I felt a little bit cheated as I was so hoping the ending would have been just as complex and clever as the rest of t 3.5 stars 🌟 I have no idea how I actually feel about this one!This was probably one of the most confusing and complex novels that I have ever read. I actually quite enjoyed the premise of this story as it definitely was quite clever and really made me think but in the end I was a little disappointed with the “what just happened?” ending which left me feeling a little unsatisfied. I felt a little bit cheated as I was so hoping the ending would have been just as complex and clever as the rest of the novel but for me it just seemed a little too easy.This was a Traveling Sisters Read that I read along with Berit and Marialyce. We all ended up having pretty much the same thoughts and conclusions upon finishing this book.Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Stuart Turton and Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our blog:https://twogirlslostinacouleereading....
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Groundhog Day Meets Agatha Christie was all I needed to hear to be completely positively intrigued by this book. I had an absolute blast reading this and trying (and failing) to figure things out. Aiden Bishop wakes up in a body that is not his with no memory at all. He learns that he will wake up on this same day 8 times in 8 different hosts to solve a murder that will occur in the evening. We follow him chronologically (from his perspective), but everything is always happening at once. There a Groundhog Day Meets Agatha Christie was all I needed to hear to be completely positively intrigued by this book. I had an absolute blast reading this and trying (and failing) to figure things out. Aiden Bishop wakes up in a body that is not his with no memory at all. He learns that he will wake up on this same day 8 times in 8 different hosts to solve a murder that will occur in the evening. We follow him chronologically (from his perspective), but everything is always happening at once. There are two others trying to solve the same murder and he will have to figure out who is on his side and who isn’t. This is such a staggeringly brilliant premise that is then executed stunningly.Stuart Turton juggles many moving parts in a way that makes it relatively easy for the reader to follow along. He has all his moving pieces coming together beautifully and effortlessly and I think this is the biggest strength of this very strong book: this could have been a confusing mess but never was. The different versions of Aiden Bishop feel distinct enough to be complete characters while there is also a piece of him that is always recognizable. I adored the ruminations on identity and responsiblity, with a strong emphasis on action rather than personality.Aiden Bishop has an incredible disdain for his hosts, who to be fair are mostly unpleasant, but I sometimes found his descriptions unnecessarily cruel, especially regarding one of his host’s overweight body. He went into detailed description of why this body was disgusting and this just did not sit well with me – especially when juxtaposed with his descriptions of another of his hosts (who is a rapist) who he also hates but not that viscerally. It makes sense from an in-book-perspective (his hosts’ personalities influence his reactions and the rapist sees nothing wrong with his behaviour) but still did not work for me. But this was a slight issue I had in the grand scheme of this highly enjoyable book.I found this extremely clever, very well-written, and exceptionally well-plotted. I cannot wait to hold a finished copy in my hands to reread parts of this to find the hidden clues that I might have missed in my rush to finish this and to know. I cannot wait what Stuart Turton writes next._____I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing in exchange for an honest review.You can find this review and other thoughts on my blog: https://ihavethoughtsonbooks.wordpres...
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 very disjointed and disappointing stars.When reading this book, I felt like I needed a road map or a gps system to navigate through the various occurrences happening. It was one of the most confusing books I have ever read and because of this confusion, the message which I think the author was trying to relate got lost.Having someone or in this case someones change identity and become someone else on a daily basis made one feel as if they never really got to know exactly who the characters w 2.5 very disjointed and disappointing stars.When reading this book, I felt like I needed a road map or a gps system to navigate through the various occurrences happening. It was one of the most confusing books I have ever read and because of this confusion, the message which I think the author was trying to relate got lost.Having someone or in this case someones change identity and become someone else on a daily basis made one feel as if they never really got to know exactly who the characters were as one tried to figure out what clues each one of them had to reveal what exactly happened to Evelyn Hardcastle.As the novel continues, it poured more and more bewilderment onto the reader. For as many pages as this novel had with its twists and turns, it ended with a less than stellar conclusion. I kept hoping there would be an "ah ha" moment when all would be revealed and ultimately make sense of what was constantly muddled and meandering.So, in essence I do not recommend this book. It had an interesting concept, but its delivery left much to be desired.Thanks to the sisters who muddled their way through this one with me.Thanks also to the author, the publisher and netgalley for providing an advanced copy for an unbiased review.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    What just happened 👀 Now it's clear that Stuart Turton doesn't mind setting himself a challenge. Keeping track of what the hell is going on is challenging enough as a reader, I cannot imagine the effort and planning it must have taken to put it all together as a writer. Imagine: there's a kind of Groundhog Day repetition in different bodies, a multiple murder mystery/investigation, a multitude of characters, an escape plan, an evil footman, time slips and body jumps, potential friends and enemie What just happened 👀 Now it's clear that Stuart Turton doesn't mind setting himself a challenge. Keeping track of what the hell is going on is challenging enough as a reader, I cannot imagine the effort and planning it must have taken to put it all together as a writer. Imagine: there's a kind of Groundhog Day repetition in different bodies, a multiple murder mystery/investigation, a multitude of characters, an escape plan, an evil footman, time slips and body jumps, potential friends and enemies depending on which body the main character is in and the current part of the day... If you walked into this guy's study during this book's creation it must have looked like a weird chaos created by someone who is borderline psychotic. This is both the strength and the weakness of the resulting work. I am awed by the technique, the construction, the effort...yet left entirely cold by the characters. That's not to say they weren't memorable or well done, each of the bodies which Aiden inhabits has their own attributes that affects their behaviour/language/patterns of thinking, which then influences the way Aiden behaves/speaks/thinks, while underlying that is his own 'true' self trying to push through. It's clever. And yet I couldn't care less about him or why he was there, even less about the 19 year old murder or the coming death of Every Hardcastle. Perhaps I was so invested in following the literary details, so focused on the act of creation, that there was nothing left for the story. In any case, the ending left something to be desired, much sappier than I expected from the writer who showed so much attention to detail and wild invention throughout the rest of the book. I gave it 4 stars because I appreciate when authors try to push the boundaries of narrative style, but the story itself was more like 3.ARC via Netgalley.
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  • Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4.7⭐„Now do you see? Escape isn’t to be found at the end of this dirt road; it’s through me. So run if you must. Run until you can’t stand, and when you wake up in Blackheath again and again, do so in the knowledge that nothing here is arbitrary, nothing overlooked, You’ll stay here until I decide otherwise.” Story ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Imagine you’re in a body you don’t know. You don’t remember your name, your age, nothing.You have an empty memory. You only remember one name - Anna and that you’v Actual rating: 4.7⭐️„Now do you see? Escape isn’t to be found at the end of this dirt road; it’s through me. So run if you must. Run until you can’t stand, and when you wake up in Blackheath again and again, do so in the knowledge that nothing here is arbitrary, nothing overlooked, You’ll stay here until I decide otherwise.” Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Imagine you’re in a body you don’t know. You don’t remember your name, your age, nothing.You have an empty memory. You only remember one name - Anna and that you’ve seen a murder and the murderer led you to this home. You wake up every day in another body, another name, another life and another view of the same day you living over again and again. Then you meet the master of your inner prison and he tells you that you can only get back to yourself and out of Blackcastle if you do what he asks you to. Solve the crime, find the murderer. But be aware, the game itself is full of secrets. It’s a book full of riddles, mysteries and questions you can’t answer straight away.When he or she first changed bodies on the other day I was so exited. It was so intense and gripping. The whole story seems like a roller coaster giving hope and ripping it apart only to give a hint and destroy it. It’s absolutely unpredictable and the whole concept is amazing 👌🏻 brilliant 👏🏻Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️It’s different to describe characters when they change every day in this book. But they all seemed interesting, intriguing and mysterious. They all had their secrets and that made the story so much more enjoyable. Writing style ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️It was written beautifully in a nearly poetical way. It was like a crime, a riddle and a book full of beautiful phrases I needed to capture.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Nineteen years before the events in this novel, a young boy was killed by a groundskeeper at Blackheath House. Someone else was involved in the crime, but escaped detection. Now, Lord Peter and Lady Helena Hardcastle are opening up Blackheath House again and hosting a party for their daughter, Evelyn, on her return from Paris. However, all is not what it seems in this original, and ambitious, novel. For it was Evelyn’s young brother, Thomas, who was killed and all of the guests invited were at t Nineteen years before the events in this novel, a young boy was killed by a groundskeeper at Blackheath House. Someone else was involved in the crime, but escaped detection. Now, Lord Peter and Lady Helena Hardcastle are opening up Blackheath House again and hosting a party for their daughter, Evelyn, on her return from Paris. However, all is not what it seems in this original, and ambitious, novel. For it was Evelyn’s young brother, Thomas, who was killed and all of the guests invited were at the house party when the tragedy occurred.For those who imagine that this is a type of Golden Age mystery, you will find this is something rather different. The cast of characters may fit the casting – a Lord and Lady, family solicitors, a retired naval officer, a professional gambler, a banker and various other guests, most used to a life of leisure and weekends away… However, despite the many servants, it is obvious that this is not a usual house party. The house is in decline; unused, unopened until this weekend. It exudes an air of sadness, despair and neglect. Plus, as the novel continues, there is an atmosphere of a dream gone wrong and events cause one man in particular to tumble into a nightmare. One guest finds himself caught up in this waking nightmare. For a murder will occur at the ball and he has to solve it, in order to escape. During this nightmarish week, he will continue to wake as a different character at the house and he needs to solve the murder in order to escape the cycle. This really is a dark novel, where events recur and our main character constantly has to relive the same day, while trying to discover what happened; not only at the ball, but all those years ago when the original murder occurred. This is an interesting read, which offers something different and has a really interesting idea at the core of the book. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 30%. Too strange and confusing to keep my interest.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a mastercraft in historical fiction, unlike anything I've read since Agatha Christie. Evelyn is going to be killed. Again. Every night her murder goes unsolved, the gala party where she dies restarts and Andrew is always too late to save her. The writing is hugely atmospheric, and sets the scene perfectly. The descriptions are rich and detailed. It's almost like stepping back in time and being with these characters, living I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a mastercraft in historical fiction, unlike anything I've read since Agatha Christie. Evelyn is going to be killed. Again. Every night her murder goes unsolved, the gala party where she dies restarts and Andrew is always too late to save her. The writing is hugely atmospheric, and sets the scene perfectly. The descriptions are rich and detailed. It's almost like stepping back in time and being with these characters, living (and dying) amongst them. The plot is also quite unique in that the story is told over and over with Andrew taking the role of a different character every night with small hints and clues drip fed throughout, almost like a historical 'Groundhog Day' meets 'Cluedo'. However, the plot can never be taken at face value, as nothing is really as it seems and characters constantly surprised me. It's not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination - there's twist and mysteries that left me completely baffled and had me desperate to understand what was going on, but that's what makes this such a compelling read. You really want to know what happens, as you try to draw conclusions before Andrew. I found I was especially drawn to Evelyn, and as her story unravels I felt a need to know who killed her. That said, at times I felt a disconnection with some of the other characters as I was mainly so invested in Andrew and Evelyn, and sometimes it took a while for me to get my head round Andrew as a new person with different mannerisms every night. Still, I thought this was like a breath of fresh air for the mystery genre. Different and exciting.
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  • Faye*
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI thought this book was GREAT. The review will be up once the book is published.Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    My brain is melting!Devilishly clever and a work of pure f****** genius.I can't even begin to fathom how to review this one without any kind of spoilers so I'm not even going to try. For a start I'm still working through the puzzle that is this enigma - like a rubix cube in book form just when you are cheering yourself quietly for getting all the blue squares on one side you realise you still have yellow, red and green to go and any attempt to get all of those behaving properly naturally unravel My brain is melting!Devilishly clever and a work of pure f****** genius.I can't even begin to fathom how to review this one without any kind of spoilers so I'm not even going to try. For a start I'm still working through the puzzle that is this enigma - like a rubix cube in book form just when you are cheering yourself quietly for getting all the blue squares on one side you realise you still have yellow, red and green to go and any attempt to get all of those behaving properly naturally unravels the blue and puts you back where you started.There are many things I loved about this one - Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day with a splash of Conan-Doyle type dastardly plotting, plus a hint of the Dr Sam Beckett all within an old school setting , with quirky, believable and engaging characters. As if that wasn't enough this twisted tale of murder and skulduggery doesn't end up all caught up in itself leaving the author floundering for a resolution that makes sense (hey we've all read THOSE books) but rather messes with your perception of things then turns it all around into an intelligent and thought provoking finish.Like I said - a work of pure f****** genius. That is all.
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  • Lucy Banks
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.A hugely ambitious, intricately plotted book, with some confusing parts!The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of those books that has a premise so startling and impressive, that it just begs to be explored. A man finds himself caught on loop, repeating a single day of a murder - the only difference being, he must complete each day as a different person, and solve the mystery before time runs out.Firstly, it's I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.A hugely ambitious, intricately plotted book, with some confusing parts!The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of those books that has a premise so startling and impressive, that it just begs to be explored. A man finds himself caught on loop, repeating a single day of a murder - the only difference being, he must complete each day as a different person, and solve the mystery before time runs out.Firstly, it's important to note that this is a significant tome - and takes a long time to get through. Small wonder really, as the author has an awful lot of information to get in there. So, what's good about it? Lots, actually. The book has an overall 'whodunnit' feel to it, with the mystery unravelling slowly throughout, and for the most part, I found myself compelled to keep reading... I wanted to know the outcome!I also thought the characterisation was marvellous. I loved the notion of the different 'hosts' and how their personalities affected the protagonist's decisions and actions; that was very clever indeed. The jumping between them all got a little confusing in places, but I think I mostly managed to keep up with who was who.The only minor niggles I have with this book are to do with length and the ending. I thought it could have done with tighter editing; getting to the crux of the plot rather than having such lengthly lead-ins - there were a few sections that I felt didn't really contribute to the overall narrative that much. Also, the ending was bizarre. I felt a little short-changed, because I wanted to know more about Anna, yet that information was largely withheld; instead we're only thrown a tantalising mini-carrot about who she really is - nothing more than a throwaway paragraph really, which was disappointing. However, overall, this was a really compelling, engaging read - and as for plotting it all out - author, I salute you! It must have taken forever to map out a plot that complex.
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  • Sara➽ (Ink Is My Sword)
    January 1, 1970
    WTF. I am so surprised I was granted an arc copy, I was so sure I was gonna be rejected on this one. SO EXCITED!! Thank you sweet NetGalley powerful spirit who heard my wants.
  • Victoria Rose
    January 1, 1970
    Do you like murder mysteries? Time travel?? Body swapping? Black Mirror?? Then this is the book for you, my friends. I'm not usually the biggest fan of mystery novels - aside from Sherlock Holmes, I haven't read that many. So, about halfway through this book, I was thinking that although the content and the writing of this novel deserves more like 4 stars, I would probably be rating it 3, due to my personal preferences. HOWEVER, Stuart Turton changed my mind. This is a really weird book, with A Do you like murder mysteries? Time travel?? Body swapping? Black Mirror?? Then this is the book for you, my friends. I'm not usually the biggest fan of mystery novels - aside from Sherlock Holmes, I haven't read that many. So, about halfway through this book, I was thinking that although the content and the writing of this novel deserves more like 4 stars, I would probably be rating it 3, due to my personal preferences. HOWEVER, Stuart Turton changed my mind. This is a really weird book, with A LOT of content. We begin as an unnamed man (later named Aiden) inhabiting the body of a guest attending a gala at Blackheath Manor. He is given the task of solving the murder (which looks to everybody like a suicide) of Evelyn Hardcastle, the lady of the house. To help him solve this murder, he will have 8 days in 8 separate hosts, all of whom are guests at the gala, with their own personalities, relationships, and abilities which may help or hinder our hero. There's also a mysterious woman named Anna, who looks to be in the same boat as Aiden and who seems to help him during his investigation, and a creepy footman, who is intent on murdering all of Aiden's hosts before he can solve the crime. PLUS, there's a fellow in a creepy plague doctor outfit who turns up every now and then to give Aiden some vague hints and clues. So, there's a lot going on. Not only is there a murder to solve, but we also don't know who Aiden is, why he's solving this murder, and who else might be serving to help him or impede him (in occasionally violent ways). It does take some work to stay with it - at one point I felt like I was drowning in different characters and mysteries- but it is SO WORTH IT. By the 60% mark I was absolutely hooked, and was kept up far past my bedtime finishing this bizarre, intricate novel.Turton's writing is really, really good. It boggles my mind to think about how long this must have taken him to plot out - I can barely hold everything in my head as a reader, never mind as an author. His plotting is incredibly well thought out, and the ending wraps everything up very well without any plot holes that I can see. This is really a huge achievement, since as I said, there is SO MUCH going on ALL THE TIME. Aiden's hosts are all clearly separate people with their own personalities, and Turton manages to blend them with Aiden in believable ways. He also has some really lovely turns of phrases:Nothing like a mask to reveal somebody's true nature.Storm clouds of embarrassment drift across his grey face.Age is coiling around me, its fangs in my neck, drawing my strength when I need it most.My mind is a stuffed trunk that needs unpacking.This time the past will hold her hand and squeeze.So not only is the mystery very well concocted, but the writing is also really good. I honestly cannot recommend this enough for lovers of mysteries and crime thrillers. The pleasure of unpacking this massive mystery even pulled me, a non-mystery lover, very firmly into the story. Stick with the relatively slow and very confusing first half, because the second half moves so fast and gets so intense that I was really, really pleased I'd forced my brain into keeping up. Plus, the ending is so mind boggling that now I want a sequel (please).PS. This is not The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It is just a bizarrely similar title and deserves more recognition!
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed via the Hardback US Edition (The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle) - No idea why Goodreads doesn't just put them together. I was apparently currently reading both.
  • Blair
    January 1, 1970
    This mind-bending body-hopping mystery is like the result of some unholy union between The Bone Clocks, The River of No Return and a Golden Age crime classic. It begins with a man finding himself running through a forest in evening dress, with no idea who or where he is. He remembers nothing but a name – Anna – and when he sees a girl being attacked in the woods, he assumes this is Anna and he must save her. He gives chase, but is intercepted by a stranger who gives him a compass and an instruct This mind-bending body-hopping mystery is like the result of some unholy union between The Bone Clocks, The River of No Return and a Golden Age crime classic. It begins with a man finding himself running through a forest in evening dress, with no idea who or where he is. He remembers nothing but a name – Anna – and when he sees a girl being attacked in the woods, he assumes this is Anna and he must save her. He gives chase, but is intercepted by a stranger who gives him a compass and an instruction to head east. This leads him to a gathering at a grand, albeit faded, country pile: Blackheath, home to the Hardcastle family. Piece by piece, our hero (if that's what he is) starts to put together what's going on, aided by the guidance of a mysterious costumed figure known as 'the Plague Doctor'. This particular day ends in tragedy, and it is doomed to repeat until the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle can be solved. Every time the narrator sleeps, he wakes up in the body of a different 'host' – but he is restricted to eight of these before time runs out and the whole thing resets, with his memory wiped again. I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been to plan out the plot of something like this, orchestrating the interactions between a huge cast of characters when their actions are supposed to be repeating... and some of them are the same man in different bodies. It's mind-bogglingly intricate. However, it's also quite bloated and, despite there being a lot going on, the narrative frequently drags. At many points I found myself growing impatient, daydreaming about a heavily edited version of the book; it could've been slimmed down to half its length. And then there's the ending. When you actually think about it – how Aiden's connection to Anna is explained and resolved, and what that would mean outside Blackheath – it is insane and ludicrous and it falls apart within seconds. But the genius of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is that it really makes you want to know what happens. Even when I was pretty bored, I could not give up without finding out whether the theory I developed circa page 29 was correct. (I think it was, but I'm still not entirely sure? Or maybe I just guessed something that was obvious anyway?) And the more I read, the more theories I came up with. There's always just enough to keep you hooked until the end of the next chapter, and the next, and so on.All in all: a fabulous concept, ponderously executed. The story has some great moments, but I'm not sure I can truly recommend wading through 500 pages of it.I received an advance review copy of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Every reader knows that, every once in a while, a book comes along that reminds you just how much you love reading, and that is absolutely what The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle did for me. I’ve read a few other books this year that I adored, but not many, and most of them were slow reads where I was pausing frequently to savour all the emotion they stirred u First of all, I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Every reader knows that, every once in a while, a book comes along that reminds you just how much you love reading, and that is absolutely what The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle did for me. I’ve read a few other books this year that I adored, but not many, and most of them were slow reads where I was pausing frequently to savour all the emotion they stirred up - it’s been far too long since the last time a book had me so hooked that I was loath to put it down for even a moment. And then I started Seven Deaths, and was utterly unable to stop: I flew through the pages, reading the latter 90% of the book in 2 days flat, during which time I managed to a) be late for work; b) almost forget to have dinner; c) stay up too late to finish it - if that’s not a glowing review, I don’t know what is!But enough about me and my reading experience - let’s get into the reasons why this book is so great.The most important thing you need to know about it is that it is diabolically, ridiculously clever. This is a murder mystery, but with a time-travelling, body-swapping twist - as you’ll know if you’ve read the summary, our protagonist Aiden Bishop is doomed to re-live the day of Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder at her parents’ crumbling mansion until he solves the mystery of who killed her, and each day he wakes up in the body of a different guest or servant, reliving the day from their perspective and using their skills to help him in his investigation. What a concept, am I right?The scope and ambition are just staggering - the amount of planning and care that went into this novel shines through every page, as Stuart Turton juggles nigh infinite plotlines, timelines, reveals, characters, secrets and lies with apparent ease. But despite the astonishingly intricate plot, there is no loose thread left dangling, no avenue of possibility left unexplored, not a single plot hole that I picked up on. It’s astounding, even more so for the fact that it’s a debut novel.It also gave me a new appreciation for the combination of a first-person narrative told in the present tense - it’s so rarely done right that I usually groan inwardly every time I open a new book and see it on the first page. But here, it was perfect - the reader shares every moment of doubt and confusion that Aiden feels, making for a truly immersive reading experience. This novel simply wouldn’t have worked if it was written any other way, because the true joy of it is that feeling of having been plunged into the sinister world of Blackheath yourself, so that the characters’ desperation to solve the mystery almost becomes your own; no other writing style could have pitched the tension that sings through every page so perfectly. Plus, Aiden’s narrative voice is absolutely wonderful.I’m actually really struggling with this review, because there are so many reveals and twists that saying much more about the plot would inevitably lead into spoiler territory, but I will say that while it would be more than reasonable to recommend this book simply based on the cleverness of the plot - which is, as I may have mentioned once or twice, an utter delight - there is also an emotional heart to the story. Identity is the key theme that runs through the core of this book, from the very first page to the closing words, and not just because Aiden wakes up as a different person each day, although that is of course a large part of it - after all, how can he hold onto himself when he’s wearing someone else’s face and mind? But also, who is he outside of Blackheath? How does a person change when they don a mask? Is anyone’s personality ever set in stone, and is it possible to find redemption through changing who you are? This is a fast-paced firecracker of a novel (aside from the first 60 pages or so, which are mostly slower, though just as suspenseful), but it’s scattered with beautiful moments of quiet reflection, too.All in all, I was delighted by The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - it was such a unique, mind-bending reading experience that I truly don’t know how any other murder mystery will ever live up to it. (I’ve also been dreaming about murder mysteries for the past two nights - make of that what you will). The ending wasn’t actually my favourite part of the story (which is unusual, as the ending is the strongest part of almost all of my other favourite books), but the wild ride leading up to it was exhilarating, page-turning, utterly addictive reading. I could not recommend this book any more highly.
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  • Joanne Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    When The Grumpy Scotsman and I were first married we had a favourite tv series that we were addicted to and that we never missed. It was called Quantum Leap and was about a scientist called Dr Sam Beckett who travelled in time ending up in different bodies and righting the wrongs in their lives before “leaping” into the next person. He ended each episode looking at his new face in the mirror and saying “Oh boy..” And that’s how I felt when I finished this book except replace “Oh boy” with OMFG!! When The Grumpy Scotsman and I were first married we had a favourite tv series that we were addicted to and that we never missed. It was called Quantum Leap and was about a scientist called Dr Sam Beckett who travelled in time ending up in different bodies and righting the wrongs in their lives before “leaping” into the next person. He ended each episode looking at his new face in the mirror and saying “Oh boy..” And that’s how I felt when I finished this book except replace “Oh boy” with OMFG!!! Honestly, my mind was completely blown by the unique and quirky premise here and I think I would probably now have to describe this book as Quantum Leap meets Doctor Who via Groundhog Day with a shot of Agatha Christie! But whatever you see this book compared to, you really do need to read it yourself because you have to experience one of the most unusual but amazing books you will have ever read.I’m not even going to attempt to explain the plot here! There is no way I could convey in a few sentences what the author has obviously spent months planning with his complex timelines and interwoven plot threads. You just need to know that a murder is going to be committed and one of the houseguests at a countryhouse party is going to have to live each day again as one of the other guests until he solves the crime. So each evening he will watch Evelyn Hardcastle die and be unable to prevent her death. The only way to stop his nightmare is to work out who is responsible and why!I would recommend reading this in huge chunks like I did as there is just so much information to take in initially that you really do need to get your head around the unique concept at the heart of this mystery. And it doesn’t necessarily follow through in chronological order either so you need to keep your eye on the ball. But although it is a long book it never seems to drag as you quite quickly become immersed in the plot as you try to work out what is happening at the same time as the poor unsuspecting soul who has discovered that his role within the confines of his society is not what he was expecting. Much as this book was not what I expected either! It’s a sumptuous tapestry, intricately woven so that up close it looks simple and one dimensional but as you draw your eyes away, the full picture starts to become clear. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a vibrant and exciting debut that will surprise and delight it’s readers with both its originality and its classy delivery. Well worth checking out!
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    This is a work of genius. One of the best books I've ever read. It's not often I can read over 400 pages in one day but I did it with this one.
  • Anna Stephens
    January 1, 1970
    I had the huge good fortune to receive an ARC of this from the author's agent. Seven Deaths is ... mind-boggling. I'm not sure I've ever been boggled quite so thoroughly as with this book. I suspected every single character at Blackheath of Evelyn's murder during my reading of this novel, with the exception, as it turned out, of the actual murderer. It's incredibly difficult to write a review that doesn't include spoilers, because things are revealed to the main character, Aiden Bishop, almost e I had the huge good fortune to receive an ARC of this from the author's agent. Seven Deaths is ... mind-boggling. I'm not sure I've ever been boggled quite so thoroughly as with this book. I suspected every single character at Blackheath of Evelyn's murder during my reading of this novel, with the exception, as it turned out, of the actual murderer. It's incredibly difficult to write a review that doesn't include spoilers, because things are revealed to the main character, Aiden Bishop, almost every single chapter. By the end, both Aiden and the reader are juggling so many different snippets of information, and we've been led down so many different rabbit holes of suspicion, that the final chapters unravel in a barrage of befuddlement and dawning realisation that oh my god I didn't see that coming. The second realisation swiftly follows and goes thusly: Stuart Turton IS A FIEND. His mind isn't a steel trap, it's a labyrinth, and quite frankly, a terrifying one at that. I can only begin to imagine the wall-sized diagrams he must have had to sketch to ensure every plotline and secret and accusation and accident and slip of the tongue was resolved. Boggled, I tell you. Absolutely boggled. Add this one to the to be read, people. You won't regret it.
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  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    Utterly utterly brilliant, a mind-twisting tale the like if which you rarely come across. Very highly recommended.
  • Whispering Stories
    January 1, 1970
    Book Reviewed by Stacey on www.whisperingstories.comAiden Bishop awakes to find himself, or rather the body of someone else, in a forest and hears himself shouting the name Anna, although he doesn’t know who Anna is. He knows that he isn’t in his own body, but he can’t remember who he really is. He then hears a woman’s voice shouting for help, the echo of a gunshot and a woman dead on the floor. A man appears and tells him to go east and drops a silver compass into his pocket.Heading east he soo Book Reviewed by Stacey on www.whisperingstories.comAiden Bishop awakes to find himself, or rather the body of someone else, in a forest and hears himself shouting the name Anna, although he doesn’t know who Anna is. He knows that he isn’t in his own body, but he can’t remember who he really is. He then hears a woman’s voice shouting for help, the echo of a gunshot and a woman dead on the floor. A man appears and tells him to go east and drops a silver compass into his pocket.Heading east he soon arrives at a big house, Blackheath. He gets a shock though when the residents know who he is, Sebastian Bell the local doctor. He is taken upstairs to his room where the occupants quickly realise he has lost his mind, hopefully temporary. He tries to get them to call the police about the murder, but instead they tell him they will send out a search party to see if they can find the woman, but no woman is ever found.A man dressed as a medieval plague doctor appears before him. He tells Aiden to enjoy himself at Blackheath as the ‘footman’ will find him soon. It transpires that there will be a party at Blackheath, one where Evelyn Hardcastle will be shot and killed. It is up to Aiden to solve the murder, once he has done, he can return to his own life.It also transpires that at midnight each night he will become a different guest, the day will start again and Evelyn will be shot again, He has seven days to find the murderer. There are also other guests in the house who are not themselves, but Aiden doesn’t know which ones. Each of them has been set the same task and only one of them will get their old life back – the one who finds the murderer. That is as long as the footman doesn’t work out who they are and kill them first.The race is on for Aiden to be the first to find the killer, so he can be released from Blackheath and back to himself again. A question still remains though, who is Anna?The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a gripping and intense novel. It demands your full attention as there is a lot of information to take in and quite a few people to remember (there is a list of the characters at the start so you can keep track). It is not a book you can pick up, read a few pages and put down again, but it is so worth it.It opens with a bang and then the storyline slows down as nothing much happens apart from Aiden trying to work out who he is. It takes a while for it to get into the actual plot regarding the murder of Evelyn, but once it does, this is where the story picks up tenfold, and the part where I became glued to the pages.It is in essence an old fashioned ‘who-done-it’, but written in a modern way, whilst the plot is definitely not set in the modern day. It is a mixture of genres, all rolled into one, Crime, Sci-fi, Drama, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller, and of course a Detective novel, without a trained detective. A complete mix that works seamlessly together.It is filled to the brim with red herrings, twist and turns, and a plot that you are never sure where Mr. Turton is going to take you. This is a puzzle that you will be eager to solve, so make yourself comfy this is going to be one hell of a journey!
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  • Robin Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    I read a lot of historical murder mysteries, but I've never read anything like this. It's simply astonishing, beautifully layered, wildly clever and terrifying, and it plays with the murder mystery genre in a completely new way. I really do wish I'd written this book, but I'll have to settle for being its huge fan instead. 16+ (for pretty graphic violence)*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without askin I read a lot of historical murder mysteries, but I've never read anything like this. It's simply astonishing, beautifully layered, wildly clever and terrifying, and it plays with the murder mystery genre in a completely new way. I really do wish I'd written this book, but I'll have to settle for being its huge fan instead. 16+ (for pretty graphic violence)*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I don't want to spoil this, so I probably won't write a full review until the book is published. I will say that the premise is original and creative, and if you're not paying attention, you might get confused. There's so much happening in this book, and I commend the author for not only creating it, but articulately weaving all of it together. On the downside, there were a lot of unanswered questions and potential plot holes, and I felt frustrated for a majority of the book because there was a I don't want to spoil this, so I probably won't write a full review until the book is published. I will say that the premise is original and creative, and if you're not paying attention, you might get confused. There's so much happening in this book, and I commend the author for not only creating it, but articulately weaving all of it together. On the downside, there were a lot of unanswered questions and potential plot holes, and I felt frustrated for a majority of the book because there was a lot to be explained. And then when I got those answers, they weren't quite what I was expecting. I felt a little cheated by the ending.
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  • Lauren James
    January 1, 1970
    I'm halfway through this, and it feels slightly like my brain is melting. You know that bit of Prisoner of Azkaban where they're running around in the past trying to use their past selves movements to save the day? That. A whole book of it. It's a dream.
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  • Drew
    January 1, 1970
    As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...I won a proof copy of this book courtesy of a Twitter retweet competition, winning!👌The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a murder mystery and yes, you guessed it, Evelyn Hardcastle of the book’s title is the murder victim but who killed her and why? Those are the questions that need answering. Taking place over eight days, you have those eight days to solve the murder. Sounds si As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...I won a proof copy of this book courtesy of a Twitter retweet competition, winning!👌The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a murder mystery and yes, you guessed it, Evelyn Hardcastle of the book’s title is the murder victim but who killed her and why? Those are the questions that need answering. Taking place over eight days, you have those eight days to solve the murder. Sounds simple, huh? Well, let’s put a kink in that simplicity, shall we? You see, the story takes place in a time loop and if you haven’t identified the murderer by the end of the eighth day then the loop will revert back to the beginning, you will start over from scratch and once again attempt to unravel the mystery, piece together the clues and solve the murder. Makes solving the murder rather more tricky, doesn’t it? A set number of days or else you have to begin your investigation all over again.Well, then dear readers let’s add another kink in the simplicity, you see, on top of the original loop of eight days there’s another loop, it’s a time loop within a time loop! At the end of the day, the day will begin again, eight days but each day is the same day, so, one day to solve the murder, it’s getting trickier, isn’t it?Let’s throw a final kink into the simplicity of a murder mystery, shall we? At the start of each new day, from the moment that he wakes up Aiden Bishop (the main character) will be inhabiting a new host body from the guests at Blackheath, eight bodies over eight days each with their own distinct personalities, instincts, traits, relationships, plus sides and drawbacks. Luckily, Turton throws Aiden a boon and each time the day reverts back to the start Aiden gets to keep his memories and the information he has learned throughout the course of his investigating from the previous day’s host. Can you say mind blown!The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a journey of discovery and investigation that you take alongside Aiden Bishop. Its Inception meets Groundhog Day by way of an Agatha Christie setting but even with those comparisons The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle truly deserves to stand on its own merits. It is an utterly fantastic read that you will want to keep coming back to and one that you will devour.When Aiden inhabits a new host it’s not just Aiden Bishop with his own personality fully in control masquerading as that host character. No, the host character keeps much of their own personality and Aiden has to work with their way of thinking and impulses giving each day a unique twist as Aiden has to adapt to each host seeing things from their perspective and using their own traits to help further his investigation. As the days progress towards the last day and the final host. The connection between Aiden and the host he is inhabiting gets stronger with Aiden being less like himself and more like the host losing himself in their personalities and memories and struggling to keep hold of himself.The estate of Blackheath, the setting in The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is very reminiscent of locations found in Agatha Christie novels and wouldn’t be out of place in either a Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple investigation. The isolated estate that has seen better days with vast grounds, small holdings and adjoined by a forest and it is well realised and depicted by Turton who brings Blackheath and its surrounding area to life.I had no clue who the killer was! Throughout the duration of my time reading The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle I literally thought that any of the guests at Blackheath could have committed the murder from the lowliest servant up to the Lord and Lady of the house as Turton makes them all viable suspects.Turton kept me guessing right up until the killer is finally uncovered and then, yet more revelations are still to be revealed and they will really knock you for six.It’s a testament to the high-quality skill of Turton as a writer that he is able to keep abreast of all the various plot threads that he creates throughout the eight days and the various rich and well-developed eclectic mix of characters that inhabit Blackheath and bring his story to life. There are layers upon layers of this clever mystery and secrets galore to be found at the estate of Blackheath and it really is a multi-layered and elaborate story that Turton tells.This is one of those books that you need to read and experience first-hand to get a grasp of how truly brilliant it is. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a work of art, cleverly plotted, intricately woven, absorbing and ingenious.Books like Seven Deaths are what reading was made for, it grabs you, doesn’t let go and it is the book equivalent of Bobby Roode and AJ Styles (if you know who they are then I offer you the highest of fives ✋if not, they are WWE wrestlers). Both glorious and phenomenal.The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of the best books I have ever read.
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  • Alice Castle
    January 1, 1970
    If ever there was a perfect book to read while curled up by the fire on a bleak autumn night, this is it. It’s a little hard to know quite how to describe Stu Turton’s Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, so here are a few adjectives: Mysterious. Thrilling. Twisty. Turny. Gothic. Riveting. It’s also hard to talk about the book without giving too much away spoiler-wise. On the face of it, it’s a whodunit mystery in the classic Agatha Christie type vein. But it also has a supernatural cast. The main If ever there was a perfect book to read while curled up by the fire on a bleak autumn night, this is it. It’s a little hard to know quite how to describe Stu Turton’s Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, so here are a few adjectives: Mysterious. Thrilling. Twisty. Turny. Gothic. Riveting. It’s also hard to talk about the book without giving too much away spoiler-wise. On the face of it, it’s a whodunit mystery in the classic Agatha Christie type vein. But it also has a supernatural cast. The main character, one Aiden Bishop, is tasked with solving a crime (namely, the murder of the eponymous Miss Evelyn Hardcastle) over eight days -by taking on same day over and over again, each time in the body/persona of eight different people. He wakes up in the first host, in the woods on the estate of a decrepit mansion house where a large party of guests have gathered for a rather curious celebration. From that moment it’s a down the rabbit hole race against time and nefarious enemies to provide an answer as to who killed Evelyn- and in doing so to escape the endless time loop in which he is trapped. If it all sounds a bit bonkers-well, it is- but it works. The initial few chapters do require a little bit of patience as the first character does seem to spend a lot of time flailing around not knowing what is going on, which means the reader is also similarly in the dark to a large degree. However Turton did a fine job in holding my interest as he sets up the premise and before long I found myself firmly engaged in the merry dance, being led along with Aiden Bishop through the maze of the pages. At times the plot becomes just that wee bit convoluted to the point where I was tempted to get out a notebook to sketch some timescales to keep everything straight- but it’s manageable and if you like puzzles, you will love this. As this was an ARC via Netgalley my copy did not contain maps or floor plans which I think would be very useful to keep one’s bearings. I gather that the published copies will have these additions. At the conclusion I have to say there were some aspects I still found somewhat confusing but that’s probably more due to the breakneck pace of my reading, as I was desperate to know how it ended. It's definitely the sort of book that would benefit from a more leisurely re-read to pick up on all the things I missed. I’m also not entirely satisfied with the ending-I'll say no more so as not to give anything away but my overall feeling is that in some ways, this book is the epitome of the journey being better than the destination. And what a journey it is. I would definitely recommend this is as an absolute cracker of a novel- original, fiendishly clever and hugely enjoyable.
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  • Latkins
    January 1, 1970
    This really is an amazing book, the perfect blend of crime and sci-fi. A man wakes up in a forest, with no memory other than the name of a friend - Anna - who he thinks is in danger. He soon discovers that his name is Sebastian Bell, he's a doctor, and he's attending a ball at a stately home nearby, called Blackheath. But then he's approached by a figure wearing a plague doctor's outfit, who reveals that the narrator isn't really Dr Bell, but actually someone else entirely, and he's trapped in a This really is an amazing book, the perfect blend of crime and sci-fi. A man wakes up in a forest, with no memory other than the name of a friend - Anna - who he thinks is in danger. He soon discovers that his name is Sebastian Bell, he's a doctor, and he's attending a ball at a stately home nearby, called Blackheath. But then he's approached by a figure wearing a plague doctor's outfit, who reveals that the narrator isn't really Dr Bell, but actually someone else entirely, and he's trapped in an eight-day loop of repeating history in a Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. Each day, he will wake up in the body of a different person at Blackheath, and each day will end with the murder of the daughter of the house, Evelyn Hardcastle. His only way of escape is to solve the murder and prove who's responsible. But... there are other people around like him who are also trying to solve the murder, including a sinister footman who sets about trying to kill off each of his hosts. And what of Anna, his friend - she is also there, and trying the solve the murder too - but can they trust each other? And what is this all about, why is he there? He's told early on that he's been through the eight day loop thousands of times before and not succeeded.I really loved this book, both the idea of waking in a different character every day, and the rather intricate and complicated murder mystery plot. Unlike in other novels in which character's minds occupy different people's bodies, in this one the narrator discovers that each host's character, skills and, to a lesser extent, will is still present within him. I won't write any more about the plot as I don't want to give anything away, but I do think this is truly original and surprising.
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  • Claire (Book Blog Bird)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good book with a really interesting, unique premise. A guy wakes up in the woods of an estate called Blackheath on the eve of a huge party one morning with a case of complete amnesia. As the day unfolds he receives various clues as to who he really is (which is not who everyone says he is). When he wakes up the next day in a completely different body, the plot thickens until he discovers he is at Nlackheath to solve a murder. The idea behind this is really unique and interesting - kin This was a good book with a really interesting, unique premise. A guy wakes up in the woods of an estate called Blackheath on the eve of a huge party one morning with a case of complete amnesia. As the day unfolds he receives various clues as to who he really is (which is not who everyone says he is). When he wakes up the next day in a completely different body, the plot thickens until he discovers he is at Nlackheath to solve a murder. The idea behind this is really unique and interesting - kind of a cross between Groundhog Day and an Agatha Christie novel. The plot kept twisting and turning and I never really knew who to trust. The first and last third of the book were really action-packed and the last pages had my head spinning. There were loads of characters and it took a little while to get my head around them all, although this was probably a me thing rather than a book thing. The only thing I found a problem was that this book was probably 150 pages too long and in the middle section the pace slowed down a bit. It did pick up in the last third again. All in all though I thought this was a really decent, unique book. Deffo recommended.
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