The 7½ 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 is quite what they seem.Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Details

TitleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 18th, 2018
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
ISBN-139781492657965
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Review

  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    (4.5) If you’re looking for a book to keep you awake at night because you NEED to finish it then this is it!Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.I loved how unique the premise was, a murder-mystery where the main character gets to relive the same day 8 times to try and solve it but every day he's in a different body. It was also interesting to see how the different (4.5) If you’re looking for a book to keep you awake at night because you NEED to finish it then this is it!Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.I loved how unique the premise was, a murder-mystery where the main character gets to relive the same day 8 times to try and solve it but every day he's in a different body. It was also interesting to see how the different bodies/personalities affected the story and there were twists I didn’t see coming. I was feeling a reading slump creeping in and this book fixed it so I’m rounding it up to 5 stars.Would recommend if you’re in the mood for a mystery with a sci-fi twist to it!
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  • ❄️Nani❄️
    January 1, 1970
    4.5⭐Do you know how many books it’d taken me to finally use the word, unputdownable? I think I'm more thrilled to have finally said it than actually reading this book. What can I say, I'm a simple girl. The simple pleasures bring me the most joy. But back to the task at hand because friends, let me tell you, this. Was. Unputdownable! Hold on, let me gather my wits first, this book was very taxing on my brain.So, you’re thinking ‘a high-concept crime fiction, how derivative,’ right? Well, you hav 4.5⭐️Do you know how many books it’d taken me to finally use the word, unputdownable? I think I'm more thrilled to have finally said it than actually reading this book. What can I say, I'm a simple girl. The simple pleasures bring me the most joy. But back to the task at hand because friends, let me tell you, this. Was. Unputdownable! Hold on, let me gather my wits first, this book was very taxing on my brain.So, you’re thinking ‘a high-concept crime fiction, how derivative,’ right? Well, you haven’t heard anything yet, have you? Yes, derivative it may indeed be, I mean, how many times have you probably heard or read, [said book] meets [said book] right? At this point, I'm not sure if I'm enticing or putting you off reading this. But before you cast it aside, hear me out. First, let me thank the lovelies Faye* and Jessi ❤️ H., without whom I wouldn't have heard about this book.Thank you for giving my brain a good beating! “Every man is in a cage of his own making.” Set in the early 1920s -although it reads like late-Victorian gothic at times, with its remote setting and disturbing atmosphere with a touch of the supernatural-, the book opens with a narrator running through a forest with no idea who or where he is, wearing someone else’s dinner jacket and, he soon realises, someone else’s body. He has no memory of how he came to be trapped inside this stranger. Aiden Bishop, as we soon figure out our leads name, turns out is here for a reason and he also starts each day with no memories of the past. An eerie masked figure informs him that today, a murder will be committed – a murder that won’t seem like a murder and Aiden has eight chances to solve it. He is obliged to repeat the same day over and over until he nails the murderer of the heiress of the title and thus breaks this vicious cycle.But each morning he’ll wake up in a different body, or “host” among the visitors to Blackheath House, each with their own distinct personality. He’ll remember his experiences in the previous hosts, but if he doesn’t give the masked figure the name of the killer by day eight, he’ll be returned to day one, memory wiped, and have to start all over again.Did I forget to mention there are two other members of the party who are also hosts to foreign souls, tasked with unveiling the murderer? That’s right, and only one of the three can succeed and thereby be freed from the time loop. And, just because his life doesn’t suck enough, he is being sought by a knife-wielding psychopathic footman who targets each of the hosts in turn. In a nutshell, your run of the mill party from hell.In all honesty, the above synopsis hardly does justice to the ingenuity of Turton’s intricate narrative and the mind-boggling complexity of the plot. The tension kicks in on page one and barely lets up through the entire book. There is a twist on nearly every page that demands your full attention as there quite a few information to take in and people to remember. I highly recommend reading this with a few breaks in the middle as possible so as to keep every detail fresh in your head but you probably won't want to put it down anyway. Remember?Unputdownable?Not only does Turton do a great job of transfixing the reader's attention immediately, he keeps the tension high throughout the entire book. The characters are actors in a play doing the same thing night after night and each person has a motive. Each person wears a mask and you do not know who’s who. Every little conversation has a significance, every detail or interaction is important. Familiar tropes aside, in essence, it is a classic ‘who-done-it’, but written with a quirky originality and a fusion of genres, all mashed into one, Crime, Mystery, Psychological, Sci-fi, Adventure, Thriller, and a Detective novel, who’s no clue which way’s up or down. I also loved the writing style. So very much actually, which was sort of darkly comic and witty as the plot is dizzyingly complex. So, why, if I loved it this much was it not 5 stars? Because my big mouth spoke too soon. Up until the last few pages I was all set to slap this baby up with the full rating, thinking, ‘This is incredible. I haven't read a book that I so easily gave 5 stars to since The Wall of Storms,’ you’ll know I’m coyly but not so cleverly trying to sway you to read that magnificent book -you know: two birds, one stone and all-, but I see I hereby defeated that purpose by admitting so. Never mind, moving on...Anyhow, all was rainbows and unicorns right until I reached the last 50 or so pages when I started to get a little frustrated with Aiden and some of the decisions he was making. I simply wanted to shake the saint out of him and make him see reason but that may be the cynic in me talking.Furthermore, there’s a loss of emotional engagement, albeit on a small scale, as each morning we’re having to deal with a different character without getting fully aquatinted with the previous. Also, each morning victims are brought back to life, thereby making the act of murder here seem no more dreadful than going flicking on and off a light switch. My biggest issue was here in the climax. As dazzling as the finale was, and it was indeed that, with a series of last-minute twisty WTF revelations, I still felt…. somewhat underwhelmed by it all? I still don’t know what but something was missing and I wasn’t 100% satisfied. That too may be attributed to my being overly picky but… still.I also would have preferred the nature of Blackheath to be left more ambiguous, a mystery that’d make my dreams long after I’ve finished the book but this particular shortcoming in no way hindered my overall enjoyment.All in all, if you’re in need of an invigoratingly original and entertaining read that’ll tie your brain in knots, The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle might just be the answer.
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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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  • Amalia Gavea
    January 1, 1970
    ‘’I’m a man in Purgatory, blind to the sins that chased me here.’’What would it be like if one day we found ourselves in an another body? What if this happened on a daily basis? Us changing the vessel but retaining most of the traits that make us who we are? What if by changing identities we could turn back the time and prevent an injustice, a horrible crime? This is the wonderful premise of this exquisite novel by Stuart Turton, one of the most unique books of the year.A man has the opportunit ‘’I’m a man in Purgatory, blind to the sins that chased me here.’’What would it be like if one day we found ourselves in an another body? What if this happened on a daily basis? Us changing the vessel but retaining most of the traits that make us who we are? What if by changing identities we could turn back the time and prevent an injustice, a horrible crime? This is the wonderful premise of this exquisite novel by Stuart Turton, one of the most unique books of the year.A man has the opportunity to stop the murder of a young woman, Evelyn Hardcastle. In full Groundhog Day mood, he is given eight days and eight identities in which he must find the one responsible for the crime, otherwise everything will become irreversible. So, during a gathering that commemorates a tragic incident in the Hardcastle estate, justice must prevail. However, the wrongs that must be made right reach beyond a single murder… ‘’Nothing like a mask to reveal somebody’s true nature.’’The story is set in Britain, around the late 20s, early 30s from what I could gather and the thing that fascinated me most in this novel isn’t the mystery itself or the unusual background- although they are both brilliant- but the focus on human nature and its various and interminable implications. I can’t even imagine the Herculean task of creating eight different characters to become the vessels of one person, all with their own characteristics and mannerisms and resulting in such a successful and marvelously written story. I admit I was a little bit cautious prior to reading Turton’s book. I thought it would be too confusing or wordy but I couldn’t be more wrong. Obviously, I cannot write a single sentence about the plot but I swear a most solemn vow to you that you will find yourselves with your mouth open in shock for about 60% of the story. That’s how perfect this book is. So many twists, so many different, complicated, tiny pieces of an exciting puzzle. I promise you you won’t be bored or confused. And if you do get confused, it will be in the best way possible. ‘’Now you see them as I do,’’ says the Plague Doctor, in a low voice. ‘’Actors in a play, doing the same thing night after night’’.There is seldom such a rich array of characters who are all interesting, secretive, twisted, kind, intelligent, manipulative. Think of any adjective in any language and it will apply perfectly to this perfect cast. As Aidan discovers clues -only to be left in the darkness soon after- so do we. As he meets the guests, as he gets the chance to live inside some of the characters, he gives us the opportunity to collect more evidence. We know nothing before he does and we obtain a much clearer picture of every person involved in the story. How many times can we claim this happens in a mystery? Not even in some of Christie’s finest creations, in my opinion. Personally speaking, the figure of the Plague Doctor was the king of the story. Such a creepy, intimidating, cryptic character that elevated the novel into a whole new level. He embodies the concept of the Mask perfectly since nothing is as it first appears. Everyone undergoes a major transformation and every expectation and belief is turned upside down right until the spectacular ending.I would love to tell you so much more- good, old, blabby me- but I can’t. You absolutely, utterly (...again with the adverbs, I know…) NEED to read The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It is a reading experience unlike anything we’ve seen and read before. I would like to end this text with a question taken from the Reading Group Guide, included in the book, which I feel captures the psychological weight and the very essence of the entire story. ‘’If you know someone you loved had a devastating secret, would you choose to find out what it was or love them for who they’ve become? If you knew you did something terrible, would you want to remember or live with that shadow for the rest of your life?’’Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...
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  • 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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  • (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
    January 1, 1970
    My mind is blown! This was such an intricately layered plot. I refuse to explain it. This is the kind of read that you absolutely need to jump into blindly. You will feel like you are flailing in the water, drowning. Just keep reading, treading through the chapters as you go. Grab hold of the bits that are sent your way and store them. Honestly, it still won't be enough. I thought I was prepared for Turton. I read carefully, giving it full attention. I even re-read parts to be sure I understood My mind is blown! This was such an intricately layered plot. I refuse to explain it. This is the kind of read that you absolutely need to jump into blindly. You will feel like you are flailing in the water, drowning. Just keep reading, treading through the chapters as you go. Grab hold of the bits that are sent your way and store them. Honestly, it still won't be enough. I thought I was prepared for Turton. I read carefully, giving it full attention. I even re-read parts to be sure I understood what I thought I was meant to understand. Still, I did not see where I was being led. This was an outstanding literary puzzle! It was not only an expertly crafted whodunnit. It truly ends up being so much more. What a debut! I can not wait to see where Turton's mind takes us next.Thank you to Stuart Turton, Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Petrik
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 starsThe less you know about this mystery thriller book, the better your experience will be.First of all, take that rating rounding up or down with a grain of salt, this is a 3.5 stars book for me. As for the review, I honestly have no idea how to review this book, not only mystery/thriller is not my usual read or books that I review, I genuinely think that anything I say can be considered a spoiler for a book like this. I’ll keep this review brief, try to go into this one as blind as poss 3.5/5 starsThe less you know about this mystery thriller book, the better your experience will be.First of all, take that rating rounding up or down with a grain of salt, this is a 3.5 stars book for me. As for the review, I honestly have no idea how to review this book, not only mystery/thriller is not my usual read or books that I review, I genuinely think that anything I say can be considered a spoiler for a book like this. I’ll keep this review brief, try to go into this one as blind as possible like I did, it will enrich your experience. I’m going to mention parts that work and didn’t work for me as spoiler-free as possible in the next two paragraphs but feel free to skip reading them if you’re already interested in this book.Let’s start with the parts that work first. This is a debut and it’s a very smart book, consisting of a well-structured storyline with everything coming together in the last 20% of the book. The execution of the conclusion was superbly done and unpredictable. Just when you thought you had everything figured out, Turton keeps you surprised and engaged with revelations. It’s a slow burn but very engaging, I finished this book two days due to how unputdownable it was. I also think the side characters were well developed, especially considering the storytelling method. Prose-wise, this doesn’t feel like a debut at all, Turton’s prose is beautiful, sometimes it felt like reading a literature book. “How lost do you have to be to let the devil lead you home?” For the parts that didn’t work, I think the main character’s background should’ve come sooner in the story. It was too late for me to really care about his predicament, I have no idea if this is the usual case with mystery/thriller books though. I mostly enjoyed reading the way the story unfolds but It could've been a better experience if I cared more about the main character. Also, one of the decisions made by the main character near the end of the book need more exposition, it didn’t make sense and didn't sit well with me no matter how I look at it. Lastly, the book went on for a bit too long; there was one part in the middle section, specifically Day 6 chapters, where I was super bored and fell asleep.That’s all. Believe me, this is shorter than my usual reviews and it’s for many good reasons. Bottom line is that if you’re a fan of mystery/thriller book, you really should give this debut a try.You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    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.Review written and posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading.https://twosisterslostinacoulee.comCoulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.
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  • 🦊 Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
    January 1, 1970
    “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 a “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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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    My mind is officially blown. Loved it! It's an intricately plotted murder mystery, set in an isolated early 20th century English mansion, with a genius speculative element to it - I don't even want to try to say whether it's fantasy or SF. Because spoilers!I went into this novel without remembering anything about it, which I usually don't do because I hate not having context and being confused about what this book is that I'm reading. But in this case it was very appropriate, because our main ch My mind is officially blown. Loved it! It's an intricately plotted murder mystery, set in an isolated early 20th century English mansion, with a genius speculative element to it - I don't even want to try to say whether it's fantasy or SF. Because spoilers!I went into this novel without remembering anything about it, which I usually don't do because I hate not having context and being confused about what this book is that I'm reading. But in this case it was very appropriate, because our main character comes to on the first page without any idea of who he is or what's going on. And the light sheds very, very gradually, but it all comes together in the end with a really awesome set of twists and turns.Review to come, after it posts on Fantasy Literature.
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  • Navidad Thelamour
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars!Whew, what a ride! Stuart Turton’s debut novel is the kind of debut we all yearn for: explosive, energetic, engaging and truly something fresh and new on the scene. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a brilliant, high-concept murder mystery that had the cogs in my mind turning from the very start (imagine waking up in the forest with no memory of who you are and immediately seeing a young woman murdered!). This, in fact, was the first mystery narrative in a very long time that ha 4.5 stars!Whew, what a ride! Stuart Turton’s debut novel is the kind of debut we all yearn for: explosive, energetic, engaging and truly something fresh and new on the scene. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a brilliant, high-concept murder mystery that had the cogs in my mind turning from the very start (imagine waking up in the forest with no memory of who you are and immediately seeing a young woman murdered!). This, in fact, was the first mystery narrative in a very long time that has made me feel like I was part of the story—immersed in the environment—and the first that pulled me in to such a degree that I felt compelled to actively try to unravel the whodunnit mystery right along with the characters. Whodunnit and why! Turton’s atmospheric world is so moody and immersive you’ll feel you should be smoking a pipe with a monocle as you devour it. It was so deliciously wrapped in a sort of British noir, complete with the “party at a country estate” of so many classic murder mysteries. Described by its publisher as “Gosford Park meets Inception by way of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express,” this book lived up to the hype and description in a big way! Aiden Bishop is destined to relive the same day over and over again, in eight different bodies, until he can solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. If he does not succeed at the end of that time, the loop restarts and he loses all of his memories of the previous loop, forcing him to start over from scratch with even the basics – who am I? What am I doing here? He realizes that he is both the hunted and the hunter, an innocent and a deceiver, in this highbrow whodunnit. Until now, I’d only witnessed my fellow guests in their handfuls, their spite spread thin across the house. To be ensnared among them all, as I am now, is something else entirely, and the further I descend into the uproar, the thicker their malice seems to become. Most of the men look to have spent the afternoon soaking in their cups and are staggering instead of dancing, snarling and starting, their conduct savage. Young women throw their heads back and laugh, their makeup running and hair coming loose as they’re passed from body to body, goading a small group of wives who’ve grouped together for safety, wary of these panting, wild-eyed creatures. Nothing like a mask to reveal somebody’s true nature…All of this is wrong. The celebration is too desperate. This is the last party before Gomorrah fell…The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was both intelligent and intellectual, well-paced and deserving of all 500 pages it took up. In a lot of ways, The Seven Deaths was unlike any novel I’ve read before. Skillfully woven together, it was the ultimate literary puzzle. The plot was complex in a baroque but fascinating sort of way, and all the threads Turton spun came together in the end—no stone left unturned, no end left loose. With so many plots converging at once, that was quite the high feat to pull off, but you’ll find it done here superbly in this debut novel. Stuart Turton offers veritable craft in the intricacy of his plotting, a kind of craft that I rarely see anymore. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a mind-bender complete with time leaps and multiple murders seen from multiple angles all on this same day that keeps repeating itself over and over again.The prose was lyrical—honestly, leaning toward flowery—but it is the intricacy of the plot and the atmosphere surrounding these characters that Turton allows to really shine here. Yes, there were moments when this novel graced the line between intricacy and confusion, but it all unraveled splendidly in the end. It was a puzzle of a read; there were moments when the pieces wouldn’t fit and you’d have to scrap it all and start over. For some, that may present as a frustrating experience, but this novel is a real treat to those who love mindbenders, murder mysteries, puzzles and logic games. If that’s you, I highly recommend this novel! Also, if the “Gosford Park/Inception/Agatha Christie" description got your heart racing, then this is the read for you! The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle grabbed me and held me from the very start, probably the most veritable page turner I’ve encountered so far this year, and that’s no easy feat. For such high praise and phenomenal plotting, I give Turton’s debut novel a very strong 4.5 stars. *****I received an advance-read copy of the book from the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.FOLLOW ME HERE:The Navi Review | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Ova Incekaraoglu
    January 1, 1970
    See Full review on my blogObviously, I am like the other reviewers:This book is amazing. The plot is so complicated and full of action, you literally could not stop reading until you learn WHAT THE HELL IS ACTUALLY GOING ON!If I didn't have that unforgettably pleasant night, I'd go with 3 stars, If the end didn't disappoint me I'd go with 5 stars,So I settled at 4. I so liked this book but I wish the ending, was a bit different. This is me on page 501...I felt like lots of things left unanswered See Full review on my blogObviously, I am like the other reviewers:This book is amazing. The plot is so complicated and full of action, you literally could not stop reading until you learn WHAT THE HELL IS ACTUALLY GOING ON!If I didn't have that unforgettably pleasant night, I'd go with 3 stars, If the end didn't disappoint me I'd go with 5 stars,So I settled at 4. I so liked this book but I wish the ending, was a bit different. This is me on page 501...I felt like lots of things left unanswered. But still I am glad I have read this, GREAT book. It's a debut so Mr Turton, we look forward for your next one!
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Ah, thank goodness for this book.I really loved everything about how the story was told. It was like a movie playing inside my head. I thought the book was going to be somehow confusing but no, it was a fun and intriguing ride. All the characters made a strong impression and the riddles each of them carried! I read this book expecting a lot of things, the hype has been beyond measure, and it really met those expectations! It was rich, clever and beautifully built. Aiden was such a great charact Ah, thank goodness for this book.I really loved everything about how the story was told. It was like a movie playing inside my head. I thought the book was going to be somehow confusing but no, it was a fun and intriguing ride. All the characters made a strong impression and the riddles each of them carried! I read this book expecting a lot of things, the hype has been beyond measure, and it really met those expectations! It was rich, clever and beautifully built. Aiden was such a great character to follow and discover. His several different POVs were a delight.I did think the book was more of a thriller and while it was not, I still enjoyed it a great deal.
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  • PattyMacDotComma
    January 1, 1970
    5★“The hunt begins in half an hour and I can’t miss it. I have too many questions and most of the answers will be carrying shotguns.”Who is this “I” with the questions? My dad told me he’d read about a man whose dementia got so bad that he got up one morning, looked in the bathroom mirror, and said “Who the hell are YOU?” The reason he told me was that he had dementia, but he was a long way from that point.Our narrator is having trouble recognising himself. At one point he thinks:“. . . this bla 5★“The hunt begins in half an hour and I can’t miss it. I have too many questions and most of the answers will be carrying shotguns.”Who is this “I” with the questions? My dad told me he’d read about a man whose dementia got so bad that he got up one morning, looked in the bathroom mirror, and said “Who the hell are YOU?” The reason he told me was that he had dementia, but he was a long way from that point.Our narrator is having trouble recognising himself. At one point he thinks:“. . . this bland figure in the glass. Brown hair, brown eyes and no chin to speak of, I’m any face in a crowd; just the Lord’s way of filling in the gaps.”Without giving the plot away, I’m going to attempt the impossible – talking about something similar, using animals. But, I will add some quotations from the real story to give you an idea of the writing.Let’s say you are a farm animal, a chicken perhaps, and you wake one morning to discover you are a mouse. You are horrified, so you hide under the straw and you overhear a conversation between two men. (Ok, I’m getting a bit “Charlotte’s Web” here.) A man is lamenting that he’s going to have to take desperate measures to win over someone’s wife, and shortly after, you hear a gunshotThe cat races past you, tearing out of the barn for the house. You’re too frightened to investigate, so you curl up under the straw and fall asleep.You wake to the smell of scraps of bacon by your nose which the cook has dropped, saying “Here you go, Rover. A little something to warm you up before the hunt.”Rover? A dog? You’re a dog. What’s this about a hunt? But you wag your tail at the cook, Mrs. Drudge.“A wide-hipped, ruddy-faced elderly woman is standing by the oven bellowing instructions, her pinafore covered in flour. No general ever wore a chestful of medals with such conviction.”The cat wanders by, and your earlier mouse heart leaps to your throat before you growl and scare it off. The cook leaves the kitchen, and you listen to two young fellows muttering about a stranger they saw in the stables. Why is he invited to this exclusive house party? One thinks he is rich and knows their host is in money trouble because he heard him talking with his wife.“‘. . . we’ll end up poor and I’m fairly certain we’ll be dreadful at it.’‘Most people are,’ . . . ‘Well, at least they’ve had practice,’ he says.”The second fellow saw the stranger talking to the wife in the garden. (Aha, the plot thickens. But what about that gunshot?)What about it? You’re a dog, lying by a fire, so you do what dogs do and doze off.You wake with a woman tickling your ears, saying “Good morning, Mittens!” She’s asking the maid to draw her a bath and get out her most flattering outfit, because she needs to impress a new guest if they are to save the estate from ruin. You think:“I suddenly have the sense of taking part in a play in which everybody knows their lines but me.” Then the maid shrieks. “There’s a mouse in the corner! Mittens!!!”You (Mittens) recognise your former self, miss your pounce, and let the surprised mouse escape. Remember, the mouse and the dog don’t know they will become Mittens. In each body (host), you know your past, but not your future. You wander off, but“. . . rooms I pass through are musty, thick with mildew and decay. Pellets of rat poison have been piled up in the corners, dust covering any surface too high for a maid’s short arm to reach.”Might as well curl up in a sunny spot and doze off. (This is becoming a habit. )“The hunt!” Get up, Rover! We’re off.” People shout, clattering shotguns and rattling boxes of ammunition.Rover? What? Again? And guns? You join the hunt, get shot and killed (by mistake, of course) and wake up in the barn again as the mouse. Now you're curious about the conversations and follow a trail of blood from the tack room into the woods.Enough already. I’m getting ridiculous. And this book is about people, not animals – an Agatha Christie-like, closed-loop house party in a big old, crumbling manor house with an odd assortment of characters.It’s something like Kate Atkinson's memorable Life After Life– but this is not variations on one life (like the movie based on the book Sliding Doors). This is one story from different points of view, although those points are all shared by one entity – the protagonist - battling poison, knives, guns and . . . oh, yes, there's both an unsolved murder and a foreshadowed one (Evelyn’s).It’s terrific, and I apologise for my convoluted animal comparison. Just know that our narrator starts off not knowing his own name, where he is or why. Here I would like to add my thanks to the author’s:“Special mention must go to my early readers David Bayon, Tim Danton and Nicole Kobie who read this story in its ‘David Lynch’ phase, and very kindly pointed out that clues, grammar and reminders of plot points aren’t a sign of weakness.”You mean this began with fewer clues and plot points? Gasp!There are some distinctive characters, which makes it easier to follow the story. “He’s a smear of a man with oiled hair and a pale, pinched face, his manner that of somebody who finds everything in the room beneath him.”This fellow is a bit more appealing.“Freckles are splashed across his nose, honey-coloured eyes and short blond hair suggesting a face spun out of sunlight.”No vampires or werewolves, but they wouldn’t be out of place in this scary, dismal setting. Where to go?“I suggest you use this time to hide yourself somewhere he won’t find you. Argentina, perhaps. Good luck to you.”There were a few names similar enough to make me check the very handy cast of characters in the front. One thing I did wish the author had included was the charcoal tree drawing referred to near the end of the book to help us as well as the character.I’d love to think it’s in the final printed version, or that some enterprising fan will create one. Many thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted. Thanks also to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for the preview of The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to be published in September 2018. Whatever the number of deaths, it is a unique mystery!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    4 .5 brilliantly messed up stars Hands down, this book made me its puppet and consumed all my thoughts throughout the day. Stuart Turton really knew how to mess with his reader's minds and I feel a bit like I am in the middle of a labyrinth trying to figure how I got to the end. One little critique is that I felt it had a tendency to be a little slow around the middle, but definitely this book earns a place on my favorites of 2018.
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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 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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  • Helene Jeppesen
    January 1, 1970
    Original. Mind-blowing. Refreshing. I loved it! Although I do recommend going into it without any expectations, because I’m afraid all this (well-deserved) GREAT HYPE it gets might ruin it for some people.
  • Ivana A.
    January 1, 1970
    Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest Mind blowing and unputdownable, this is one of those mystery thrillers that will keep you up at night until you see how it ends! How do you stop a murder that’s already happened? The Hardcastle family is hosting a masquerade at their home, and their daughter Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die every day until Aiden Bishop is able identify her killer and break the cycle.But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up each day in a differ Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest Mind blowing and unputdownable, this is one of those mystery thrillers that will keep you up at night until you see how it ends! How do you stop a murder that’s already happened? The Hardcastle family is hosting a masquerade at their home, and their daughter Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die every day until Aiden Bishop is able identify her killer and break the cycle.But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up each day in a different body as one of the guests. 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. Honestly, the first couple of pages, I didn’t know where this book was going and whether I am going to enjoy it at all. But as you go through the chapters and get familiar with the story, you realise how clever this book is, and you enjoy it like you have never enjoyed any other book before. As a debut novel, Stuart Turton did an incredible job with this book. It starts slowly, and grows into a great story. We follow the main character Aiden through many bodies, day by day. The book is set into one place, one town, one house and its surroundings, and sometimes moves backwards and forwards in time. If you love mysteries and closed escape room books, you will enjoy this book so much! I have always admired Aiden. Even though all the bodies he was in tried to make him forget about who he really is, he would always fight so his character can flow on the surface! I loved the sacrifices he makes towards Anna, and their relationship. The ending, the last 30 pages are so smart, amazing and perfectly wrapped up that I couldn’t believe I never noticed those clues. I am giving it 4 stars, because, even though I really, really enjoyed it, it was extremely hard for me to follow the times and bodies, and I couldn’t get along with the stories and solve the mystery together with Aiden - I always felt like I was falling behind, that put me under stress. If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, please grab a copy as soon as you can. This is the escape room mystery that we have all been waiting for! I want to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me an advanced reader e-copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
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  • Faye*
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThis book was SO FREAKING GOOD! If you like mystery/crime/whodunnit stories with the little "extra", go read this book. The one advice I would give you is to go into it with an open mind and don't research too much beforehand. I would say it is best to know as little as possible but if you prefer to know what it's about, all you need to you know is that Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed at a fancy gala thrown by her parents and our protagonist is trying to save her. She has been murdered 4.5 starsThis book was SO FREAKING GOOD! If you like mystery/crime/whodunnit stories with the little "extra", go read this book. The one advice I would give you is to go into it with an open mind and don't research too much beforehand. I would say it is best to know as little as possible but if you prefer to know what it's about, all you need to you know is that Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed at a fancy gala thrown by her parents and our protagonist is trying to save her. She has been murdered hundreds of times and he is doomed to repeat the day of her murder again and again, his only escape is solving Evelyn’s murder. That's it, now go read this book![If you are wondering why I took off half a star but have still rounded up to 5 full stars read the spoiler but only after you have read the book: (view spoiler)[I'm still torn regarding the fact that Aiden chose to save Anna in the end. Anna was a monster 30 years ago and just because she suffered through a lot due to her punishment, I am not sure she deserved to be saved. Maybe she has changed (has she?) but if so, that was only because of what she suffered and not because she felt any remorse for what she did to other people or saw the errors of her ways. But maybe that is a more philosophical question that I would have to think about for a little longer. Also, not all questions were answered in the end (like: where are Anna and Aiden going? how are they going to live in a world that must have changed so much during the 30 years they were imprisoned, especially since I felt like the murder they were trapped in took place way before their time so how exactly do they leave?) but then again: not every aspect of a story needs to be explained for a book to be awesome. So, while I did not fully agree with the ending, I still thought this was a great, original, genius book and it deserves to be praised as such. (hide spoiler)] ]Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Andrew Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I’ll start by saying that this is unlike any other book I’ve read. I’m not even sure I can categorise it, as the normal genres just won’t do it justice. If I said crime fiction then it would really only touch the surface. There’s certainly a strong element of whodunnit about this novel, but it’s delivered with a very large helping of something else – something I’m not willing to delve into here for fear of ruining the experience for future readers.The crime fiction element is broken down and the I’ll start by saying that this is unlike any other book I’ve read. I’m not even sure I can categorise it, as the normal genres just won’t do it justice. If I said crime fiction then it would really only touch the surface. There’s certainly a strong element of whodunnit about this novel, but it’s delivered with a very large helping of something else – something I’m not willing to delve into here for fear of ruining the experience for future readers.The crime fiction element is broken down and then stitched together in a fiendishly clever way. There’s an Agatha Christie style cast and, at heart, you could certainly say that it is an old fashioned murder mystery. The setting too – that of a country estate, now in a significant state of disrepair – could certainly fit one of Christie’s novels. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. This tale is a deconstruction of a crime fiction novel, it’s mind bending and it’s amazing and it’s delivered with terrific aplomb. After spending less than an hour with this book I was spellbound. The only thing that stopped me devouring the whole thing in one sitting was the fact that a good deal of detail is laid down in a short space of time and I needed a little time to assimilate it all (note: I tend to struggle to keep up with any book that has more than five main characters). But soon I’d gotten my head around how this story was to play out – but certainly not where it was eventually going to take me. And by then the cast of characters had become old friends.It’s a fully satisfying twist on a murder mystery and I absolutely loved it. I’m full of admiration for the level of imagination needed to put this book together and to keep track of the many twists and turns. In some ways it reminds me of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler's Wife in that it’s a one-off way of telling a story that just nails it. I believe both books would benefit from a second reading, if for no other reason than to admire, again, the skill of the author and to spot all the little tricks, links and clues missed the first time around.A wonderful first novel from this stunningly gifted writer. My sincere thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    In this novel the main character, Aiden Bishop finds himself in a time loop of the 'Groundhog Day' variety. He is at a country house party for Evelyn Hardcastle who has just returned from Paris after a long period away. Set in the period between the wars (1920/30s) the guests include a mixture of titled nobility and socialites along with a supporting cast of valets, maids and household staff. Evelyn will be murdered at the party and Aiden finds himself occupying the bodies of a series of differe In this novel the main character, Aiden Bishop finds himself in a time loop of the 'Groundhog Day' variety. He is at a country house party for Evelyn Hardcastle who has just returned from Paris after a long period away. Set in the period between the wars (1920/30s) the guests include a mixture of titled nobility and socialites along with a supporting cast of valets, maids and household staff. Evelyn will be murdered at the party and Aiden finds himself occupying the bodies of a series of different guests and staff, viewing the events from their very different perspectives. In order to escape the recurring time loop, and the recurring death of Evelyn, he needs to work out how she was murdered and also solve the murder of her younger brother 19 years earlier. The plot is further complicated by the presence of other characters also hoping to escape the time loop and trying to hinder his investigations. And then there is "the footman" a shadowy, sinister character Aiden has been told to watch out for.This is a complex plot with a difference and one that I very much enjoyed. There are lots of clever twists and mysteries that take a while to resolve so it is a book best read when fully awake and concentrating, especially as the number of different characters at the party could be confusing, especially early in the book when events are unfolding rapidly. Fortunately, there is a character list at the front of the group that is useful until you get to know all the guests and house staff.This very clever debut novel perfectly captures the atmosphere of the weekend country house party from the era between the wars and would make a great movie. It was a really creative idea to switch the main character between different bodies and minds and watch him try to battle against their personalities to achieve his goal. The reason for the house party being stuck in a time loop was also very imaginative and inventive. Can't wait to see what Mr Turton comes up with next!With thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for an ARC of the novel.
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  • TS Chan
    January 1, 1970
    A mind-boggling Buddy Read with the wonderful Celeste.4.5 stars.An ingenious and brilliant debut, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a deliciously thrilling and mind-bending page-turner.This novel has been termed as Groundhog Day meets Agatha Christie, or even Inception meets Agatha Christie. While the reference to the grande dame of mystery is doubtlessly appropriate, I find Quantum Leap in a time loop a more fitting description of what the main protagonist had to undertake. That is to so A mind-boggling Buddy Read with the wonderful Celeste.4.5 stars.An ingenious and brilliant debut, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a deliciously thrilling and mind-bending page-turner.This novel has been termed as Groundhog Day meets Agatha Christie, or even Inception meets Agatha Christie. While the reference to the grande dame of mystery is doubtlessly appropriate, I find Quantum Leap in a time loop a more fitting description of what the main protagonist had to undertake. That is to solve the mystery of who murdered Evelyn Hardcastle by living the same day, over and over again, but with a twist. Even with all the allusions made in describing this book, I still deem it as highly original; a heady concoction of genre tropes stirred and served in a wholly fresh and inventive manner. It behoves me to hold back on mentioning the plot at all. There isn’t even a table of contents at the beginning of the paperback I was reading. And as I progressed through the story, I realised that even having a clue of which day the next chapter may be is a potential spoiler. It is safe to say that one will be surprised and that one will not be able to predict much of anything. The unravelling of the clues is not apparent at first glance at all, but once they gradually fall into place, it is hard to keep your brain from going into hyperdrive and almost impossible to Put. The. Darn. Book. Down. Scintillating and complex plot aside, I must commend the atmospheric feel of the location. The entire story takes place in Blackheath, an early twentieth-century manor house belonging to the Hardcastles that has almost fallen into desuetude if not for the gala masquerade party being thrown for their daughter on this fateful day. The state of the house and its extensive grounds exude the air of a mysterious place haunted by its tragic past and shrouded with secrets. The ominous mood and tone lend itself to fairly frequent frissons of excitement and I also half expected to encounter the supernatural at times. As far as setting goes, it is perfection.In the same vein of classic mysteries, the party was attended by a plethora of guests, most of whom have their own deep and dark secrets. Secrets which can assist our MC to solve the mystery and get himself out of this 'locked room'. Blackheath is a mire of darkness and depravity; actors and actresses playing their roles behind masks which reveal more than they conceal. The intoxicating combination of an atmospheric setting, morally ambiguous characters, bewildering time loops/overlaps and unpredictability of the tale serves up a truly compelling narrative that refuses to leave your mind long after you have finished. The only thing keeping it from being 5-stars is this vague feeling that I wanted something a bit more from the conclusion of the story; just one more chapter perhaps. Last but not in the least, the writing is marvellous. I have a weakness for the British manner of speaking and writing, and Turton delivers with much aplomb. At the hands of the author, we get a crime and mystery thriller full of sarcastic asides, dark and dry humour and brilliant descriptions of the mundane or otherwise. While I could happily do so, I will refrain from relating all the delightful commentaries one comes by in this novel. Well, do permit me to share just one line which described one’s loss of previous good looks, to corroborate my claim above. A ragged spectre of beauty suggests itself, but his stash of splendour has almost run dry. As far as mystery thrillers go, my repertoire is lacking and nowhere close to that for the fantasy genre. Fantasy fans can also be harder to please when it comes to the more literary kind of fiction simply because we are so used to the fantastical and epic endings. Regardless, I am truly impressed and will highly recommend The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to all readers.This review can also be found at Booknest
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    “If this isn’t hell, the devil is surely taking notes.”Couldn’t have said it better myself. If, after reading the first few chapters, you find yourself feeling a bit discombobulated don’t worry. You’re in good company. Even the MC doesn’t know what the hell is going on. Imagine you’re playing a real life game of Clue. You wake up one day as Col. Mustard & find yourself sequestered in a decaying old manor full of strangers. All you’ve been told is tonight someone will murder Miss Scarlet &amp “If this isn’t hell, the devil is surely taking notes.”Couldn’t have said it better myself. If, after reading the first few chapters, you find yourself feeling a bit discombobulated don’t worry. You’re in good company. Even the MC doesn’t know what the hell is going on. Imagine you’re playing a real life game of Clue. You wake up one day as Col. Mustard & find yourself sequestered in a decaying old manor full of strangers. All you’ve been told is tonight someone will murder Miss Scarlet & your job is to identify the killer. Oh, and you have 24 hours. Because if you fail, tomorrow the whole day will play out again in exactly the same sequence. Except this time you’ll be Prof. Plum. Fail again & you’ll relive the same day as Mr. Green. Now take this scenario & transfer it to Blackheath, home of the Hardcastles who’ve invited a throng of bickering, scheming guests for a special occasion. The plot & structure of the story is too complex to be reduced to a few sentences here. In this mash-up of Agatha Christie & Groundhog Day, the story centres around daughter Evelyn. And yes, she does die…a lot. Our narrator & MC is Aiden Bishop although it takes a while before he (and we) know his true identity. There is a deliberate lack of the kind of information that gives a story context such as date & location that leaves you feeling uneasy & slightly uncomfortable. This bonds the reader with Aiden as we both struggle to make sense of his predicament. But eventually the reality of his situation is revealed & it’s a doozy. HIs first task each day is to figure out who he is & then continue his investigation. Luckily, he retains his memories as he jumps from one character to the next. This enables him to slowly put together the pieces as he sees the same events through different eyes. But it’s complicated by a wealth of suspects. With few exceptions, these are despicable people who have cornered the market on lying, cheating, stealing & blackmail. They don’t even seem to like each other & it’s not ’til the end that we understand why they ended up here. This is not a lazy beach read. It’s a book that requires patience & attention to detail if you want to nail the killer. Hang in there, the payoff comes at the end when all is revealed & the true scope of the story takes shape.It’s a clever, ambitious mind bender of a story that will test your memory skills. Hats off to the author, I truly don’t know how he managed to keep it all straight & avoid errors in continuity (I can’t help but picture him writing this in a room wallpapered with spreadsheets connected by strings). Ingenious, tense, mystical & haunting…this is a book you’ll think about long after you’ve finished.
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  • amy
    January 1, 1970
    dnf @ i don't even know what page i'm on and i'm too lazy to checkwhy.............. does this always happen to me with arcsit's not like i want to dislike a book i've been so excited to read just to be self-destructive, it just kinda happens.over the past few months it's been hard for me to really focus on anything, and reading this book just made my two already discombobulated brain cells crawl up and die.i just ????????????????????? ? am very confused ???????????? and i don't have the energy t dnf @ i don't even know what page i'm on and i'm too lazy to checkwhy.............. does this always happen to me with arcsit's not like i want to dislike a book i've been so excited to read just to be self-destructive, it just kinda happens.over the past few months it's been hard for me to really focus on anything, and reading this book just made my two already discombobulated brain cells crawl up and die.i just ????????????????????? ? am very confused ???????????? and i don't have the energy to deal with life AND a book i have to FIGURE OUT MYSELF. do i look like sherlock holmes to youanyways i'm not rating it bc i didn't read it i'm just kinda letting it float around my shelves (and my guilty conscience) unfinished. cya✧ failed arc buddy read with my bumblebee
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  • Celeste
    January 1, 1970
    Full review now posted!4.5 out of 5 stars.“How lost do you have to be to let the devil lead you home?”There’s very little I can say about this book except that it’s one of the most original things I’ve ever read. It’s a twofold mystery, and had been compared to both Agatha Christie and Groundhog Day. I think you could throw a little comparison to Invasion of the Body Snatchers into the mix, and have an almost perfect description of this book. The atmosphere reminded me of The Haunting of Hill Ho Full review now posted!4.5 out of 5 stars.“How lost do you have to be to let the devil lead you home?”There’s very little I can say about this book except that it’s one of the most original things I’ve ever read. It’s a twofold mystery, and had been compared to both Agatha Christie and Groundhog Day. I think you could throw a little comparison to Invasion of the Body Snatchers into the mix, and have an almost perfect description of this book. The atmosphere reminded me of The Haunting of Hill House, but without the ghosts. Even though this book does have things in common with each of those, it is entirely its own creature and is undoubtedly worth a read. I’m not going to mention the characters or the setting or the mystery that encases the book. I firmly believe that this is a story that works best if you go in as blind as possible. I would even avoid reading the synopsis, if possible. Accordingly, this review will be as vague as I can manage.One thing I can mention is the prose, which was lovely. Turton had quite a way of evoking imagery regarding things that have no physical representation, such as time and memory and anger. Here’s an example:“One by one I knit these new memories together until I’ve got five minutes of past to wrap myself in.”Is that not the coolest mental image of memory? And here is another one:“Anger’s solid, it has weight. You can beat your fists against it. Pity’s a fog to become lost within.” I didn’t realize how true this was until I read it. Isn’t this why people hate to be pitied, because we can’t fight it? It engulfs and hides and suffocates, and it’s incredibly hard to maneuver your way out of. This book was filled with lines like this, simple things written in such a way that you had to pause and ruminate on what you had just read. Turton’s novel in no way felt like a debut, and I eagerly await more from him.Another thing I really loved about this book was the emphasis on redemption even in the midst of darkness. Depravity should be viewed as something to be overcome instead of something to succumb to, and this novel did a fantastic job of showing that no one is beyond redemption. Even the darkest soul can repent, and beneath the layers of mystery, that’s what this novel demonstrated.As I stated above, this book is a twofold mystery. Usually I can guess at least the majority of a solution to a mystery. The only mysteries I’ve read in recent years that left me baffled until the very end, when everything was revealed, have both been mysteries penned by Agatha Christie. This book left me just as baffled. Even when I did pick up on clues, I couldn’t figure out what they meant until the reveal. Looking back, I can see the trail of clues and where they lead, but that trail was almost impossible to follow during a first reading. This is such a rarity that I have to applaud Turton for his efforts. I don’t think this is a book that would be much fun to reread more than once, but one reread would be tremendous fun if treated as a scavenger hunt, picking up clues that you missed during your first reading.The only thing that was a drawback for me was the use of first person present tense. I just always have a problem enjoying and immersing myself in a story when it’s told using this method. Having said that, I also have to say that no other point of view or tense would have worked for this story; first person present was absolutely necessary. But though I admit that the story had to be told this way, it still hindered my enjoyment, which is the only reason this book is a 4.5 star read instead of a full 5 stars for me.If you’re a fan of the mystery genre but you have a hard time finding a book that actually surprises you, I can’t recommend this highly enough. I’ve never read anything quite like it.I buddy read this book with the lovely TS!For more of my reviews, as well as my own fiction and thoughts on life, check out my blog, Celestial Musings.
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    Kudos to those of you who manage to totally get your head around this and fully understand what is happening all of the time. I must admit I had to go with the flow some of the time and just let it happen around me!The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a very cleverly written and plotted novel, the kind where the mystery ties itself into so many knots that the reader needs a notebook on the side to try and keep track. And then just as you think you have worked things out something else happen Kudos to those of you who manage to totally get your head around this and fully understand what is happening all of the time. I must admit I had to go with the flow some of the time and just let it happen around me!The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a very cleverly written and plotted novel, the kind where the mystery ties itself into so many knots that the reader needs a notebook on the side to try and keep track. And then just as you think you have worked things out something else happens and you have to start all over again. This is not a book to relax with.The setting and the feel of the book is like a good Agatha Christie novel. Add to this a lot of leaping around in time and waking up in different bodies and you end up with a very unusual book indeed. It is well written, clever and mostly very absorbing although it did drag a little in places. I had hopes for a tighter and more dramatic ending but it was okay. Four stars for me.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    Blackheath House was an isolated country manor surrounded by forests. The owners, Lord Peter and Lady Helena Hardcastle planned a masquerade party, a birthday bash for daughter Evelyn. How special was it that Blackheath House would reopen after nineteen years and the same guests would attend the gala? Evelyn Hardcastle, however, would be murdered at 11 P.M, but by whom? Here are the rules of Blackheath House. A guest would be able to return home only upon solving Evelyn's murder, by supplying pr Blackheath House was an isolated country manor surrounded by forests. The owners, Lord Peter and Lady Helena Hardcastle planned a masquerade party, a birthday bash for daughter Evelyn. How special was it that Blackheath House would reopen after nineteen years and the same guests would attend the gala? Evelyn Hardcastle, however, would be murdered at 11 P.M, but by whom? Here are the rules of Blackheath House. A guest would be able to return home only upon solving Evelyn's murder, by supplying proof implicating the murderer. Until the case was solved, a Groundhog Day Loop would continue to be activated. Aiden Bishop, here by choice, has been informed that he has eight days to produce the name of Evelyn's killer. In order to view the crime from different perspectives, Aiden must inhabit eight different "host" bodies, among them a doctor, a rapist, and a constable. If unsolved, Aiden's memories and amassed clues would be wiped out and the eight day loop would repeat again, indefinitely, until the murderer was unmasked. Solve the mystery and be released from Blackheath's enchantment.The concept behind "The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" by Stuart Turton is refreshing, a debut crime novel replete with infinite twists and turns, keeping the reader guessing. It has a true 1920's Golden Age "feel". I applaud Turton for his uniquely original debut tome, however, I was a bit overwhelmed despite concise note taking. This was a challenging read, a spooky mansion with deeply embedded secrets, a masquerade ball and an intricate murder mystery.Thank you SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle".
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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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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    So, think Groundhog Day or Life After Life amidst the English aristocracy. It takes awhile to latch on to what’s happening here. Still, while the conceit has been done before, it’s done well here. This isn’t an easy read. It demands your full attention to keep track of which body Aiden is in, what day it is, what knowledge has been gained along the way and who’s alive and who’s dead. It does, however, keep you engaged. As Aiden thinks at one point “if this isn’t hell, the devil is surely taking So, think Groundhog Day or Life After Life amidst the English aristocracy. It takes awhile to latch on to what’s happening here. Still, while the conceit has been done before, it’s done well here. This isn’t an easy read. It demands your full attention to keep track of which body Aiden is in, what day it is, what knowledge has been gained along the way and who’s alive and who’s dead. It does, however, keep you engaged. As Aiden thinks at one point “if this isn’t hell, the devil is surely taking notes.” It’s got to be the most convoluted book I’ve ever read. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of organizational skills it took to write this and keep all the moving parts straight. I particularly liked the fact that Aiden doesn’t completely take over the host body. The permanent resident, if you will, still has some power, which grows with each new host. It adds to the whole shape shifting atmosphere that’s so important to the story. What isn't done well is a sense of time. If not for the mention of a telephone and later an automobile, this could have taken place anytime from 1880 on… written notes, laudanum, carriages, stable hands, butlers and ladies maids had me feeling like it was of Downton Abbey time period, but some better descriptions would have helped. I wanted to be able to picture outfits, if nothing else. I’m really curious to know if this was done on purpose...The other issue that left me somewhat unsatisfied is the why this is happening. The whole reason Aiden and Anna are in this situation, if you will. Well done and I recommend this. But know what you’re getting into when you pick up the book. My thanks to netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advance copy of this book.
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  • ✨Brithanie
    January 1, 1970
    5/5 "this book blew my damn mind" stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Favorite Quotes: "How lost do you have to be to let the devil lead you home?""Nothing like a mask to reveal somebody's true nature."Pros: -This book was insane in the BEST way possible! It had me guessing from beginning to end! 💗-There were so many twists and turns! It was fantastic!Cons: -What cons? There weren't any for me. I couldn't tell you how pleasantly surprised I was by this book! 💗 Final Thoughts/Comments: If you have this book on your TBR 5/5 "this book blew my damn mind" stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Favorite Quotes: "How lost do you have to be to let the devil lead you home?""Nothing like a mask to reveal somebody's true nature."Pros: -This book was insane in the BEST way possible! It had me guessing from beginning to end! 💗-There were so many twists and turns! It was fantastic!Cons: -What cons? There weren't any for me. I couldn't tell you how pleasantly surprised I was by this book! 💗 Final Thoughts/Comments: If you have this book on your TBR I would highly recommend reading it! As someone who loves a good mystery from time to time, this was everything I could have asked for, and much much more!
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