The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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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 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

My Review

What a clever, mind bending, compulsively brilliant debut novel!

At the end of the year I try to do a blog post with my favourite top 20 books of the year and I can safely say this book will definitely be one of them. I found it impossible to put down and caught myself getting irritated if I was forced to stop reading by things like the school runs (How bad would it have been if I gave my daughter the day off college just so I didn’t have to leave the house and the book to take her?) and cooking dinner 😂😂😂 (I didn’t give her day off and I did feed her, honestly!)

When I first opened the book and saw the party invitation with a list of the guests, hosts and staff on it I did think I was going to be in trouble! I am horrendous with names, even in the real world I never remember people’s names so I was expecting to get lost with there being quite so many, but as plentiful as the characters were they were all so well fleshed out and they each had their own distinctive voices that even I managed to stay abreast of who’s who.

It wasn’t keeping on top of the characters names that twisted my mind out of shape, it was the plot that did that, but it did it in such a good way that it made the entire book a pleasure to read. The ultimate groundhog day with a body hopping protagonist doomed to keep repeating the same day over and over but in different host bodies until he can reveal the name of Evelyn Hardcastle’s murderer. 

As well a some great characters the setting of the story, Blackheath House, is seeped in a palatable atmosphere. A crumbling down manor house, surrounded by forest in the remote countryside and haunted by the tragic death of the Hardcastle’s young son Thomas nineteen years ago. You can almost feel the fog and damp coming off the pages and it just so happened that as I was sat snuggled up under a blanket reading this the weather outside was mirroring the weather inside the book so I could literally hear the rain pouring too!

A Masquerade has been planned to be held on the anniversary of Thomas’s death and the invited  guests are the same guests that were at Blackheath House the day he was murdered. What starts off as a case of temporary amnesia turns into a very bizarre murder investigation as Aidan tries to piece together the clues to Evelyn’s murder and the connection to the murder of her younger brother. 

There are plenty of rabbit holes to fall down, twists to get lost in, duplicitous characters to fool you and an ending to completely blindside you. 

Fans of mysteries and “who done it’s” this is one book to not be missed.

Grab a copy now below, I can not recommend this book highly enough.

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