Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

It was such a palaver trying to get hold of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I ordered it from Amazon, opened the package and put The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo away on my TBR shelf. Yep. That’s what happened. Totally wrong book, admittedly with a very similar title, and I didn’t realise that they’d sent the wrong book for more than a week. It was only when I was looking for the pretty endpapers that I knew were in this book that I started to get confused. Did I immediately complain and throw Seven Husbands back at Amazon, demanding the correct book!? Well, uh, no. I kept it. And then went out and bought Seven Deaths.

Plot summary: 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.

This is going to be a horrendous review to write, just because I have never read anything even remotely similar to this book and also because it was amazing. I have no reference or experience in talking about a book like this one, so I’m just lost. Honestly, I just don’t think I can do this book justice, even if I sit here and screech to you about how wonderful it is.

To be fair, it’s probably one of those books that you’re better off knowing as little as possible before you go in. You know that the main character has to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle by waking up in a different body every morning for a week, but you don’t know how, or why, or what he’s doing there. I’ll just say that none of those questions have the answers that you’d expect but they are 100% answered in the most shocking ways possible.

There are so many dark twists and turns, and ingenious plot points, that I genuinely gasped out loud on more than one occasion. It’s brutal and fascinating and does not go where you think it’s going to.

The blurb is right, in that there is a certain Agatha Christie vibe. It’s set at an upper-class party and all lot of the usual stereotypes are present. The bumbling policeman, the vacant painter, the brusque hunter, etc. Again though, it’s so much darker than that.

I don’t know. You try writing a review about the book you loved, when the book defied all fictional norms and also when you’re trying to avoid saying too much. Bah.

I’m aware that this is an absolutely waste of time as far as reviews go, but I couldn’t not let everybody know how wonderful The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in.

You must, must, must read this book please.

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