Author: Stuart Turton
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Evelyn Hardcastle will die.
Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle.
But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…
The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page. (Goodreads)
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To be honest, I probably would have stopped reading after the first couple of chapters if I hadn’t read the synopsis and known the premise.
It was slow going as I didn’t really care for the character, plot, or pace of the story.
Things started to pick up a little when the Aiden woke up as his second host, then his third.
Reminded me a little of a Quantum Leap-Groundhog Day mashup, only without the humor.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle takes place at a damp, decaying old manor house. Everything from the house to the guests who have been assembled for a masquerade ball seem tainted in some way.
It is a dreary atmosphere with a cloud hanging over everything and everybody. Did I mention the damp and decay? It practically leaps off the page to wrap you in its chilling embrace.
The premise is what kept me reading.
Aiden doesn’t really remember who he is or what he’s doing there, so spends too much time trying to figure things out instead of trying to solve Evelyn’s upcoming murder.
Then he becomes determined to change something during the course of the day. I’m not really sure why. Just to prove he can? Focus, Aiden! Who kills Evelyn?! That’s why you’re here!
Who is friend? Who is foe? Who really cares?
Sorry, but none of the characters were particularly likable in my opinion. That’s probably why I kept setting the book down to read something else. But then I’d pick it back up again because I was curious.
The multiple hosts and Aiden’s reactions to them were interesting. Once I caught on to the host switching, it wasn’t hard to keep track of who was who. The chapter headings helped, letting us know which day/host we were on.
It probably would’ve helped to take notes, especially since I kept putting the book down. I can see why some readers might get confused as it does bounce back and forth a bit.
Maybe I would have enjoyed this more if I was into Agatha Christie or gothic tales, but it simply wasn’t my cup of tea.
About the Author:
Stuart Turton is a freelance journalist who lives in West London with his amazing wife and daughter. He drinks lots of tea.
When he left university he went travelling for three months and stayed away for five years. Every time his parents asked when he’d be back he told them next week, and meant it.
Stuart is not to be trusted. In the nicest possible way.
Stuart’s debut novel is called The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the UK and The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the US. They’re the same book. Don’t fret. (Goodreads)
Where to find Stuart: Twitter