Backlist Review: The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – #ARC

The Rules of Blackheath

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. 
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. 
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. 
Understood? Then let’s begin…

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.

 

 

Anonymous – Our main character’s identity is hidden for a large portion of the book so, for the purpose of this review, they will be referred to as ‘Anonymous’.

 

Anonymous is transported from one host to the other in a quest to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder which proves to be both a help and a hindrance to their efforts. Some of their hosts were repulsive and I would have been happy without having entered their minds or learning their backstory. With that being said, there was a very interesting mix of personalities, all focused on one singular goal. I won’t name my favorite or least favorite because that’ll spoil the lists of hosts and we can’t have that…

 

How lost do you have to be to let the Devil lead you home?

Anna – Because Evelyn’s character is off limits.

 

As a character, she played her role well. She disappeared and reappeared at just the right moments to leave you unclear about who’s side she’s really on. She’s that one variable that you’re never quite sure of because your mind is telling you to trust her but your gut is telling you to be cautious.

 

Too little information and you’re blind, too much and you’re blinded.

I can’t name my favorite or least favorite characters for the same reason I can’t name the hosts, but, if you’ve read it and want to discuss then my inbox/mentions/DMs are all open ^_^.

 

 

 Whoa, boy, does this one have a lot going on. On one level there’s the mystery of who exactly Anonymous is, which would have been intriguing enough of a novel idea. But then there’s the question of who’s on your side, trying to unravel the main mystery. And, of course, never forget that we have a murder to solve!

Life doesn’t always leave you a choice in how you live it.

Not every author can pull off such a balancing act, but Turton does it masterfully. Each level intrigues you so thoroughly that while it is at the forefront, you almost regret having to change focus. Almost.

The last time I entered this forest, my mind never made it back.

Aside from a well managed plot, it should be noted that this story is told in a circuitous manner. Every thing is connected and you relive the same moments over and over and yet, it manages to not be repetitious.

 

 

 This book was thoroughly entertaining, keeping you on edge for the vast majority of it, with a blend of characters that you both love and loathe.

Pity’s a fog to become lost within.

There are some possibly triggering topics in this one though, so if: mention of drug use, mention of rape or violence aren’t something that you can handle, then please take note. I personally try to avoid books with rape in them, but this one was fine for me. It was just briefly mentioned in conversation. Of the other two topics, the violence was the most involved and married to the plot.

What I liked:

 

 All of it! The. End. K, thanks, bye.

Characters: 4.5 ( -.5 for THOSE characters).

Mystery: 5

Thrill/Horror: 4

Plot/Reveals: 5

TL;DR: Read this if you don’t need a chronological timeline, don’t mind being in the heads of a slew of characters and want to be two steps behind at all times. Don’t read if…you hate being entertained? IDK…

Amazon: 4.1

B&N: 4.4

Goodreads: 4.01

My Rating: 5 (more like this please) stars

See you soon ☺️

One thought on “Backlist Review: The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – #ARC

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