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 ☺️

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Monday Reads

aka What I’m reading this week!

 

 


This one shouldn’t be too hard for those of you who are following my Goodreads updates, but, for those of you who only see these posts, this might be welcome information.

 

 

These week on ‘Dee Reads for Food’ we have:

 

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Have you ever played two truths and a lie?

Emma has. Her first summer away from home, she learned how to play the game. And she learned how to lie.

Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned . . .

Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime.

Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…

I really enjoyed Final Girls, especially Sager’s writing style, so this one was a no brainer. Getting approved for this ARC definitely made my day. Expected date of publication: July 12, 2018.

 

I’m also listening to the audiobook of

 

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I told you, I’m in the mood for rereads.

 


What are you reading this week?

Currently Reading!

aka the time I didn’t have any ideas…

 


 

I almost forgot that today was Post Day (!)… So this is the best you get. I’m sorry.

 

Spectacle Vol 1 by Megan Rose Gedris

 

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Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn’t believe in anything supernatural—until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they’re sharing a body while trying to identify the killer. With few leads, a troupe full of secretive folk, and strange paranormal occurrences popping up around the circus, solving the case seems near impossible. But the murderer in their midst may be the least of their problems…

 

So far I am loving the art. The colors are eye-catching and the art is sufficiently mystical looking. Look out for my thoughts on this one soon.

 

 

and

 

Hold by Michael Donkor

 

 

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Moving between Ghana and London, Hold is an intimate, moving, powerful coming-of-age novel. It’s a story of friendship and family, shame and forgiveness; of learning what we should cling to, and when we need to let go.
Belinda knows how to follow the rules. As a housegirl, she has learnt the right way to polish water glasses, to wash and fold a hundred handkerchiefs, and to keep a tight lid on memories of the village she left behind when she came to Kumasi.
Mary is still learning the rules. Eleven-years old and irrepressible, the young housegirl-in-training is the little sister Belinda never had.
Amma has had enough of the rules. A straight-A pupil at her exclusive South-London school, she has always been the pride of her Ghanaian parents. Until now. Watching their once-confident teenager grow sullen and wayward, they decide that sensible Belinda might be just the shining example Amma needs.
So Belinda is summoned from Ghana to London, and must leave Mary to befriend a troubled girl who shows no desire for her friendship. She encounters a city as bewildering as it is thrilling, and tries to impose order on her unsettling new world.
As the Brixton summer turns to Autumn, Belinda and Amma are surprised to discover the beginnings of an unexpected kinship. But when the cracks in their defences open up, the secrets they have both been holding tightly threaten to seep out.

 

 

This has been a bit of a slower read for me (no fault of the book I don’t think). I keep getting distracted by more light-hearted reads, or tv…

 

 

(I’m very tempted to start Obsidio too)

 

 


Somebody save me from myself.