Author: Stuart Turton
Genre: Science Fiction / Murder Mystery
Format: Paperback 528 pages
Release Date: 1 October 2018
Publisher: Raven Books
I bought this book after reading such rave reviews and being very intrigued with the book description. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed … Again
It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.
But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.
The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…
I can’t quite believe that this book is the authors debut novel. It is so intricately plotted and so magnificently woven together that I easily would have thought that this would have been the authors tenth novel considering how well polished the finished product is.
I love a book where you can’t quite pin your finger on what genre the story is most suited to. This book on the face of it seems like your normal murder mystery, Evelyn Hardcastle dies at the end of the day and Aiden Bishop is tasked with finding out who killed her. However, and this is a big however, he does so in the guise of eight different guests over the course of eight days, not eight different days, but eight of the same days, one in each of the eight guests who are visiting Blackheath.
The story most definitely has a Groundhog feel about it, with Aiden doomed to repeat the same day over and over again not knowing if he can ever influence the outcome. What is so interesting here though is that Aiden can still feel his host body’s personality and each time he inhabits a new body he has to fight against his hosts natural instincts.
This book is incredibly clever, and despite jumping backwards and forwards through time and characters I never felt lost or out of touch with what was going on. That said though, I did read this book in just two sittings, and I think it is the kind of book that needs to be read in big chunks rather than a chapter here or there.
There are two big mysterious at play in this book, firstly, who killed Evelyn Hardcastle, and secondly, why on earth has Aiden Bishop been tasked with solving this mystery and what is the purpose of having him repeat the day in different hosts? I had no idea where this book was going and was completely stupefied as to the answers to these questions. I absolutely love a book that keeps me guessing and this book most definitely did that and more. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time and can’t recommend it enough.
About the Author
Stuart Turton is a freelance travel journalist who has previously worked in Shanghai and Dubai. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his debut novel. He is the winner of the Brighton and Hove Short Story Prize and was longlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition. He lives in West London with his wife.
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