Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
“The future isn’t a warning my friend, it’s a promise, and it won’t be broken by us. That’s the nature of the trap we’re caught in.”
This was one of those books which I’d seen EVERYWHERE since it was published. I was always intrigued as it had a cool title, and when I found it in a charity shop, I was determined to read it over Christmas! The book is a murder mystery in which The Hardcastles are throwing a party, a party at which their daughter will be killed – again. Evelyn Hardcastle has been murdered hundreds and hundreds of times and every day Aiden Bishop fights an impossible battle to save her. The only way he can win is by finding her killer, but every day he wakes up in the body of a different guest and someone is desperate to stop him escaping. But will he ever manage to solve the puzzle of Evelyn’s death?
The main attraction to this book is just how captivating the plot was; the unpredictability and complex plot arc was so enthralling and I just needed to turn every page, desperate to find out more about the people and who killed Evelyn! I really liked Evelyn as a character, and found that Turton did a really good job of making the characters different and interesting. What I also liked is how all of them were somehow detestable in their own way, not that it’s enjoyable to dislike all the characters, but I felt it was a good satire of that kind of family and the type of friends they kept.
I loved the “black mirror” feel of the book and I didn’t find it at all predictable or boring, though I will say, at times it was a little hard to follow – I think it would have helped if each chapter had a name at the top so you knew which body Aiden was in – even though you found out relatively quickly, I think it would have helped for clarity.
The tone of the novel was also very interesting. It touched on hard-hitting themes such as loneliness and drug abuse, but also somehow managed to keep an air of prestige as most of the characters were part of a high-class society and upheld the idea that those kind of things should be kept to yourself.
I loved every twist and turn of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and I can’t wait to read some more of Turton’s books. What I loved about it most was its ambition; rather than making it easy for himself, Turton layered plots within plots, created plausible and complicated character relationships and never once dropped the ball with the storyline. I kind of loved how hard I had to work to discover the truth, so if nothing else, you will put this book down feeling immensely satisfied.