BOOK REVIEW: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day in this riveting mystery about a young man who’s forced to relive the same day several times in a variety of different bodies.

When the wealthy Hardcastle family invites a group of strange and suspicious guests to a party weekend on their dilapidated estate, no one expects anything more than a few days of drinking, hunting and celebrating. But when Aiden Bishop wakes up in a body that isn’t his own, he realizes that he is in the midst of a plot much bigger than himself. As he relives the same one day multiple times, he comes to realize that he has to solve the murder of the Hardcastle’s daughter Evelyn in order to escape.

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle must have been a massive undertaking for debut novelist Stuart Turton. He has had to craft a series of unique, interesting, and ultimately very suspicious characters and then replace each of them with Aiden Bishop. I spend the first hundred or so pages in a deep state of confusion because of just how complex the narrative of this story was. But despite being confused, I felt motivated to keep reading because I was so absorbed in Turton’s style and original plot.

The twists and turns in this novel are too numerous to count. Every few chapters there’s a new revelation that will send readers reeling. If you are focused enough to follow the story, you will find yourself completely wrapped up in this murder mystery with a supernatural twist. The party scenes – reminiscent of The Great Gatsby – and the foreboding countryside setting – add new layers to the novel.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle stands alone from everything else I’ve read this year. While it has elements that remind me of other novels, it is so highly original that it can barely be compared to anything else on the market. It’s a bold debut from an incredibly talented writer – one who I will keep an eye out for in the future.

You’ll find yourself rooting for characters only to have your mind blown when they turn out to be nefarious, and trying to piece together the puzzle and solve the mystery on your own only to be thrown off course when Turton throws another twist your way.

There’s something for everyone in this novel: murder, mystery, historical fiction, riveting characters, beautiful scenery, and a satisfying ending that somehow manages to tie off the hundreds of loose ends dangled throughout the book.

Make sure you carve out a good chunk of quiet undisturbed time to read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. You’ll need all of your attention to solve this incredible mystery.