“If this is hell, then it’s one of our making”. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a book we can only describe as one massive twist. If this book were to be an amusement park ride, it would be illegal; it contains so many bends, turns, twists and gasps that you could barely hold on. And we absolutely loved it.
This Stuart Turton’s book is a murder mystery with a tiny hint of sci-fi. A fantastic tribute to Agatha Christie, it transports you into a secluded mansion at the beginning of 20th century. You are Aiden Bishop. But nobody calls you by that name; you have to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle, and the only way to do it is to repeat the day eight times while occupying a different host of the house each day. You will see Evelyn die every night. If you don’t bring the name of the killer to your captor after eight nights, you will lose your memory and try again. And again. And again.
This groundhog day scenario turns into the best game of Cluedo you ever played. Nobody could call this book boring. Every page contains something new, every chapter changes your view of things. Friends become enemies; enemies become friends; you will be saved and betrayed a hundred times. And finally, then you think that you and the main character pieced this puzzle together – the book will change the outcome one last time. No spoilers.
It may sound confusing, but author holds your hand very steadily. There were very few occasions, then we felt lost and quickly recovered. As one of the characters in the book said: “Too little information and you’re blind, too much and you are blinded.”
On our discussions, we talked about the meaning of this perpetual loop and what it does to peoples minds. We discussed trust issues between certain characters and how the perception of some of them changes through the book.
We would highly recommend to pick this one up. Especially now, when evenings are getting colder and longer, there is nothing better than dwelling into old, posh peoples lives and unravelling unsolved mysteries.
4.5 stars from both of us
📖Review by 👩🏻🦰&🧔