[Review] The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton


mystery | thriller | fantasy

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he 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 at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Funny story (sort of?)
I went into this book blind.

By that, I mean that it had been on my phone so long that I didn’t fucking remember what it was about. And I didn’t have anything else to read at work at the time. So imagine my surprise when I read the first few sentences and the main character has no memories. I stared at the page for a couple of minutes thinking “why me?” And I had no access to Google or Goodreads to search the synopsis!

Not going to lie, that helped make the mystery even more interesting. Because I didn’t know who he was or what to expect, so I went along thinking “well this amnesiac is going to solve a murder mystery, cool!” Not exactly.

Can’t say I was disappointed when the first body switch happened, although the idea of an amnesiac solving a murder mystery has not left my mind. (If anyone has recommendations, I am begging).

But for the review, the book is full of plot twists that had me screaming. Blackmail, hidden identities, rumors, murders. So many things going on, as is to be expected when you go into the lives of so many people. I didn’t know who to trust, there were several times in which my trust wavered because everyone was hiding something. I don’t think it’s possible to read this book without cracking your head trying to come up with a theory that doesn’t get debunked soon after. And right when you think you have it, something new gets unveiled and there goes your carefully crafted theory.

I was not expecting the end. Even though I always tell myself to suspect a certain type of character, I always get blinded by the others. And then that character is the murderer! It was great though, the author did a good job at distracting me from them to the point I never even consider them involved in the whole thing.

There was only one thing I was disappointed about. Since the book ends after the murder is solved, but we don’t get to know more about how the characters got there in the first place. I wasn’t expecting a full-on explanation but maybe an epilogue with the characters after they were able to leave Blackheath.

To finish the review, I wanted to mention that my favorite character was Cunningham. I love him.

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