Can’t you see, these masks we wear betray us. They reveal us” – The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by: Stuart Turton
Initial Thoughts: It was definitely the title that drew me in. It rolls off the tongue nicely and it is very memorable. I ended up reading a version of the book called The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but the internet assures me that it is the same book as The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…” – Goodreads
It has been a week since I finished this book, and I held off reviewing for a week to gather my thoughts. I could summarize my entire thoughts by just one word, wow. I was expecting a fun murder mystery type of novel with some twists and turns, but I didn’t even begin to imagine the intricacies of the plot and the depth of the characters. There are very few books like these, and they need to be treated as gems of genius.
The novel starts out with a man waking up in the forest grounds of Blackheath mansion. He does not know who he is or why he is there. There is only one word upon his lips. A name. Anna.
The man eventually finds out that he is reliving the same day over and over again in the body of the different guests and servants of the household. Every night without fail, Evelyn Hardcastle will die at 11:00 p.m. The man’s task is to find the killer, and he only has eight days to do so.
Honestly, I probably shouldn’t reveal any more of the plot than what I have already given. It’s one of those books where the less you reveal, the better. If you are confused at the beginning, perfect. Everything is revealed slowly, leaving the reader to discover the hidden secrets of Blackheath and its inhabitants. As the man encounters the guests and servants, he discovers that no one is who they appear to be. Everyone has secrets, including the hosts he inhabits every day.
When I first began reading, I thought that maybe reading about the same day through the perspective of different guests would be a little repetitive and annoying. I did have high hopes for the book, but I thought that I might be disappointed. After all, how many things can go on during one day? Well, I was completely wrong. With each new perspective, I found myself diving deeper and deeper into the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle’s death and the man’s identity. I wanted to know desperately, why was the man at Blackheath? Who is this Anna person? Why do the days keep repeating? What happens when the man solves the mystery? Do they days keep going on as usual? I had so many questions, and the more I read, the more questions I had.
Usually, I don’t tend to read or watch murder mysteries, because I can generally solve them. The moment I thought I knew everything, the novel went in a completely different direction as if to say “I’m not your typical murder-mystery novel.” It really isn’t. By the way, I am really hoping for a film adaptation.
After I finished reading, I am now left with the thought “I will never find as clever of a murder mystery for a while. What will I do?” Hopefully, Stuart Turton will write more books (this is his debut novel – can you believe that!?) that are just as clever as The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who loves murder mysteries.
About the Book
Title: The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Author: Stuart Turton Year Published: 2018 Genres & Subjects: fiction, mystery, thriller
Until Next Time,