Book Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Published by Raven Books on February 8, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: eBook
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'Somebody's going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won't appear to be a murder and so the murderer won't be caught. Rectify that injustice and I'll show you the way out.'

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath...

My Thoughts

A murder mystery involving “time loops” is  not new to us. Time loops is when a character finds him/herself repeating a period of time over and over again. From most of what I’ve read, time loops are currently in terms of a day. The character relives the same day over and over again. This usually happens until a certain “ending” to the day has been achieved. In the case of this book, the time loop can only end when the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle has been solved.

Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.

This book involves Aiden Bishop awakens in the middle of a forest with no idea who he is. All he knows is a name – Anna. He then hears a gunshot, he is certain that there’s a killer with him in the forest. He soon reaches a house where he was informed that his name is Sebastian Bell. But then, he wakes the next day in a completely different body.

The difference of this book into other books and movies with the “time loop” premise is that the main character jumps into different bodies they called ‘hosts’. Aiden is set to have 8 hosts so that means he has 8 days to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. Being 8 different people in the loop allows Aiden to have different set of skills to eventually solve the murder. This makes the character very complex. You see, we don’t really know the real Aiden Bishop. He doesn’t know himself. The characters we encounter is a mixture of Aiden’s thoughts and a bit of the host’s personality so I think that there’s a total of 8 main characters. What I love about this is that it’s clear that it was a challenge to do this but it was executed well. From every host, I saw the hint of personality of the host but the thoughts of Aiden are still in the surface.

Another thing that I love in this book is that it keeps you in a constant state of suspense and confusion. I was always wondering on what happens next. I actually stayed up until past 3am just to finish this book because I can’t bring myself to put the book down. I can’t let the sun rise without knowing who murdered Evelyn. But the best thing about the mystery in this book is that it’s shocking. It was, for me, very unpredictable. It was actually several layers of mystery. Twists and turns after twists and turns. I am certain that writing this book took a long time because the plot is intricate.

I also really liked the author’s writing. It was a turn-off for some but I actually like the cryptic nature of the narrative. . At the same time, the descriptions are very detailed that I feel like I was transported to Blackheath myself. I do have to admit that it’s difficult to keep up sometimes but I guess it’s part of the charm of the book. I think this book is really meant to resemble a maze.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to everyone. Mystery lover or not, there’s a high chance that you won’t sleep and put down this mind-boggling book until the very last page. This book is a work of art that everyone needs to read.

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