The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Written by Stuart Turton

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

To be clear, you really have to suspend your disbelief for the entirety of this story – but when you do, it’s a great ride!

I wasn’t keen to read this, it was a book club pick that I have put off for a month or so believing it would be too silly to be plausible. However, the author did really well with a storyline that could have really been awful.

I enjoyed the mystery, and I liked the idea that was behind Aiden waking up in the different bodies to relive the same day eight times to discover the murderer of Evelyn. It was filled with interesting plot changes and the never-ending question of who he could trust throughout. I liked that the influence of the mind and body of the person he woke up in played a part in what he could do with that person – a clever twist on behalf of the author that added a fun element to the twisting plot.

Anna, Daniel and the Footman were all interesting characters in their own right, and I can’t say anymore on any of them without going into spoiler territory – needless to say, they played various parts in loop and it was done in a way where they still were fleshed out characters.

There were glaring plot-holes, completely unexplained knowledge, and stretching of understandings to make leaps of judgment that were beyond acceptable – but, if you didn’t think about it and just carried on as though of course that could happen, it actually flowed quite well considering the various crossed paths that occur. And it not only flowed, it made some type of sense and was wrapped up very neatly.

The ending could have gone so many ways, and I was happy with the way it did – although, I have to say for a mystery, the ending was fantastic as I didn’t pick it, it was plausible (as plausible within the storyline as it could be), and I didn’t know what would happen at all. I could have been happy with any ending, which is another tick to the author’s clever writing.

Half the novel I felt I could have gone without the Plague Doctor, and I’m still a bit unsure about that whole background stuff. Having said that, it would have been hard for the story to resolve itself without that part – so, I learned to enjoy that complete bit of weirdness for the sake of continuing to enjoy the ride.

Couldn’t put it down, easy writing style, great ability to twist a story where it should be so confusing you can’t follow it – but you can because the author did so well at portraying it and making it accessible. You really need to be able to suspend disbelief to read, but well worth it if you want to just read along and follow a great mystery.

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