The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

About the Book: ‘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 Review: If you are looking for a quick and easy whodunnit then don’t read this book. If, however, you enjoy intelligent and atmospheric stories with fascinating characters and a clever plot line then you should enjoy this, but be warned you will need to concentrate.

The book has been described in the acknowledgments as a time-travel, body-hopping, murder-mystery novel by Stuart Turton and I can’t think of a better description.

Blackheath House, a huge sprawling stately home in serious disrepair is hosting a Masquerade Ball on the 19th Anniversary of the murder of 7 year old Thomas Hardcastle and tonight at 11pm Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered too.

Aiden, a guest at the party, wakes in the body of another guest and has to solve the murder(s) in order to leave the party. Yes, it’s confusing at times, yes, you need to concentrate from page 1, yes, it’s quite a long book (500+pages) but I did enjoy it.

There’s a wonderful feel of historical fiction and the description of Blackheath House and the surrounding areas are so atmospheric it’s easy to visualise the story and the characters. Overall I enjoyed the book, but felt slightly exhausted after finishing it.

About the Book:  Stuart Turton is a freelance travel journalist who has previously worked in Shanghai and Dubai. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his debut novel. He is the winner of the Brighton and Hove Short Story Prize and was longlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition. He lives in West London with his wife.

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