The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle was written by Steven Turton and was published in 2018 by Raven Books, a crime-thriller and horror imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing. It was later published in the U.S. as The 7 ½ Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle, but don’t worry, it’s exactly the same award-winning book with the Best First Novel prize in the 2018 Costa Book Awards, under its belt.
Synopsis: When Aiden Bishop wakes up, he has lost all his memories. He no longer remembers his name nor does he have any recollection of what he is pursuing out on the fields of the dilapidated Blackheath estate. He soon learns that he is trapped on this estate until he can solve the mystery behind Evelyn Hardcastle’s death. Everyday he wakes up in the body of a new host, where each new perspective provides more clues, unraveling the many dark secrets hidden behind the walls of Blackheath.
The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle felt like a BBC period drama reminiscent of Groundhog Day and the works of Agatha Christie. Despite the many influences this novel seemed to draw upon, it maintained its own sense of originality. I loved the way the narrative combined elements of thriller and horror. It had a very nail-biting, suspenseful edge, that was arresting.
The book handled the many co-existing storylines, involving the various different hosts, in such a way that the mystery felt like it was gradually coming together instead of relying too much on heavy exposition to fill in the gaps. There were occasions where exposition was artfully used under the guise of buying time, which honestly.. I would’ve preferred less of.
As you would expect from a thriller book of this sort, there are many plot twists which I was really entertained by, mostly because I didn’t see them coming, but that’s because I’m not the greatest at solving mysteries and would probably lose in a game of whodunit. So if you’ve read enough murder mysteries novels to call yourself a connoisseur, you may find the plot twists in want of distinction.
Overall, The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle was a deeply entertaining read that constantly kept me guessing. I think this book would make for a fantastic TV adaptation, which I can definitely see myself winding down to with a glass of wine (if I had a TV).
I rate The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle.. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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