The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
By: Stuart Turton
What would it be like to wake up in a different body every morning? To have no memory of who you were? To have to repeat it over and over again in a loop until you were able to solve the mystery of who killed Evelyn Hardcastle?
Groundhog Day with a whole lot of liars, twists, turns, long-buried secrets and body hopping indeed.
It also could have used one or two less deaths.
Basically Evelyn Hardcastle was everything it was sold as- unique, interesting and extremely well-written. Seriously, there was so much going on that at times I found it a little too hard to keep up and had to reread some sections. That’s why I think personally this one could have been trimmed a day- or a host- or two.
I’d say it could have used some editing but the most impressive thing was the author keeps it together.
Our main character is likable enough and his time in the hosts is really well-written. I liked Ravencourt especially. He has their memories (the hosts are still there actually) and he has their embarrassment, anger, histories, temper, fear and so on and so forth. In a book with a lot of characters there’s probably only one or two that have straight forward motives and are likable.
The mystery kept me guessing and throws you for some good loops. While I felt like the book did drag at times I have to say I read the last 100-150 pages in one setting which brings me to the ending itself. After a couple of days I’m still a little let down by it. It reminded me of a Black Mirror episode which I didn’t mind because there were still some differences.
The Plague Doctor was at turns suitably creepy, dangerous, and interesting.
But after everything it felt a little too quick and easy and I really don’t know what they were going for with the character of Anna. (Though I did enjoy the answer to who killed Evelyn.) I think the author was trying to make a bigger point with Anna and the conclusion- but I don’t think it worked for me under the circumstances.
That was kind of convoluted wasn’t it? I was trying to keep it spoiler free. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle also made me want to rewatch Clue which I haven’t seen in years. (Seriously if you’ve never watched Clue give it a go!) But the book is different, the mystery is deep and the ending will be what you make of it!
FYI- this is actually a big book so if you’re traveling or want it for a vacation read great choice but you may want to opt for the e-book version.
Recommend: Overall yes.