I picked this book up on my most recent visit to the library on a whim, literally a few minutes before I was going to give up and walk out with just two books. Something about this one caught my eye and I’m SO glad it did. I literally read this in less than 12 hours – that’s how utterly engaged I was in the story. I honestly struggled writing this review because of how much I loved it – do you guys ever get that?
At a party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed – again.
She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. The only way to break this cycle is to identify Evelyn’s killer.
But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is desperate to stop him ever escaping Blackheath.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is an absolutely stunning and riveting murder mystery and thriller all wrapped up into one. It reminds me of all the best parts of an Agatha Christie / Period mystery murder piece – the twists, the turns, the rich set pieces and costume. It all comes together to form a brilliant story which will keep even the most discerning reader guessing. I can honestly say I had no idea what was coming next and it was such an intricate puzzle which I loved getting to figure out piece by piece.
The novel is so atmospheric and as I mentioned briefly, reminiscent of a classic British murder mystery. I think the setting also plays a huge part in this as it all takes place in a secluded country estate, named Blackheath. The description of how run down Blackheath is nothing short of superb. From the well worn interiors, to the crumbling exterior and outer grounds, it all contributes to this atmosphere. The events of the novel take place on the eve of a massive party and a tragedy buried in the past, and as a result the Hardcastles are desperately trying to restore the estate to its former glory, to no avail.
Seven Deaths is also such a well written novel. The language and description is so rich and well constructed. Turton knows just how to build suspense and then deliver a satisfying payoff, at each turn. I found the various characters to be interesting and it was precisely because Aiden and the ‘host’ body had such distinct voices and personalities. It was fascinating to see the way each ‘host’ would influence Aiden in some way, and leave him changed and better equipped to solve the murder.
Another great element of the book are the range of characters explored. Turton delves into the darker side of human nature and indicates how everyone has their demons. It’s hard to pick a favourite out of the ‘hosts’ as they’re all guilty of some pretty questionable stuff but they’re compelling either way. While many of the characters are particularly loathsome; Jonathon Derby, who is a sexual predator, is definitely the most disturbing.
While Aiden is the main character of the novel, we don’t learn too much about him – which is quite unique. I feel like in most cases this wouldn’t work but in this novel it does, as Aidens backstory isn’t really essential to the plot itself. Alongside Aiden, there’s the mysterious Anna who dips in and out, but is she friend or foe?
Overall, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was such an amazing read and I can’t wait to see what Turton writes next. I would recommend this to anyone, especially those in a bit of a reading slump, this book will be the remedy for that!
★★★★★ – 5 Star rating
Until next time,