The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
About the Book
Publisher: Raven Books | Release Date: February 8, 2018 | Pages: 512
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller | Format: eARC | Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.
Also titled as The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
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Wow. What a wonderful five days I had reading this mind and genre-bending Mystery debut. This is definitely a book that you should go into as blind as possible and for that reason my review will be shorter than typical as this is near impossible to review without spoilers.
“Blackheath seems fertile ground for tragedy.”
Turton managed to create an amazing and contained environment for this story to take place, and his writing is vivid in its descriptions of Blackheath and the people inhabiting it that I feel like I could walk the grounds myself. The atmospheric writing gripped from the first lines to the very last and even managed to make me feel the emotions of the main character.
While this is certainly a mind trip and not a cozy mystery read, the writing is solid and the MC’s voice at times has this sarcastic humor that I just couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
“I hadn’t previously made the connection between [redacted for spoilers], probably because it’s easier to imagine him being delivered onto this earth by a biblical plague.”
The was definitely a 5-star plot for me, but in execution I have it at 4 stars. It took some time and patience to settle into the narrative style, and I think some people will struggle. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a light, cozy mystery.
Blackheath is a place where everyone wears a mask and no one is who they seem. Paying close attention will pay dividends. While I guessed a couple of the reveals due to my pick-apart-everything nature, even I was thrown a couple of curveballs… and I love to be surprised, especially when it is done well.
I love how everything tied up nicely in the end (no loose ends that I noticed) and I think this is a book that would get better with re-reading. Turton managed an inventive, complex, and mesmerizing book for his debut and I look forward to reading his future publications. I highly recommend this book to fans of mysteries, but be prepared to be highly engaged in a web where answers come long before you think to ask the questions. I don’t think this will be for everyone, but this is an absolute gem for the right people.
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me an electronic ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Quotations were taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publication.