The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?
At a gala 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. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.
This is a simply fantastic debut showing from Stuart Turton. The plot manages to marry an Agatha Christie mystery with Groundhog Day, with a little dash of The Twilight Zone and Doctor Who thrown in for good measure. Such a story should be absurd in the extreme, but Turton manages to deliver a classically-toned mystery with new and original parts.
As the story begins, we are dropped into the classic brooding English manor house and grounds with our amnesiac protagonist. What at first appears to be a fairly typical turn-of-the-century mystery story swiftly shunts both reader and protagonist into strange and unexpected territory. As the threads of the story weave themselves into ever more complicated patterns, we find the tropes of the manor house murder mystery both revered and stood on their heads.
Turton’s debut novel is an incredibly original, carefully crafted story. By providing us with such a well-known and beloved literary setting, he lures the reader into a false sense of confidence that they know what is going on. It is only once deep into the story that we realize how far from the garden path we have been led.
Mystery lovers and any who are looking for a new and original read will enjoy this book.
An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.