TITLE: The Seven (or 7 1/2) Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
BY: Stuart Turton
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
I can summarize this book in one long sentence: Evelyn is going to die in her welcome party and Aiden Bishop needs to solve her murder by inhabiting 8 bodies over and over again until he solves it and get out before anyone else does.
I can also review it in one analogy: It’s like riding to a destination I’ve always wanted to see, and the ride itself is great; beautiful sceneries and interesting experiences but the ride got too long, and I started to get bored and aggravated nearing the destination, but still happy upon arrival.
Simple, right? No, don’t let me fool you. Because this book is anything but SIMPLE.
This must be one of the most complex book I’ve ever read. But I must admit, the story didn’t pull me in right away. It started with scenes that aren’t interesting enough to make me read more, that’s why it took me 3 days before truly investing into it. The description on GR mentioned an Aiden Bishop yet I was introduced to a man who doesn’t even know who he is. (a spoiler but you’ll know this in chapter 1 so it’s ok.) But this isn’t a bad thing, reading through, I realized that those first scenes are the perfect opening scenes for this book. I’m saying this because I know there’ll be readers that’ll be tempted to give up on it. It’s not the scenes really, it;s the character, I just don’t care about him and what’s happening to him. But again the novel needed to start that way.
This is a plot-driven book. The plot was so intricately woven, yet the flow was smooth. Well, once you really get into the story. As an aspiring author myself, I can say, I can’t do what the author did and this is his debut. It’s simply amazing. Well-structured and perfectly done. Even his writing. It’s almost lyrical. And I even took quotes I’d live by. And there’s no issue of telling though it seemed like there is. You see, I’m being TOLD by the writer but he’s deceiving me, because he was telling interesting things I forgot I also have to look at what he’s SHOWING. Good thing we all enjoy being tricked in our mystery novels.
And that’s what this book is all about: DECEITs and TRICKS. From the title to everything else. This is like solving a puzzle. You think you already have all the pieces and you’re good to go. No. You think you already know everything, NO. This book isn’t an easy read. You won’t read this one if you want to just relax, you need you’re ultimate focus in order to enjoy this. But no worries because the story is so engaging and compelling, you have no choice but to FOCUS. And if you want to solve this puzzle hidden in a book, you CAN. Around 75 %- 80% I solved it but impossible before that mark. And you might wanna jot down notes and the NAMES…
I mentioned earlier about not caring about the character in the opening scenes. Truth is, because of how the story flows, it’s hard to be invested in any of the characters. But it’s okay, really. If I have a complain, it’s not about that. I said in my analogy of a review above that before I reached the destination, I got aggravated. Maybe it’s because I solved it already that the reveals aren’t that surprising much anymore.
Or maybe it’s because of this one thing that I just don’t like personally. It just didn’t sit well with me even now. It bothered me. I got what’s the author was trying to say or convey but still… But again this is just me. (more about this at the end of the review)
The ending though is very clever. I just love it. Not as dramatic as I expected it to be but it was a good one.
Overall I HIGHLY recommend this book. And I suggest you go into it blind, forget everything you heard/read/know about it. If this is a puzzle, then this is a game. And it maybe the same game but the play changes when the players change. This may play out differently for you. 🙂
MIGHT BE A SPOILER BUT NOT SPECIFIC:
About the thing that didn’t sit well with me, I just mean that if someone killed one of the people I love I will never forgive the killer. Not even if they’ve changed and even if they died over and over again. Not even after reincarnation (No reincarnation in the novel, I’m merely trying to make a point)… I WILL NEVER FORGET AND FORGIVE. MY soul will never forget it.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU’VE READ THIS BOOK AND TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT…or are you planning to read it? Please do.