There are many words I can use to describe this book, clever, extraordinary, genius and full of suspense. This is one of those books that I’ll remember in the years to come and one that even I’ll reread because that’s something I hardly do.
On the surface The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle seems like a classic Agatha Christie book. I would agree with this but it’s also much more than that. It’s like Agatha Christie and Inception put together, you think you know what’s happening and then all of a sudden the book leaps towards another direction and you start questioning everything all over again!
The novel takes place in the 1920-30s at an old country house known as Blackheath where a party is taking place. Here we find the main character Aidan Bishop confused and disorientated and covered in knife marks on his arms. He has also woken up in another mans body with no memory of who he is, where he’s from, his age etc just the name “Anna” engraved in his mind.
In order to escape this nightmarish situation the character is tasked with solving the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle who will be killed at exactly 11pm. If the character fails he must go through the same day again and again, however each day he will be transported into the mind and body of 8 different people. Each of these individuals have different personalities, attributes and secrets, lots and lots of secrets. To make matters even more intense he only has 8 days to find out why Evelyn is murdered and who on earth did it. If he fails he must start all over again with his memories being erased I.e. Groundhog Day.
Firstly, I can’t believe this is Stuart Turtons first book because the way he’s written this makes me think he’s been writing novels for years. Turton has created something special with this book, it’s beautifully written, highly intelligent and above all else it’s so imaginative. Reading this book had me feeling like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. It unlocked my imagination and it felt like a whole movie being played in my head, the only thing missing was popcorn.
Moreover, I loved how each of the hosts was so different to one another . Each has their own unique personality and attributes and it was so exciting to see how the main character must adapt to each of them. Because although each has their own strengths there are also weaknesses that the character must cope with.
Furthermore, I enjoyed how secretive everything is. It’s like a real life puzzle and you’re going through the solving process with the main character. It’s so intense as you uncover a wide range of mysteries and puzzles. Some might be frustrated by this but I loved it.
Thus, this book was an absolute joy to read. I haven’t read a book this good since The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Claire North. It’s full of action and suspense and it’ll have you questioning so much. One minute you’ll think you’ve solved the case and the next you’ll realise you’ve failed miserably. However, slowly Stuart Turton puts the pieces together like one of those shelves from Ikea as everything just fits into place so effortlessly. I never once got confused as It’s written so well, which is a surprise considering the premise of the book. I absolutely loved this book, everything about it, usually there’s negative things you can pick at but for me this book has none. I really can’t wait to read more from Stuart Turton in the future