The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: Rose hard seltzer. There’s a local place that brews it and it’s delightful! It’s newly 2022, and I’ve been enjoying being a homebody before I need to go back into the real world.
“Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day . . . quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, and altogether triumphant.” – A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.
For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.
This inventive debut twists together a thriller of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.
Costa First Novel Award 2018 Winner
One of Stylist Magazine’s 20 Must-Read Books of 2018
One of Harper’s Bazaar’s 10 Must-Read Books of 2018
One of Guardian’s Best Books of 2018
One of Buzzfeed’s 17 Mystery Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down
One of BookRiot’s 10 Mystery and Thriller Authors like Agatha Christie
Drunk Overview: Aiden wakes up in a random persons body at a party and learns he has 8 days and 8 different hosts to inhabit to solve a murder.
Drunk Thoughts: Man, I so wanted to love this book. I had heard amazing things about it. And I won’t argue that the plot was fun, but I honestly think if suffered from the writing.
- First off, I found it kind of hard to care for the main character (and some of the secondary characters). There’s something about a main character who loses himself in his hosts that makes it a little harder to root for him.
- I found the reason for him to be there to be convoluted enough that I just didn’t care for what was happening outside of the immediate mystery.
- I know that I mentioned this in my weekly wrap ups, but god this author had a lot of ableism in his writing.
- There are characters who are overweight, characters who are clearly dealing with mental illness, and the way it was handled really had my hackles up… I just found it really frustrating.
- Legit, the way obesity is handled in this book is beyond cruel.
- So, this is a mystery novel, which is usually not my jam
- Having different hosts and therefore different perspectives, was fascinating. They all had different insight and different ways of seeing the world, and seeing their actions build on each other (while the host is different each time the main character wakes up, it’s still the same day) was a lot of fun.
- I can’t imagine trying to keep all of the plotlines equal. It must have been inssanely difficult.
- This is the kind of book that should have come with content warnings. This book includes sexual assault, drug use, murder, ableism, fatphobia, casual cruelty, and honestly a bunch of other things I wish I had known before coming into this book. (sidenote, the misogyny is real, and I”m pretty sure unintentional)
- It’s easy to say that there is not a single likable person in this ENTIRE book.
- The mystery was really interesting though, if you are a fan of mystery this book may work a little better.
- Frankly, if this was a book I enjoyed reading in the first place, I’d probably want to read through it again to catch more of the nuances. Unfortunately, I think the writing style of this book was poor compared to it’s plot.
- This is the rare book where I’ll talk about the writing style, because it was weak. This is a book where the author’s implicit biases were far more obvious than intended. The way he wrote the different perspectives was frustrating…
- Each perspective tried so hard to be different that it made it harder to find the main character underneath it. It seemed odd that the main character had so little control over his hosts at the beginning.
- Additionally, the only main female character was the one that whose murder was trying to be solved. The lack of a single female host was frustrating. And Anna, who was a main character was functionally a lamp (aka her role wasn’t that different of a lamp the men could talk to).
- Ultimately, I found the ending unsatisfying, there were so many things that were told instead of shown, and… for such an interesting story if just ended a little to easily.
What it Pairs With: A really dry martini; bitter and no sense of humor.