The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

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Pub Date Sep 18 2018 | Archive Date Apr 01 2019
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark | Sourcebooks Landmark


How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

The Hardcastle family is hosting a masquerade at their home, and their daughter Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die everyday until Aiden Bishop is able identify her killer and break the cycle.

But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up each day in a different  body as one of the guests. 

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.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that's an Agatha Christie mystery in a Groundhog Day Loop, with a bit of Quantum Leap to it.  Perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson and Claire North.

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

The Hardcastle family is hosting a masquerade at their home, and their daughter Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die everyday until Aiden Bishop...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781492657965
PRICE $25.99 (USD)

Average rating from 1089 members

Featured Reviews

My brain is melting!

Devilishly clever and a work of pure f****** genius.

I can't even begin to fathom how to review this one without any kind of spoilers so I'm not even going to try. For a start I'm still working through the puzzle that is this enigma - like a rubix cube in book form just when you are cheering yourself quietly for getting all the blue squares on one side you realise you still have yellow, red and green to go and any attempt to get all of those behaving properly naturally unravels the blue and puts you back where you started.

There are many things I loved about this one - Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day with a splash of Conan-Doyle type dastardly plotting, plus a hint of the Dr Sam Beckett all within an old school setting , with quirky, believable and engaging characters. As if that wasn't enough this twisted tale of murder and skulduggery doesn't end up all caught up in itself leaving the author floundering for a resolution that makes sense (hey we've all read THOSE books) but rather messes with your perception of things then turns it all around into an intelligent and thought provoking finish.

Like I said - a work of pure f****** genius.

That is all.

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Sometimes "high concept" can put you off, but don't let it in this case. It's a tricksy, twisty, novel that requires work, but pays out in a gripping plot. One of the most satisfying mystery novels I've read in a long time.

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This is one of the best books that I've read in 2017. It's a smart, intriguing mystery, and I could not put this book down until I finished it.

Aiden, the narrator, is first person, but Aiden is a completely inaccurate narrator through no fault of his own. Aiden and the reader will have to blame the clever author, Stuart Turton, for Aiden's unreliability. This is the author's debut novel, and I am over-the-moon happy to discover him because I'm sure that Mr. Turton's mind and writing skills are going to deliver many more interesting books.

There must be some sadism lurking in Mr. Turton as he tortures Aiden horribly by having Aiden jump from one "host" body to another over different days as Aiden works to solve the mystery of how Evelyn Hardcastle ends up dead in her family manor home in England. The reader gets to participate in Aiden's confusion and anger as well as beatings all thanks to Aiden experiencing the emotions and physical discomforts of his hosts.

It's fiendish that the motley crew of hosts features such unsavory characters as a rapist and a coward. I don't want to divulge too much about the hosts because a lot of the fun in the book is discovering the nuances of these reprobates while Aiden is learning about them. And since I consider this fun, I guess that my mind is just as twisted as Mr. Turton's!

In finishing this book I thought "what in the world have I just read" and "when do I get to read more." Please keep busy writing!

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An extraordinarily unique mystery which follows one man as he inhabits 8 different "hosts," all 9f whom are witnesses to the murder of Evelyn. To be freed, he must solve the crime. Others are trying also and only one can be freed. These are the basic rules and the story expands from there. Beautifully intricate, we slowly unravel the interwoven observations and experiences in each host as the skills of each push the story forward. I highly recommend. The best mystery I've read in the last few years.

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Wow, what a roller coaster ride of a read, and in a good way too! I loved how as a reader you were just thrown into the story, trying to figure out what was going on right along with ‘Aiden’. Even knowing the premise of the book you still felt li,e you were learning and figuring out everything right along with him. And the idea of so many different ‘hosts’ was done amazingly, especially as the story progresses and more is leanrned about how to make the most of each day. Just such a uniquely mysterious read! And I can honestly say I would have never guessed the mechanism behind the ‘loops’ either, which is always such a pleasure to me. I will definitely be recommending this one!

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I really enjoyed this book! It took me a couple of chapters to get engrossed in it but once I figured out the gist of it I got swept away.

While, initially, this may just seem like a complicated and cleverly executed “Clue” like story it’s really a study of humanity, and our ability to choose a path of good or evil. There were so many colorful and corrupt characters at times I had a hard time keeping up with everybody; however, I think that’s to be expected when you wake up 8 days in a row as a different person!

Aiden is such an endearing character. He is constantly waking up as different people and has been for quite some time, but you see how he’s been growing as a person all that time. I loved that a value is placed on forgiveness and trustworthiness.

It was fun to get caught up in the scandal and then suddenly find a moment of light as Aiden’s humanity fights its way to the surface. The web of mystery, the big question of who did it, is so well executed and complete with an unexpected twist. Really wonderful writing! So happy to have read this!

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An ingeniously plotted and fast-paced mystery unlike anything I've ever read before. It was like Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap is playing Clue with a dungeon master from Dungeons & Dragons pulling all the strings. This book is a puzzle in prose form, and I think it would only benefit from repeated reads. The author went to great pains to ensure the book holds up and everything makes sense. The end fills in the blanks beautifully. Some books, like Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island" are just so well crafted that you have to wonder what kind of beautiful mind was able to put it together. I'm definitely going to re-read this one just to pick up on all the clues I missed the first time around.

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This was a really original murder mystery novel with some interesting twists. I really enjoyed the plot and how there were enough hints to figure out at least part of the mystery without the protagonist spoon feeding it to me.

The protagonist was one of the main strength of the novel because he was shown to inhabit different characters and taking on their traits in a variety of situations. This allowed the novel to develop its protagonist in a very unique way.

The only thing I did not like was the ending, it just seemed a little to neat to me but that's the only critique I have.

Overall, this is a great mystery novel with a unique plot and interesting twists.

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Déjà vu is a weird experience, made even stranger when you experience the same event from a few different perspectives. Stuart Turton’s The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle seeks to solve a mysterious murder by having its investigator relive the same momentous day in eight different hosts.

At an English countryside estate, the parents of Evelyn Hardcastle are throwing a party to reintroduce her to society after years of living in Paris. But the party isn’t a happy occasion as there are plans afoot by party or parties unknown to kill Evelyn during the party her parents are hosting. Trying to save the life of Evelyn by solving her murder, Aiden Bishop repeats the same day over and over within the bodies of different people at the party, each of whom has different benefits and drawbacks to aid or hinder in his effort to escape this never-ending loop.

Filled with misdirection and intrigue, the narrative uses a basic mystery format to explore a more creative science fiction element to the premise with time manipulation. The story, while interesting in its delivery, was frustrating at times with how much overlapping information was presented as if it were new – though it was a way to establish a scene or situation, it could have been a bit more concise. While there was a lot of characterization and build up to the ending, the ending rushed through its explanation of why, and as a result it short-changed a satisfying resolution as the why was incredibly intriguing. With the intricacies of the story, this could easily lend itself to the screen, reminiscent as it was of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with its vibe relating to time travel loops and the effect certain actions have on the future.

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton was so magical. By far the best book I’ve read this year. This book was unlike most murder/mystery/thrillers that I read. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on and even enjoyed being confused.

The start of the book a man wakes up confused in the woods, hears a gunshot and knows that this women Anna must be dead. He has no memory of who he is though. He arrives at the house he is staying at and finds out his name is Dr. Sebastian Bell but the twist is that is not who he really is His real name being Aiden Bishop and he has 8 days to solve the mystery of the death of Evelyn Hardcastle or else have his memories erased and go back through the same loop of days until he solves it. Oh did I mention he wakes up each day in different bodies??…. How friggen original and fun is that to read!
I must say that Stuart Turton is a genius. I enjoyed reading a book that that has a different plot than normal. This book kept me intrigued the whole way through.

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This might not be my favourite book of 2017 but it could become my favourite book of 2018 with a re-read, easily. I want to tell everyone about this book. I am indebted to you for the ARC

At 400 pages this isn't the longest book ever, but it's the heaviest. The blurb is spot on. Evelyn Hardcastle must die over & over as you relive her last day of life over & over until you solve her murder. You have 8 chances, as 8 different characters. Which sort of makes the title a spoiler, awkward.

This is an Escape Room in novel form. Cluedo even, if you want to be retro. The reader is solving all the clues at the same pace as the host of this noir Murder Mystery Party.

This has all my favourite elements. Intricacy, character depth (for days!), a real mystery with twists & surprises. It is rare that I find these things and enjoy them and I've been wrapped up in this story for what feels like weeks.

At some points hard going, as the many layers can give it an Inception-like mind bendy quality with some antitrust thrown in. Worth the hard work though

Will take a breather before my 2nd read. Already pre-ordered my hardback copy so I can pass it on to the next willing participant (or host!).

Read if you enjoy:
Escape Rooms
Noir mysteries
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal, or similar

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This book blew my mind. It’s original, brilliant and so tightly plotted that it really warrants a second read in order to fully appreciate how all the different plots slot together, and grasp all the nuances that you find out about by the end. In short, it’s excellent.
The premise is as unique and inventive as anything I’ve come across. Our protagonist, Aiden Bishop, finds himself wandering the woods outside stately home Blackheath, without any memories at all except for a need to find a mysterious ‘Anna’. He soon discovers that something more is afoot, though: that night, at a gala thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be brutally murdered...and Aiden will be condemned to repeat the same day, again and again, flitting between his eight different ‘host’ bodies, until he finds out who did it.
One of the things I loved about the book is that it doesn’t take any prisoners. It sweeps you along with the character, revealing nothing more than what he knows- the revelation, after his first host ‘body’, that he is trapped in the same day in Blackheath- was a complete surprise to me, and the continual changing of bodies as the day repeated itself again and again kept the same events fresh, as well as dropping tidbits about who Aiden Bishop really is. Though we don’t know much about Aiden himself- to be honest, he’s a bit of a blank slate- watching him switch between host bodies is very entertaining, and- in a stroke of genius- watching him take on the characteristics of his hosts, and interact with the same people in different ways, is absolutely fascinating.
Indeed, the plotting (as I’ve mentioned) is a stroke of real genius. From missing chess pieces to the shady motivations of the people around Aiden- whose real motivations are revealed to us as the story goes on- we see the events at Blackheath happen a hundred different ways, and get as excited as Aiden when he manages to change the events of the day in any significant way. Turton has a deft hand when it comes to sketching memorable, well-rounded characters, and the world that he builds is rich and something you feel almost immersed in when you’re reading.
Part of the fun, though, is also guessing whom Aiden’s next hosts will be, and seeing how that impacts the way you see the murder mystery as a result.
Because at the end of the day, this is also an excellent murder mystery, heavily infused with overtones Agatha Christie (check out the Art-Deco cover) as well as its own unique spin on things, making for a very atmospheric plot and a big reveal at the end that is really satisfying- although after so many red herrings, it could also have come a bit sooner. The plot thickens at every turn, especially with the introduction of the mysterious Plague Doctor, Aiden’s overseer, and Anna, the woman who seems to hold all the answers: in a world where nothing is as it seems, watching the role of these two characters evolve along with Aiden is just as fascinating as watching the plot unfold.
In all, this is an engaging, interesting, tightly plotted murder mystery that is unlike anything you’ll read this year. Though this is Stuart Turton’s debut, he writes like a seasoned pro: he’s going places.
Read it.

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Definitely one of my top 5 books I’ve read this year! What a mind bender. Seriously twisty and highly entertaining. Good luck putting this down, I recommend blocking off a day to finish it. I can see this being a popular book club book - all the mysterious are bound to make for great talks. Ooh. What about reenactments? Hello, murder mystery dinners! I know what my next theme party is going to be.

Big shout out to Net-Galley for the ARC!

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Maybe there's a special magic attached to the words “seven” and “Evelyn” when put together, because “The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” has officially joined “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” as one of my favorite reads in 2017 (though readers will have to wait until 2018 to meet Evelyn Hardcastle).

This book is Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie, peppered with The Time Traveler’s Wife and Black Mirror.
Which is to say that it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

The mystery begins from the very first sentence, dropping us immediately into the fray as our narrator assumingly witnesses a murder and tries to understand both who and where he is. We’re meant to be as limited in knowledge of what exactly is happening as our narrator is, and it serves as an excellent way to become invested in figuring out the peculiarities of the situation.

It’s a thrill to see Aiden look at the events of the day through the eyes of different hosts as each one brings their own set of skills and have their own way of observing things. How a coward assess a conversation won’t be the same as how a more predatory mind sees it.
The story really starts cooking when Aiden has the opportunity to spend a day in the body of a police officer, and access to that host’s abilities to pay attention to details and ask the right questions.

There is thread after thread after thread of whys, hows, and whens woven through this book. So much so that I was tempted to try and write them all down as they were presented, trying to create my own chronological order of the day with everyone’s locations and possible motivations for murder. But in the end, I found that I wanted to be swept away, to not try and get ahead of the mystery, but let it unfurl as the author intended.

This is the kind of story that at one point when I finally put the book down I was actually surprised to find that I was in my pajamas, on my couch with a cat blinking at me. I had become so invested in the story I was tempted to ask my cat if she was one of Aiden’s hosts.

The story of Aiden’s time at Blackheath is a wonderfully twisty whodunit that delivers surprised until the very end, and a morality tale as well. It’s occasionally funny, often charming, and full of vivid characters.

The real trouble now will be waiting until summer of 2018 to press this book into people’s hands.

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Que se passerait-il si Agatha Christie avait écrit le scénario d’Un jour sans fin ? Certainement une histoire très similaire à celle contée par Stuart Turton dans The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
Tout commence au petit matin dans une forêt automnale. Un homme amnésique se réveille avec un nom en tête, Anna, et la sensation d’avoir assisté à un meurtre. Il aura une journée et huit corps pour résoudre cette énigme et retrouver sa vie d’avant.
Plongé au cœur d’un manoir isolé en pleine campagne anglaise, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle nous plonge au cœur du gratin de l’aristocratie et de la haute bourgeoise anglaise avec tous ses vices et de ses bataillons de serviteurs. Le roman vole de rebondissement en rebondissement, non seulement en raison des changements d’hôtes réguliers du narrateur, mais également parce que les fils de l’intrigue à dénouer ont leur origine dans un lointain passé familial.
Premier roman particulièrement touffu, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle réussit l’exploit de ne pas perdre le lecteur en chemin malgré sa densité, alors que le narrateur lui-même nage souvent en pleine mélasse. Avec un style volontairement désuet, le livre balance entre la science-fiction, la fresque historique et le roman policier à tiroir. Pour autant, il arrive aà trouver un équilibre et un ton qui n'appartient qu'à lui tout en plaisant aux amateurs des différents genres. Rassurez-vous ! À la fin, tous les secrets seront dévoilés et vous n’aurez plus qu’une envie. En lire plus du même auteur.

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I thought I was going to enjoy this book from the blurb, but WOW little did I know what a treat I was in for! The writing is so exquisite and the plot is so intricate that I needed to take a day before I could write this review as I was mentally drained - like a great orgasm. How the author was able to keep all the plot lines going with such clarity has left me breathless. Just as I thought I’d worked it all out, the story moves in a different direction. I loved the different characters, who were so diverse but each had their own distinctive voice that I never found myself thinking ‘who is that?’ A triumph and a masterpiece.

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Brilliant, could not put it down. So many twists and turns and little mysteries. Would highly recommend it

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Excerpt from Book:
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let's begin...

Aiden Bishop must determine who kills Evelyn Hardcastle at 11:oo p.m. Her death is not meant to appear as a murder in order to throw off suspicion. Any one of the guests or staff members could be the killer. Aiden is given one full day (until Midnight) in each of his eight host bodies to solve the murder and escape Blackheath.

This book is fantastic!!! I cannot recommend this one highly enough. This novel is a historical murder mystery in which the protagonist is forced to continuously repeat a day using different host bodies to solve a murder. He cannot escape the loop unless he solves the crime and someone appears to be meddling in his attempts. I was completely fascinated by this novel and how the author was able to alter the points of view of each host to replay the events of the day and gather clues. Nobody is who they appear to be and so many events tie in together making the storyline really interesting and complex. This novel was absolutely wonderful and I had a really hard time putting this one new favorite mystery novel.

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This was at once fascinating and frustrating. It's a great crime novel, well written and very atmospheric, but if you don't have the time to read it in one go, you will get terribly lost, because of the intricate plot and the multiple characters. I made the mistake to start it when I was too busy to read for long periods of time and almost didn't finish it because I kept forgetting what it was all about. Luckily I returned to it later, because it would have been my loss. I am not going to elaborate on the plot because it's been reviewed over and over, but if you can set aside a chunk of time and like this kind of classic detective story with a twist, this is a great read.

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A big thank you to NetGalley for choosing me to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

An amazing book! But how to describe this original concept for a book. I can only use the author's own words when describing the idea behind the book: "I love time travel, Agatha Christie, and the eighties classic 'Quantum Leap', and over time a book emerged from that beautiful quagmire."

"Here the rules of Blackheath:

Evelyn Hardcastele will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.

There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.

We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.

Understood? Then let's begin."

Thus starts this amazing story of murder, betrayal, deceit, and possible redemption. I really can't describe it anymore, except that it is a amazing, twisty, gnarled weaving, taking over 30 years to unravel.

I recommend, no insist, that you read it!

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The rules of Aiden Bishop’s incarceration are simple. Every night at 11.00pm Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed. You have eight hosts, from whose perspective you will see the day re-run, and eight days in which to solve the murder. Once you reveal the name of Evelyn’s murderer you’re free to leave Blackheath.
That is all you are told before starting, so there’s enough to pique your interest but you’re left alone to find out the extent to which Aiden is manipulated through the course of the day.
There was a wonderful cast of characters in this. As we follow Aiden through his time, and start to learn a little of what he is required to do, we really get under the skin of these people.
For me, the appeal was the twisting structure of this. I’ll admit it required focus on occasion to try and draw events together, and to keep track of the bodies into which Aiden was thrown. However, for a devoted fan of Quantum Leap this was like pulling on a cosy jumper and being let loose in a familiar setting.
I couldn’t trust anyone, and I even doubted Aiden’s sanity. The linking of this event to a murder many years previously was a master stroke, though it does make sense once we’re in possession of some key details.
Hugely entertaining, and an intriguing idea (which you’ll be desperate to talk about once someone’s read it) that deserves to become a book to be talked about.
Thank you NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for my review.

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This is a devilish mind creation.
Aiden bishop who found himself trapped in a loop, and couldn't escape until he solved the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle.

The story was unique and interesting, totally caught me on the hook, It is torture to imagine how it feels when you get up and found you in a new body, daily...

There are so many twists, layers, I was more than frustrated, I was trying hard to guess something but nothing, I was blank, there were more secrets than I imagined, In half of the book my jaw was literally open

Overall it was a perfect read for mystery lovers, My favorite character was Jim Rashton just loved him.

ADVICE - Don't ever trust any character while reading this one

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This is perhaps one of the best mystery novels I've ever read. The concept of the plot is pure genius in that it was executed to be believable.The book starts off strong and each successive chapter adds a new twist to the story line. I know this book doesn't come out until 2018 but I've already started recommending it to people it's just that good. If you enjoy a good mystery I highly recommend reading.

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The story begins with a man, waking up in the middle of nowhere, with no memory of who he is, where he is and what is he doing there. He just remembers screaming a name, Anna.
The he proceeds to witness, what he believes is a murder, and the murderer leads him out of the wilderness, by giving him a compass, with directions to head East - and he finds himself in a house, where he finds himself to be Dr Sebastian Bell.
You would think its simple - but it is not.
This man has no memory of being Dr Bell. Nothing makes sense to him.
When he goes to sleep, he wakes up in another body with another name, another life and another view of that same day. He keeps living the same day over again and again, in a different body.
In the 16th chapter, it revealed that name of this man is Aiden Bishop. However, he has no memories of being Aiden. He continues living in a bewildered manner with only one piece of information:
He is in Blackheath. Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11pm.. There are eight days, and eight witnesses/hosts for him to inhabit. He will only be allowed to escape if he finds the killer.

And so starts the cat-and-mouse game. With information he collects and collates from his eight varying hosts, Aiden not only intends to find out the killer; he intends to change history by stopping the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. In the process, he also has to help Anna (his only friend) escape, as well as protect himself from "the footman: who is adamant to ensure that Aiden doesn't succeed.
With tips and clues from the Plague Doctor, Aiden sets about in his mission.

Does he find the killer?
Can he thwart the murder?
Can he save himself and Anna, before they fall victim to the footman?

The plot is full of mysteries and questions and just when you thought you had an idea where it was going, there would be another twist which would throw you off track.
A brilliant concept, and a totally unpredictable plot are the highlights of the book.

Do give it a read.

I volunteered to read this one – thanks to the author via Netgalley for the opportunity.

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3.5 maybe it is just me? But never the less confusing stars🌟🌟🌟

The concept of this book was really quite brilliant... A little reminiscent of both Life After Life and Ground Hog Day.... with the added little twist of the body swapping....

Admittedly it is holiday time and I was not as focused on this book as I needed to be.... so as far as me being confused throughout the majority of this book, it could very likely just be a me problem.... I kept needing to go back and reread parts because I really got lost as to what body Aidan was in at what time..... I was also a little bit overwhelmed keeping track of all the characters and what part they played in the story, but again it could have been me!

I liked the premise, I really was intrigued by the mystery, I just was not invested enough to probably grasp the full concept.... additionally I had a huge expectation of a fabulous ending that would make all of this make complete sense to me, and that sadly did not happen for me.....

So while I found this book very clever in concept, I found it a little or really a lot too confusing for me.... The good news is this book is not released until September, so I might give it another chance this summer when I can be a little more focused and give it the proper attention it probably deserves...

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This was a really interesting concept. Usually, books that involve going against a time loop feel hopeless. Thankfully, the main character was smart enough to avoid traps and not make mistakes his predecessors had. The ending was a little weak and I felt like there was a moral about forgiveness tacked on in the end.

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Even finishing this book, I'm not entirely sure I understood what was going on, but I loved it! It was unlike any book I've read before. I went in without reading the summary to remind me what it was about, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I preferred it that way. I felt more invested in the mystery and the story was so interestingly told. This was an easy 5 stars for me to give.
Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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*Thanks to Netgalley for giving me a free copy to review.*

4.5 stars

This has got to be one of the best premises for a book I've ever read. When (there is no 'if') you read this book, go into it with as little knowledge as possible and finish it as quick as you can to get the full picture, and remember the clues.
The story is super convoluted (perhaps too much) and the answers, clues and how those things are found can be a tad easily acquired.
The description is so great, especially when he gives inanimate objects a personality.
The atmosphere is perfect for a mystery: dark, rainy, and covered in cobwebs.
The characters are well-defined and full of quirks and flaws. But since it is in first-person, I didn't like that toward the end--when he's figuring out the answer--we don't know what he's thinking, even though we've known everything up until that point. I know it's to keep the reveal more of a surprise, but it's a little lame.
So why not five stars? Three quarters of it is my fault. I didn't read it fast enough to remember the details and things got muddled for me at times and that hindered my experience. The other quarter is because this isn't the final cut and some points could've been sharper and a couple questions I had slipped through the cracks. And when you find out the final answer, it fell a little flat because that element *cough* person *cough* wasn't developed enough to pack the intended punch. And sue me, I wanted the ending to be different.
One other thing. This is set in the future? All I got was early 1900s.

Overall I can't wait for it to be released so I can read it again in its final form.

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I enjoyed this book immensely - I've never read anything that comes close to the level of complexity and intrigue that this story holds - but the way that Lord Ravencourt was described left me feeling uncomfortable. His fatness was continuously used to demonstrate what an awful person he was - on the same level as the rapists and murderers in the books. Without giving anything away, I'll just say that there were multiple mentions of him being in very poor health and being unable to control his appetite and other characters felt incredible revulsion towards him based on his weight alone. Overall I felt that the writing of this character was extremely lazy, resorting to fatphobic tropes to move the story along. I loved this book otherwise and I've wanted to recommend it to so many people, but this part makes me very hesitant to do so.

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Absolutely my book of the year.

This is a very special book and one that I recommend to lovers of all genre of literature, as it covers several bases, is written exceptionally well and is completely encapsulating as a story.

You could almost label this book a murder mystery but that would seem too simple a tag. A classic piece of literature? A historical piece? A supernatural story? Please oh please pick up this novel and treat yourself to the greatest, most twisting and enjoyable escape- one which will stay with you long after setting it back on the bookshelf.

Fabulous, original, sumptuous in character, spooky and truly the best book I've read in a while.

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This is a murder mystery the likes of you’ll never have seen before. It’s difficult to review without giving away any spoilers, so instead I will offer some descriptors to set the scene: mind-bending, strange, mysterious, thrilling, original, impossible and frustratingly wonderful. All I could think about when I wasn’t reading the book was what was going to happen next. In short, ‘The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ is insane and everybody should read it.

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The man woke up thinking that he had lost his memory on finding himself on the ground. He saw a running woman and had no idea why he called her Anna. Later, he found out his name, Dr Sebastian Bell.

The next morning, the man woke up in his bedroom, seeing the Plague Doctor. He found that he had a different body of another man, who was the butler. His name was not Sebastian, but Aiden Bishop.

Aiden learned that a murder took place at Blackheath nineteen years previously and Evelyn was to be murdered at 11 pm. How to prevent her death? The Plague Doctor gave Aiden the rules of having different hosts over the different days.

There were many riddles that led to the truths behind the murders and opened the secrets inside the house in this mind-blowing, sinister story.

Agatha Christie is reincarnated as Stuart Turton who is her answer for the great crime stories. He writes brilliant science-fiction which makes my jaw drop and my eyes pop out!

Caesar 13

Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.

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The Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of the most complicated and intriguing thriller books I’ve read in a long time, and it had me on the edge of my seat, constantly turning the pages.

The synopsis gives a great overall summary of the story in general terms, but it’s so much more than that, and to say any more is to spoil it. Aiden Bishop has been sent to the Hardcastle masquerade in an attempt to identify who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. Every time the day begins, Aiden wakes up in a different body, and each body he inhabits is a guest of the masquerade. The only way he can escape this loop is solve the murder, but if he can’t do it in 8 days, he has to start the loop over again, losing the memories of everything he’s learnt previously.

There’s a glorious Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day meets Black Mirror story within the pages of this book. It’s a thriller, but there’s definitely an element of speculative fiction woven through it, that becomes more pronounced the further into the story you get.

I loved how Turton switched between POVs of the different guests that Aiden inhabits - I thought it was really clever and well done, although I can understand how some people might become frustrated or confused by it. You definitely need to be paying attention. Each time Aiden switches body, his voice changes slightly, mirroring the guest body, and thus providing different perspectives on the events that take place during the day of the Hardcastle masquerade. I was thoroughly immersed in the characters and the world and the mystery.

I didn’t see the ending coming, and I loved the moral and ethical dilemmas that are evident as a result. (I wish I could say more on them, but then that would really spoil the book.)

This was a book I couldn’t put down and I highly recommend.

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