*What to read in 2018* The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

About this book…

‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

My review…

When The Grumpy Scotsman and I were first married we had a favourite tv series that we were addicted to and that we never missed. It was called Quantum Leap and was about a scientist called Dr Sam Beckett who travelled in time ending up in different bodies and righting the wrongs in their lives before “leaping” into the next person.  He ended each episode looking at his new face in the mirror and saying “Oh boy..” And that’s how I felt when I finished this book except replace “Oh boy” with OMFG!!! Honestly, my mind was completely blown by the unique and quirky premise here and I think I would probably now have to describe this book as Quantum Leap meets Doctor Who via Groundhog Day with a shot of Agatha Christie! But whatever you see this book compared to, you really do need to read it yourself because you have to experience one of the most unusual but amazing books you will have ever read.

I’m not even going to attempt to explain the plot here! There is no way I could convey in a few sentences what the author has obviously spent months planning with his complex timelines and interwoven plot threads. You just need to know that a murder is going to be committed and one of the houseguests at a countryhouse party is going to have to live each day again as one of the other guests until he solves the crime. So each evening he will watch Evelyn Hardcastle die and be unable to prevent her death. The only way to stop his nightmare is to work out who is responsible and why!

I would recommend reading this in huge chunks like I did as there is just so much information to take in initially that you really do need to get your head around the unique concept at the heart of this mystery. And it doesn’t necessarily follow through in chronological order either so you need to keep your eye on the ball. But although it is a long book it never seems to drag as you quite quickly become immersed in the plot as you try to work out what is happening at the same time as the poor unsuspecting soul who has discovered that his role within the confines of his society is not what he was expecting. Much as this book was not what I expected either! It’s a sumptuous tapestry, intricately woven so that up close it looks simple and one dimensional but as you draw your eyes away, the full picture starts to become clear. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a vibrant and exciting debut that will surprise and delight it’s readers with both its originality and its classy delivery. Well worth checking out!

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle will be published on 8th February 2018 by Raven Books and is available to pre-order here at Amazon UK (affiliates link). My review copy came from the publisher via netgalley.

Meet the author…

Stuart Turton is a freelance travel journalist who has previously worked in Shanghai and Dubai. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his debut novel. He is the winner of the Brighton and Hove Short Story Prize and was longlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition. He lives in West London with his wife.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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