The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle [review]

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Publisher: Raven Books


How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?
At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, 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 Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

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[My Review]

Now this is a novel I was so excited to read, having seen a lot of great reviews and marketing for it all over the place. It’s actually quite a difficult review to write, because on the one hand I can fully appreciate the amazing skill that author Stuart Turton took to write such a complex plot based on a unique great concept, with a whole array of interesting characters and incidents, but on the other hand, in all honesty, it did sometimes feel like too many characters, too many plot devices, and a few too many pages as well.
I don’t want this review to seem overly negative, because I don’t feel that way about the book. The concept is just brilliant and the characters are all interesting in their own ways, with their own agendas and quirks. I felt like I was reading an Agatha Christie novel with a fresh twist, and I loved this style of writing, as well as some of the quite comedic moments which made me smile.
Ultimately this novel made me want to know who had killed Evelyn, and how Aiden can possibly escape this eerie world he has become trapped in. I therefore kept on reading, even when I started to feel myself a bit confused about parts of the ‘game’ Aiden seems to be kept in, and therefore the plot itself. I hoped things would become clearer but to me they didn’t – however I found I could ignore elements I didn’t quite get and just keep focussing on the actions Aiden needed to take to try and work everything out, which isn’t ideal I suppose, but it kept me reading on!
The ending was satisfying and tied up a few loose ends (though there was still parts I didn’t completely get). The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is an enjoyable read – just a confusing one, and it has obviously been very meticulously planned out and constructed. I think perhaps my brain just couldn’t keep up with  the extensive cast of characters and their relationships with one another and with the ever-shape-shifting protagonist himself. With all the discussion around this book it’s definitely one to read – and it’s definitely something different, too!

[Rating: 3/5]

Many thanks to Raven Books for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.



  1. I felt a bit like this too! With a small baby, I’m a bit sleep-deprived at the moment and my tired brain struggled to keep up with everything happening in this book! I could have done with a few diagrams to help me out 🙂

  2. I’ve not read anything but superlatives so far so it’s refreshing to hear something else. It sounds like I could have the same issues though. I still have this one to read and I’m dying to know how I’ll feel. Great review!

    • I’ve seen loads of amazing reviews so I’m sure I’m in ten minority by not absolutely loving it – would be very interested to see what you think though! Perhaps I’m being too harsh…! ????

  3. Oh no! Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this one – I know what you mean about there being a lot going on! I want to go back to the beginning, and make extensive notes as I go through – try to piece it all together that way. I’ve not got the time, but I’ like the idea.

    • I like the idea of doing that too if I had some spare reading time – it would probably make a lot more sense. I know it’s more my own issues as I got a bit confused, as opposed to the story itself which no doubt is plotted out very well! I still appreciate the brilliant concept though ????

  4. I completely agree with you. In all honesty I actually don’t know if I enjoyed the book. However I finished it because I wanted to see if the mystery was going to be solved. There were some elements that were not properly explained which I felt the author just dropped in to the narrative and we had to suspend disbelief. It was not a cosy “Agatha Christie” by any means as the sense of menace and violence was far more prevalent. The number of characters and the fact that events were viewed from a different perspective each day meant i was forever referring to the list of characters at the front of the book. In all, the book intrigued me and I would love my book group to read it as I would like to hear what other people thought and perhaps get some answers to elements that I did not fully understand!

  5. I had a similar issues, I also had trouble following all the characters and all the plot points. Things became a little too tangled for my liking, but just focusing on Aiden’s journey helped me get through it. When I first finished, I gave it a 3-star rating, but as I was writing my review, I realized it was more like 2 stars for me. I didn’t hate it, it just didn’t really work for me.

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