"The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" Book Review
Also known as "The 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" the reader ventures back to what appears to be the scene of a murder that takes place in the 1800s. Evelyn Hardcastle keeps dying every night from one fateful pistol shot, its Aidens job to figure out who is at the root of her murder and report it back with proof to whoever is hosting this weird game. The twist, however, is he must do so through the perspectives of multiple guests who attended the night of her murder, without being killed by the other competitors in this odd game of cat and mouse.
Too little information and you're blind, too much and you're blinded.— Stuart Turton, The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
My Truth About The Novel
So I'm going to be brutally honest about how I feel about this story and thats that I simply did not like it. Don't get me wrong the premise is intriguing, we've all seen or read some form of storyline that has a single individual repeating a day until they find an answer to a question they weren't asking. "The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" follows one character who hops from body to body in order to solve the unavoidable question. That was the hook for me to read this novel, I wanted to know how the author managed to do that on paper since I've only ever seen it done on a screen. I wanted to see if it worked as a reader without being overly confusing especially with so many perspectives.
I never felt fully aware of what was happening. This novel has no linear order, by that I mean it doesn't start at any single time with any single person but flip-flops all over the place without order and only some reason for why that is. It's hard to completely immerse as the reader for you can never honestly say you know what is happening.
I couldn't connect to the main character. There was so much jumping around in this story I never got to know or connect with the main character. You can't tell who he is as a person or understand what drives him.
I needed to know how it ended. I very rarely DNF (do not finish) a novel for I always need to know how it ends. As a reader, I have to have all the answers. "The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" is no exception to my need for answers and being a mystery novel there were just that many more unanswered questions. That being said most novels slowly feed you answers creating that "aha" moment. With this story, the answers seemed to just appear without good cause or reasoning. You are hooked because you need to know how it ends but don't require any of the in-between. My biggest regret is wasting my time when I could have just read the last 40 pages.
If this isn’t hell, the devil is surely taking notes.— Stuart Turton, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
I don't usually rip apart a novel like this but I honestly didn't find much that I liked about this novel. I was constantly lost or bored and the ending was overall anticlimactic. The premise of the story was interesting but the execution I felt was lackluster. That being said it's not the worst novel ever written and there is a great deal of hype surrounding it because people are genuinely enjoying it, it just wasn't my cup of tea.