EXCERPT: ‘A party?’ she says, shaking her head. ‘Oh, my dear man, you really have no idea what’s happening here, do you?’
‘Perhaps if you- -‘
‘My brother was murdered nineteen years ago tomorrow, Sebastian. I don’t know why, but my parents have decided to mark the occasion by reopening the house where it happened and inviting back the very same guests who were here that day.’
Anger is rising in her voice, a low throb of pain I’d do anything to make go away. She’s turned her head to face the lake, her blue eyes glossy.
‘They’re disguising a memorial as a party and they’ve made me the guest of honor, which I can only assume means something dreadful is coming for me,’ she continues. ‘This isn’t a celebration, it’s a punishment, and there’ll be fifty people in their very finest clothes watching it happen.’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Rules of Blackheath
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…
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop 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. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…
MY THOUGHTS: Alice in Wonderland meet Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. . .with a few scenes from the movies Sliding Doors and Ground Hog Day thrown in for good measure. And speaking of movies, I think that this would make a brilliant movie!
I have had all night to think about The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and I still don’t know what to say. This is one of the most perplexing yet compelling books I have ever read. I gave up trying to figure it out early on and just enjoyed the ride. The author does leave little clues that don’t seem important at the time, that I didn’t quite realize the relevance of until the end of the book, when I struck my forehead with the heel of my hand (very theatrically – it’s that sort of book!) and said ‘Of course! I see it all now!’ and exited stage left, or was it right?
Complex. Clever. Multi-layered. Compelling. Mind bending. These are all words that can be used to describe The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, yet even put together they can’t even begin to convey the depth and character of this novel.
My recommendation? Just read it. You will either love it and devour it hungrily, or you will hate it and, in all probability not finish it. This is a book that you can’t sit on the fence about.
THE AUTHOR: Stuart lives in London with his amazing wife and daughter. He drinks lots of tea.
When he left university he went travelling for three months and stayed away for five years. Every time his parents asked when he’d be back he told them next week, and meant it.
Stuart is not to be trusted. In the nicest possible way.
He’s got a degree in English and Philosophy, which makes him excellent at arguing and terrible at choosing degrees.
Having trained for no particular career, he has dabbled in most of them. He stocked shelves in a Darwin bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, worked for a technology magazine in London, wrote travel articles in Dubai, and now he’s a freelance journalist. None of this was planned, he just kept getting lost on his way to other places.
He likes a chat. He likes books. He likes people who write books and people who read books. He doesn’t know how to write a biography, so should probably stop before he tells you about his dreams or something. It was lovely to meet you, though.
Stuart’s debut novel is called The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the UK and The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the US. They’re the same book. Don’t fret.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2222779259