Book Review//The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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There will be a murder at the ball unless Aiden Bishop can solve the crime and stop the killer. It sounds like a basic mystery, doesn't it? You have your usual British mystery collection of a country estate, quirky characters, servants, balls, shooting expeditions, and fraught relationships.  Then you realize that the crime occurs over and over and the day repeats time after time and Aiden has eight days and eight bodies to inhabit in order to solve the crime. This is not your usual British mystery.

That is all I am going to say about the plot because the less you know the more you will enjoy this book. It is really best read in massive gulps over a short period of time. It is a bit confusing at first as Aiden jumps from person to person and you, and he, try to figure out what is going on. If you read it slowly it would be easy to lose track of what each person knows and has done. 

Since the story jumps from character to character you do not become attached to anyone in particular. This is a plot-driven, more than character-driven, book. That is necessary for the story but it does leave the reader a bit disengaged. Now that it has been a few weeks since I finished reading it the characters have all blended together a bit in my head. But while you are reading it you completely invested. 

The ending felt a bit forced to me but I find that to be typical of books like this that sweep you along to an unknown conclusion. There is such a big build-up to the reveal that it can be hard to make that reveal completely live up to expectations. The book also leaves a lot of questions about the world Aiden lives in. I wouldn't mind another book that focused on the greater world or the world after the mystery is solved. It is hard to explain what I want without giving away too much of the plot but I wanted to know more about the society and Aiden in the future. 

This was a fun and engrossing read. I don't think it is a book I will read over and over but it is a book that kept me up at night because I just had to know what happened next. 

A copy was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.

8 comments

  1. I'm still intrigued as to why it gained the extra half for American audiences! (We had 7 Deaths.) I also gulped it down - and it must have required SO much planning from Turton. I do wish it had been a bit less violent though.

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    1. I am curious about why the title was changed. I am not sure where the extra half death comes in. It was an addictive book--a bit like eating candy. I kept telling myself 'just one more bit and I'll go to bed.'

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  2. This does sound interesting! I'm sure it's all explained, how and why Aiden is jumping from body to body - and never landing in the corpse-to-be! I'm also curious now, with Simon's comment, about how we got the extra half-death :)

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    1. The extra half death is a bit confusing. I wish they wouldn't change titles in the U.S. It confuses me sometimes though obviously this title is close enough that I am not going to accidentally buy a second copy.

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  3. It all sounds very intriguing. I think I'll have to read it.

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    1. Do read it and let me know what you think.

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  4. This is the second time I've read about this book, and I really want to read it now!

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    1. It is an addictive book. It isn't the most amazing book ever but it does suck you into the story and sometimes that is exactly what I want.

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