Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Genre: Literary/speculative fiction
Target audience: Adult
Date Read: 01/05/20 – 08/05/20
What even was this book?
No, that’s not rhetorical. Please, someone tell me.
Okay, maybe I’m being a bit disingenuous there, but I don’t think it’s much of an exaggeration to say this book is unlike any other I’ve read. It was compelling, even as I sometimes struggled to keep track of things. I had a small list of murder suspects, and I was ALMOST right!
You do sort of have to roll with this book. It would be easy to try to sit there picking apart all the time travel logic and how it all works. I suspect Stuart Turton must have had a dozen spreadsheets in order to keep it all straight, and I think there are still times when things don’t quite add up. But as long as you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, then you will keep turning the pages, perhaps even start dreaming about the book as I did!
I have to say that up until about the last 30 or so pages, this was a five star read for me, despite the nit-picking. But as I was nearing the end, I realised that I wasn’t going to find out certain details about how the events of the book all came to pass in the first place… there are hints dropped, but nothing really concrete. We learn that certain character development (as in, a person changed due to their experiences) took place before the book starts, meaning we just have to accept them, rather than seeing it happen.
This didn’t kill the enjoyment for me, but it meant I closed the book at the end feeling dissatisfied. Maybe that’s just me, though? Don’t let me put you off!