The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Reviewed by Elizabete, Adult Librarian at North Plainfield Library
What a refreshing take on the whodunit novel! Be prepared for a rather long but suspenseful ride through the imaginations of author Stuart Turton’s debut novel.
This book opens with the protagonist awaking in the woods remembering nothing, not even his own name, yelling out someone else’s name — Anna. And with that one clue, our mystery begins. This journey includes a hodgepodge of good/bad characters and several devious plots that culminate in an ending I certainly didn’t fathom was awaiting me at the end of the novel! Without providing (many) spoilers, we quickly discover that our narrator must relive the day over and over in order to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle.
Equal parts reminiscent of Agatha Christie, Momento, Quantum Leap (one of my favorite TV shows!) and Groundhog Day — I will admit I couldn’t keep up with all the intricate plot twists that developed as the book went on, but the drive to know the who and why kept me reading on and allowing Turton to work his literary mystery magic. As mentioned earlier, it is rather long, but I found it worth the wait for the twisted ending Turton delivers.