The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Review

If you read my goals for 2019 post, you will know that one of my aims for 2019 was to read 25 books so I thought it would be cool to let you guys know what I’ve been reading and what I thought!

The first book I read was The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle which I got for christmas (thanks parents!). It was weird because two days before christmas I was in a bookstore and I picked up this book and thought, ‘bledy hell that looks like a cool plot’ and then talked myself out of buying it (as I do with most things). Good thing I did because two days later I received it as a present!

I finished it pretty quickly; it’s one of the books where you start reading and then you don’t move until you find out what happens in the end. As I initially thought from the blurb, the plot is really clever, its a really intricate mind-blowing murder mystery. It has all the joys of a good murder plus all the complexity of the time travel (kind of)- its like in ‘Harry Potter and the prisoner of Askahban’ when you see how everything falls into place when Hermione and Harry go back in time but over and over- its such a clever, well thought out plot and something I really like about the book.

On the other hand, I feel the plot is also the downfall of the book (I’m sorry Stuart Turnton!) I was reading the interview with the author in the back and Turnton says that he’s a massive Agatha Christie fan and he struggled for so long to write a good murder because Christie had thought of every twist, so couldn’t think of an original idea and so was obviously ecstatic when he thought of the idea for this book.

However, the need to make a really elaborate plot hinders the book as there is too much focus on making the plot really intense and this takes away from other aspects of the book, like characters. I found that there wasn’t enough backstory for the main character, Aiden Bishop to keep me invested in him. What kept me reading wasn’t that I was interested in the character and his emotional journey, I just wanted to find out who committed the murder. The details put in near the end that reveals more about Anna and Aiden’s backstory and that they are connected more than the reader thinks, seems vague and is a mediocre attempt to make the book more than just a clever plot. When I finished reading, I was kind of baffled about how little Turnton puts in at the end about Anna and Aiden and left me more annoyed than wanting a sequel.

I’m glad I read it because it is a good book and worth a read but I felt unconnected to the characters, something that was emphasised by the fact that I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine straight after which is completely dedicated to the emotional journey of Eleanor (also a really good book but you probably already knew that.)

I’d be interested to know if anyone reading this has read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and what you think.

In the mean time, happy reading!


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