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

Wow. This is easily the most ambitious and original book I’ve read this year. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s a mystery…ish. It’s a thriller…ish. It’s similar to Agatha Christie’s writing, yet nothing like it. It’s incredible.

Evelyn Hardcastle is going to be murdered. The main character has to figure out how it’s done and by whom. He has eight chances in eight hosts to figure it out. Nothing is as it seems and he doesn’t know who to trust. Can he even trust himself?

This book is full of twists and turns. Every time I thought I had a handle on something, the story would shift and I’d be left feeling like, for the one clue I grasped, I missed three others. The best thing about this book is how masterfully the author wove the clues and coincidences into a compelling narrative. It was very easy, after the fact, to go back and follow the clues to its solution. I hate when an ending of  a mystery is chucked at a person with zero way it could have been solved by the reader. That’s not the case with this book. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, but the answer tracked throughout the book and made perfect sense in hindsight.

I can’t believe this is Stuart Turton’s first novel; he writes with such confidence. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. I am eagerly watching and hoping for another book by this author. It was perfect!

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