The rules of Blackheath are set in stone. Each day Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 PM. You have eight days and eight witnesses to the crime at your disposal. The only escape is to correctly identify the name of the killer. Failure to do so will result in a full memory wipe and starting the process all over again. Let the games begin!
Aiden Bishop is trapped inside of Blackheath and in order to escape he must abide by the rules of his prison. He must work to identify Evelyn Hardcastles killer and break the repeat cycle he is trapped in. The case seems simple enough on the outside, but the further Bishop searches, the more he realizes that nothing is what it seems. To make matters worse it seems like he’s not alone in wanting to escape from this torture. Can Aiden Bishop discover Evelyn’s killer before his clock runs out and he must start again?
Stuart Turton’s THE 7 ½ DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE is unlike any work of crime fiction I have recently read. The reader is instantly dropped into the game and must come to understand who they are, what is happening, and what this game is all about. Through a series of time hops and host hops, the pieces slowly start to fall into place. Early on the reader and Aiden seem to be sure of what is happening and who kills Evelyn, just to find out that there are many more buried secrets in the Blackheath estate than one could begin to imagine. This book has been compared to Agatha Christie’s work several times. At first I was hesitate to believe that anything could be some comparable to the Queen of mystery, but Turton deserves this praise. THE 7 ½ DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE is intricately detailed, all around confusing, and an absolute pleasure to read. I will say, reader be warned, this is a more difficult novel to find your footing in and it takes dedication to get through the first several section and truly find your reading groove. I found for me that this challenge was more than worth the reward.