Our second Zoella Book Club read this year was The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stu Turton. Stu is an English journalist, and this was his debut novel and it won him the first novel award at the 2018 Cost Book Awards.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle merges the glamour and intrigue of classic murder mystery tropes with a Groundhog Day-esque narrative that leaves you guessing right until the end.
We adored the twists and turns laid out by Stu, have a look at our reviews below and find our latest book club pick here.
This was a real mind game of a book and I absolutely loved it. You’re thrown about the murder mystery in a way where you can never fully predict what’s coming or who to believe. There are some really unpredictable plot twists and the way the author has pieced it all together is truly impressive. It’s not a traditional “who done it” and you have to embrace the purgatory stage that’s been created but as a fan of fantasy genres I didn’t mind that at all. I’d love to see this made into a TV show.
Rating – 4/5
Would you read it again – possibly
Would you recommend it to a friend? – Definitely
I first read Seven Deaths back in December – and I think it benefits from a second read! This book is so different to anything I’ve read before. The first time through, I found it difficult to follow and a bit confusing – I was frequently frustrated and wasn’t sure how much I was enjoying it! But I couldn’t stop – and I’m glad I didn’t, because it was fascinating to see how the author navigated such an interesting and complex plot. And the second time through, I was able to pick up on lots of little things I missed the first time. A good sign is that when I finished, all I wanted to do was thrust the book in people’s hands so that they would discuss it with me! Since I love recommending books, if you loved the murder mystery element of this book, try The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, or if you loved the speculative fiction angle then try The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North.
Rating – 3.5/5
Would you read it again? – Yes – to find more clues!
Would you recommend it to a friend? -Yes
This isn’t the type of book I’d usually pick up but I really enjoyed it. It’s a murder mystery with a weird twist, wonderfully confusing and complicated and a wild ride throughout. I found the increasing complexity made me desperate to get to the end, but kept having to refocus to pay attention to all the plot details and not miss something important rather than rushing through. I wasn’t really expecting such a fantasy element to it but loved how it bridged that with a classic Agatha Christie mystery style novel.
Would you read it again? – Possibly, though I think it’s one of those to go in with no ideas on what is going to happen.
Would you recommend it to a friend? – Yes
I absolutely loved this book! I don’t usually pick up “who done it” genres but I love to watch them, however, this book was so much more than that. Constant twists and turns and explosions made it a very fun read and I’m sure if I read it again I’ll pick up on lots of things I missed before. I was completely blown away by the ending and now I need to know more. It’s hard to find the words not to spoil it though. Stu Turton is a genius for so expertly unravelling this story, I can’t even comprehend how tricky it would have been to plot out. Highly recommend, give this a read, and to the powers that be, PLEASE make it into a mini-series or movie!
Rating – 4.7/5
Would read again!
Definitely would recommend to a friend!
I didn’t have any expectations before reading this book and hadn’t read any reviews so went in completely blind (which I do think sometimes is the best way). VERY quickly, I was OBSESSED. I read it religiously every evening and any other chance I got, which is quite rare for me. The genre is totally up my street as it’s a murder mystery set in an old mansion where the day is played out 8 different times through 8 different characters to get to the bottom of it. I loved the complexity of Stu’s characters (you really do need to pay attention though as they switch and change throughout the book), the INSANE plot that plays out so perfectly that you’re almost annoyed at yourself that you can’t read quick enough to get to the end. I think this book is pure genius, thanks Stuart Turton!
Rating – 4.5/5
Would you read it again? – Yes! I’d love to read it again and see if there were any little nuggets I missed. It would make an incredible tv series!
Would you recommend it to a friend? – Definitely!
I read this in a day, and it was VERY intense – felt like I’d lived 8 lives myself! There’s a lot of story which is great to get sucked into the world of, but found there were some parts that were too wordy and not necessary to the plot which I found myself skipping through. I think the story is clever, doesn’t let you get close to the answers too early on, and whilst I think there could’ve been more to the ending, it was a very different take on a classic genre. Please make this into a movie or TV series ASAP!
Rating – 3.5/5
Would you read it again? – Maybe
Would you recommend it to a friend? – Yes!
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS! I read it in about 3 days and thought it was absolutely brilliant. It’s one of those page turners that as I got off the tube, I was still reading going up the escalators and debating whether or not I could get away with walking down the street kindle in hand. It’s fast paced, exciting and keeps you guessing throughout. I’m looking forward to reading more books by Stuart Turton!
Rating – 4/5
Would you read it again? – I’m going to reread it knowing what I know and see what I missed as I can be guilty of skip reading sometimes which I think you could be punished for with a book like this.
Would you recommend it to a friend? – Absolutely – already have!