I’m not someone who regularly reads books – I tend to buy several at a time with a view to reading them whilst on holiday (remember those?) or over the Christmas period, which is exactly what I did in the case of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle a couple of years ago.
The story revolves around a character called Aiden Bishop who, over the course of the book, inhabits the bodies of eight different characters, living their lives on the same day, over and over. Think of it a bit like Murder on the Orient Express, where the same person plays all the characters and sees events through their eyes on the day the murder takes place.
After the first character, Aiden realises what is going on and tries to change the course of history and prevent the murder of the Evelyn, but forces are working against him and he doesn’t know who he can and cannot trust. With each person he inhabits, he grows more confident but at the same more wary, being caught out on a number of occasions when he thought he could trust someone.
With the final character he eventually works out what is going on and how history can be changed.
For me the book is basically a murder mystery but with an added twist which makes it unlike anything else I’ve read before or since. It certainly gripped me enough that I looked forward to reading the next chapter or two before bed time, something which not many books do for me.
It isn’t, however perfect. I never really understood the how Aiden was put in the world where he could take on the roles of different characters and the final conclusion left me a little puzzled. Whilst I was reading the book I feared that this might be the case because, whilst the story was unfolding I could see the potential for an anti-climax. Having said that Stuart Turton must be praised for creating a fabulous story.
Whilst writing the short article I discovered that he has written another murder mystery story, Devil and The Dark Water, due to be published in paperback in May this year. I can’t wait.
© Reggie’s Mind Of Evil 2021
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file