“I hereby declare Stuart Turton the Mad Hatter of Crime. The 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is unique, energizing, and clever. So original, a brilliant read.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
The story begins with a man, waking up in the middle of nowhere, with no memory of who he is, where he is and what is he doing there. He just remembers screaming a name, Anna.
The he proceeds to witness, what he believes is a murder, and the murderer leads him out of the wilderness, by giving him a compass, with directions to head East – and he finds himself in a house, where he finds himself to be Dr Sebastian Bell.
You would think its simple case of memory loss – but it is not.
This man has no memory of being Dr Bell. Nothing makes sense to him.
When he goes to sleep, he wakes up in another body with another name, another life and another view of that same day. He keeps living the same day over again and again, in a different body.
In the 16th chapter, it is revealed that name of this man is Aiden Bishop. However, he has no memories of being Aiden. He continues living in a bewildered manner with only one piece of information:
He is in Blackheath. Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11pm.. There are eight days, and eight witnesses/hosts for him to inhabit. He will only be allowed to escape if he finds the killer.
And so starts the cat-and-mouse game. With information he collects and collates from his eight varying hosts, Aiden not only intends to find out the killer; he intends to change history by stopping the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. In the process, he also has to help Anna (his only friend) escape, as well as protect himself from “the footman”, who is adamant to ensure that Aiden doesn’t succeed.
With tips and clues from the Plague Doctor, Aiden sets about in his mission.
Does he find the killer?
Can he thwart the murder?
Can he save himself and Anna, before they fall victim to the footman?
The plot is full of mysteries and questions and just when you think you have an idea where it was going, there will be another twist which will throw you off track.
A brilliant concept, and a totally unpredictable plot are the highlights of the book.
Only hitch for me was it was a wee bit too long and repetitive.
Instead of 8 lives and 8 hosts – maybe 6 would have sufficed.
Do give it a read.
This has a unique concept and plot!
3.5/5 for me.
Added 10th January 2018