The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart  Turton

Stuart Turton has written a cleverly structured novel, but then this story is overly confusing, overwrought and it just doesn´t make any kind of sense. It´s one of those books where the author prefers style over substance and I´m sorry, but I just don´t enjoy books like these.


And the premise was so good: Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day. What could possibly go wrong? Admittedly, after having passed the first 50 pages, Turton knows how to write a story that keeps you glued to the pages and I kind of liked it for the most part. Even though I have been confused all the time, the book has been 200 pages too long and the writing´s been a bit clumsy at times:


“My brother was murdered by a chap called Charlie Carver, one of our groundskeepers,” says Michael calmly, as though declaring the racing results.

Aghast that I could forget something so horrific, I stammer out an apology.

“I´m…I´m sorry, that must have been- “


Well, the actual stammering says it all, doesn´t it? No need to tell the reader that he is stammering.


Unfortunately, I didn´t get a satisfactory ending to the story. Within the first 100 pages a weird character made an appearance and I was wondering, how Turton is going to explain him away. And 60 pages before the novel ends the explanation was giving and it felt like I was hitting a brick wall at full speed. Spending 440 pages with a book just to get presented with such a ridiculous solution to the story … at that point I became massively annoyed. What is the point of writing a story, if you don´t know how to give it a proper ending?


I wish I would have liked this book more, but in the end I´m utterly disappointed by it.