Book Review: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

A murder mystery with a twist. This book will be hard to review as everything hangs up from the mystery who killed Evelyn Hardcastle and the secrets behind it. The story is told from the first-person narrative where the day repeats itself, and the narrator has amnesia. The voice of the main character is compelling, which is done with clever writing and immediacy in the syntax. He is kind and lovable because he repeatedly shows he cares about the murder and is compelled to solve it despite what personal sacrifices it will mean to him.

A perfect story in a way with outstanding characters and a moral about justice and forgiveness woven into the theme. Not to mention the callousness and lies people will do and tell to get what their heart’s desires. Yet, I got bored. Bored to read the mystery being solved, and towards the end, I understood why. It lacked emotion and stakes, as if there was yet more to come, which we should brace ourselves. And there was, but the ending as enjoyable as it was broke the immersion of the story and the importance of it all, the death of Evelyn Hardcastle. But twistedly it was the best and most interesting part of the book, something to expand, something to play in the future, something to ponder about. But I cannot tell you more without ruining the book.

I’m confused about enjoying and finding the book fascinating, yet not loving or even liking it. It didn’t change my mind of the world; it didn’t tell me anything new about the human condition; it didn’t make me more empathetic towards people and their worries; it didn’t even give me a satisfactory conclusion, more like this postcard version of morals. But am I sorry for having read it? No, because as a whole, it made having to reconsider what makes a great book for me, what I think about justice, and what I consider as good argumentation for justice, mercy, and forgiveness. This makes me sound as I was not fond of the book at all. That is not true. It is so well written that it solely excuses a lot of my complaints (the narrative, characters, the language, and the plotting is polished almost to perfection.) Also, I couldn’t help but to feel sympathy towards the main character and that is the reason I kept reading.

Thank you for reading and have a mysterious day ❤

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