Actual rating: 4.25 stars
I read this book not knowing it was hyped so I started this with a few expectations, which were to be worth my time and hopefully, to be a good read. The hype wasn't the reason why I read this but because I was intrigued and fascinated by the plot and just see how everything would work out in the end.
The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle starts off with a party being hosted by the Hardcastle family which was fine until their daughter’s murder happened. Then, this dude, Aiden Bishop, has to play detective and solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. The challenge is that he has to wake up in different guests every day and still be able to sort out the puzzle which can unlock his freedom from the Blackheath house. This book will definitely keep you up at night and make you wonder what is going on inside the mysterious house.
The writing was refreshing for me because I haven't read books in the first person POV in a while. I really admire the writing of this book and how it was constructed. It strike me as a book that makes you feel like you experience the mystery first hand. This book took (god knows) how long to conceptualize and to stitch everything together so I salute the author for all the effort and time he took to create the story which ended up pretty outstanding.
The one thing I didn't realize sooner is the fat-phobia or body shaming this book contained. I only have one word to say about it that it was totally unnecessary. I should’ve realized sooner that there was a character was disrespected and that’s not fair to him or to anyone, for that matter. No one deserves that kind of judgment. This was one thing the book made me feel uneasy about. Adding to that, there were also mentions of suicide, drugs, and violence.
Moving on, a LOT of characters were mentioned. It was already difficult keeping track of the events happening between the hosts, imagine having extra and supporting characters. Setting my hardships aside, I did find each and every character carefully thought about by the author, each having their own distinct characteristics. I just wish some had even more appearances because I liked some of the minor characters. There were characters that did their "role" very well, if you know what I mean.
Whenever you think that someone is who they are, think again. They tend to not be who we thought they actually were and that's confusing enough. If you were given eight of them, now that's a nightmare and it just tells you that you have to keep up. When you read this book, you better keep your brain intact and I suggest you pay attention to details because I had quite a hard time wrapping my head around everything that was happening (because I didn't read this in a few sittings). Once the events get even more thrilling and intense, you probably managed to hold a breath you never thought you were holding. It just has that grip on you somehow, or at least it did for me.
If I would describe The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle then it would be like a hanky. The story keeps unfolding and unfolding and unfolding and unfolding. With each unfolding of the story, you also get to see a fraction of the bigger picture until you've uncovered the whole thing. Then, you use the damn thing to wipe all the sweat and stress this mystery caused you in the first place.
The Blackheath house is full of mysteries, dark secrets, and mad twists, that's for sure. It did give me those chilly Murder on the Orient Express with the interesting Groundhog Day vibes. If you want something that is thrilling and will sure as heck confuse you and challenge you to solve a mystery, then, my friend, this book is surely for you. Prepare to be messed with by the haunting mysteries of the Blackheath house. Once you get in, you might as well not get out. We hope you enjoy your stay. We hope you enjoy reading.
My sincerest gratitude to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to be able to read such a thrilling book and to Mr. Stuart Turton for opening the doors of Blackheath to curious strangers such as myself.