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The 7  1/2  Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

For our book club, my co-moderator recommended reading this obscure mystery that none of us had heard of: The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. I am so glad she found this.

The book opens with a man waking up in the middle of the woods with no memory of who he is, where he's at, or why he's there; all he remembers is the name Anna. And to top it off, he witnesses a woman screaming for help being chased by a dangerous looking man, and hears the crack of a gunshot. Panicked and confused, he finds his way back to the main estate--Blackheath mansion--where he lives a very confused day ending with the dramatic death of the host's daughter, Evelyn Hardcastle.

The next morning, he wakes up a new man... literally, and he learns the rules of the game. Aiden Bishop has eight days--specifically eight repetitions of the same day, each spent in a different host--to uncover the identity of Evelyn's killer. And if that isn't complicated enough, there are two others present with the same task and only one can escape.

So begins the incredible mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle's murder, told eight-fold in a complex, exhilarating turn of events. This is an all new type of mystery novel. It's reminiscent of the classics like Sherlock Holmes stories and Hercule Poirot novels while also adding a completely unique dimension--or eight--to the story. It's an incredible addition to the mystery genre, one that all mystery/ thriller readers should indulge.

I was absolutely blown away by the crafting of this novel--let alone the fact that it was Turton's first! It really is like a complex Agatha Christie style dinner party mystery, but folded over itself multiple times. It must have taken YEARS to map out the entire plot. It's incredible that there aren't any inconsistencies (at least that I noticed...) I have serious writers envy. I'd give this book to anyone really, but I'd shove it into the hands of any mystery buff. I already have two co-workers lined up to borrow my copy, and I'm sure there'll be more.

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