The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
My rating: 5 / 5
Genre: Mystery, thriller
I don’t normally write a new review when I read a book I already reviewed on my blog. But this is a special case. The first time I read this book, I gave it 3.5 stars. I like it, but had enough issues to lower the rating. This time, though, I enjoyed the ride so much more! I think that’s partly because I already knew the ending was going to be not only really interesting, but also contain more of an explanation than I had originally expected. It allowed me to enjoy the journey more. Similarly, with a better understanding of how the narrator’s 8 days were going to unfold, I wasn’t as impatient for it to get going. And because I knew it was going to have some brilliant time-travel mechanics, I loved watching out for those and seeing the plot play out. I can’t imagine what the storyboarding for this book must have looked like.
I also knew enough to start skimming the somewhat lengthy descriptions much earlier, which I think made for an easier read for me. The manor is old and crumbling, rain makes things wet, got it. Let’s get to the action! And even though I’d read it before, I’d forgotten the couple of twists along the way—and this time, I was more invested, so they got me even more than they probably did the first time (I doubt I’ll forget about them after this, but that might just depend on how long I wait to read it again, which I do expect to do someday).
I think there’s another reason that I liked it more this time, though, and that has to do with me, not the story. I read this book at the very beginning of my push to getting back into reading regularly, after losing the habit for close to 20 years. I’ve now been reading daily for over 3 years, and I think my own tastes and how I enjoy a story have changed. I don’t even normally have much desire to re-read a book that I rated below 4 stars, but since my original rating was based as much on the book’s atmosphere as anything, while I did really like the plot, it still made my re-read list. And I’m sooo glad it did, because it’s now one of my favorites!
Find out more about The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle*
*This is the US title. The book is elsewhere titled The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!