BOOK REVIEWS

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Book Review

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Written by Stuart Turton, ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ was published on the 8th of February 2018 and was instantly a favourite as it won the Best First Novel prize in the 2018 Costa Book Awards; the novel also reached number one on The Saturday Times Bestseller list and number five on The Sunday Times Bestseller list. Published by Raven Books in the UK and Sourcebooks Landmark in the US on the 28th of September 2018, the book has also been translated into 28 languages and has sold over 200,000 copies in the UK. The novel’s popularity does not stop there, because in December of 2020, Netflix announced that a seven episode series was currently in production in the UK.

The book ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ “is a high-concept murder mystery set during a weekend party at a crumbling mansion where the narrator must repeat the same day over and over again until he can identify the killer of the beautiful young heiress, Evelyn Hardcastle, and break the cycle.”

With the novel’s instant immense popularity, House Productions acquired the TV rights for the novel in 2018 from Emily Hayward-Whitlock of The Artists Partnership, on behalf of Harry Illingworth, who is the director at the DHH Literary Agency. House Productions will work on ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ series adaptation for Netflix with Sophie Petzal creating and writing for the series. Executive producers Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross said, “Stuart’s novel is such an intriguing, exciting and compelling read, we are thrilled that he has entrusted it to us to bring to life for a TV audience.”

The author Stuart Turton commented on the book being adapted into a series, saying, “I’m absolutely delighted that ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ is coming to the screen, and wish to offer my apologies to the wonderfully talented Sophie Petzal – who has the mind-destroying job of adapting it. When I set out to write a time-travelling, body-hopping, murder mystery novel, I never imagined it would end up on the telly, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.”

Sophie Petzal also spoke about the production and said, “I’m so excited to have the chance to bring Stuart’s exhilarating, original and mind-bending novel to life on Netflix. From the moment I read the book, I knew it could make the most extraordinary television series and I’m so grateful to be a part of the incredible team setting out on this journey.”

The author Stuart Turton

Alongside winning the Best First Novel prize in the 2018 Costa Book Awards, ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ also won the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Fiction and it was shortlisted for the British Book Awards Debut of the Year.

Wondering why it is so popular? Here is the plot:

“At the start of the book, the novel’s protagonist awakes in a forest, suffering from memory loss, and calling for someone named Anna. He doesn’t remember his own name. He finds his way to a manor, where his friends tell him that he is a doctor called Sebastian Bell who is attending a party thrown by the Hardcastles, the family of Blackheath Manor. After he falls asleep that night, however, he awakes to find himself in the body of the butler, and it is the morning of the previous day. He learns that he has eight days, and eight different incarnations, to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle, which will take place at 11pm at the party that evening. He will only be allowed to leave Blackheath once he finds the killer. If he is unable to solve the mystery in the eight allocated days, the process will start again, and he will awake again in the body of Sebastian Bell with his memory wiped. He also learns that there are two other people competing to find out the murderer, and that only one person will be permitted to leave Blackheath.”

The novel has precise clues scattered in almost every chapter, as well as a detailed plan of the villa and the lands around it at the endpapers of the book. There is also a list of all the characters, structuring the book into sixty chapters; when the identity of the protagonist changes, the day on which it takes place is recorded at the beginning of the chapter.

If you are interested in reading the book yourself, then purchase it from HERE on Amazon for only £13.50. There is also a Kindle edition for only £5.03 if that is your preference!

The author Stuart Turton

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