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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Written by: Stuart Turton
Narrated by: Jot Davies
Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (126 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2018

A brilliantly original high-concept murder mystery from a fantastic new talent: Gosford Park meets Inception by way of Agatha Christie. 

'Somebody's going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won't appear to be a murder, and so the murderer won't be caught. Rectify that injustice and I'll show you the way out.' 

It is meant to be a celebration, but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden - one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party - can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. 

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath.... 

©2018 Stuart Turton (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Average Customer Ratings
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Come for the mystery, stay for the morality

Phew! That was a fun ride. I have been listening to the '7 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle's audiobook version for months now. It took months only because I had a strict 'listening only while cooking' rule. There were 2 hours of audiobook left when I was done making lunch today and I just could not wait till dinner to finish the book. So I snapped and ended up purchasing an ebook version because reading is quicker than listening. Yes, the book was so interesting that I paid for two versions of it.

'7 deaths' is two mysteries in one. The first is the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and the second is the mystery of the premise itself which is - who are the people trapped in the loop trying to solve a murder and why. I enjoyed the solution to the second mystery a lot more than the first as it was original and much deeper than I'd thought.

From the beginning, when you are introduced to this nameless person (eventually revealed to be Aiden Bishop) trapped inside a host he has no respect for, you start rooting for him. Every time he sleeps or dies, he wakes up as another person, in another host's body. He has little memory of who he is and he loses a bit of it every time the host changes. At times, I felt as helpless and frustrated as Aiden because he was made to try and solve a murder to which he seemingly has no connection in order to go back to his own life that he doesn't remember. It was reminiscent of a very different book I read about memories called 'Elizabeth Is Missing'.

I was worried that the author would pull the rug from under me in the end and reveal that I've been rooting for a horrible monster. Interestingly, knowing the ending, I realize that it wouldn't have mattered.

I loved how distinct and interesting each host was. The whole book was the reader processing the world of Blackheath through these different minds. And I thoroughly enjoyed that Aiden, just like the readers, learns what it means to be good from even the worst of them. Jot Davies, the narrator of the audiobook version, had the difficult task of making these host characters sound distinct but similar. And I must say, he pulled it off. So much so that when I read the final chapters, it sounded like his voice in my mind.

The ending was not as clever as the premise and in my opinion, Evelyn's murder mystery was not very convincingly solved. But with 7 deaths, you'd come for the time-loop, body-swap murder mystery but stay for lessons on morality, forgiveness, and justice. I'd recommend listening to the audiobook version for a better experience.

1 person found this helpful

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a thrilling read

so different from any other murder mystery out there... excellent concept... narration is beyond excellent... loved the unique and memorable voices for all the characters

1 person found this helpful

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What an amazing ride!!!

My first audio book experience in audible and oh boy what a book I picked up. This is absolutely fantastic read and the narrator and his different voices as different characters are just brilliant. I can not praise enough this piece of art.... :D

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant Book.

A brilliantly written murder mystery from author Stuart Turton(cant believe, It's his first book!!). I was not able to stop once I started the book and it took a lot of will power to do so 🤣. The opening scene was enough to build up the excitement and left me wanting for more. Don't want to give spoilers here but this book was extra in everything. The mysteries unveiling one after another. New twists at every corner. Quite unpredictable climax and what not.
How the author was able to introduce concepts of hell loops, multiple identities,a lot of murders, betrayals, deadly game with an end prize and bound everything up in one story with no loopholes whatsoever was amazing to me. In the end, everything made perfect sense.
A perfect murder mystery book for your soul and perfect plot for an upcoming Hollywood movie.😁

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Mind blowing

Narrator is excellent.. Loved his narration...
Perfect enjoyed it from start to finish..
Don't miss it...

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Excellent narration

Totally loved it. Many parts give you goosebumps. The premise is a little far fetched but I admire the creativity. Excellent narration. Definitely recommended.

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Inception meets Agatha Christie

This book can best be described as Inception meets Agatha Christie. The entire story takes place in a single day. The protagonist, Aiden Bishop is tasked with solving the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. This is not a regular murder mystery. Aiden re-lives the day of the murder through different people who are present in the house when the murder happened. He wakes up as a different person and experiences the day over and over again. He cannot escape this day until he solves the murder.
I am a big Agatha Christie fan. I have to say the murder mystery rivaled her best books. It is impossible to guess the ending, although you see the events through the eyes of 8 different people. It is not a book which you can read a chapter and come back after a few days. You need to read it continuously to keep track of the multiple timelines in which Aiden operates. The day keeps going back and forth through out the book.
I listened to this book on audible. That is my only regret. It is nearly 17hrs long. I could have read it much faster if I had bought the kindle edition. The narrator reminded me of all the things I hated about audio books before I got used to them. His voice felt like a foreign body in my brain. He attempted voices and accents for different characters which made it hard to understand the words.
I recommend you read the book but not on audible. #Books

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Great game of mystery

Hard to get into. The first 10 hours were very confusing. Should have kept the book in hand. After that was a breeze and a thrilling one.

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  • LK
  • 20-07-20

Curiouser and curiouser

This book is filled with plot twists!
Try to solve the murder if you can ;)

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Unputdownable

A gripping tale of murder ,fantasy, thrill, love and loyalty. It is in essence a quintessential closed room muder with a twist

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  • Bea
  • 15-03-18

A grand read!<br />If you think you know something ...

Absolutely loved it! The novel with so many twists and turns that you must be extremely careful on your reading path!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sheri Faleij
  • 10-09-18

The Golden Buzzer!

Five stars are not enough.
Enthralling as you experience being multiple victims, perpetrators, advocates, accusers and think deeply of punishments and forgiveness.

I’m betting the story out twists and turns anyone who listens!

The narrator is absolutely lovely!
He’s got the feelings captured in his voice!

So very, very well done.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Luke GJ Potter
  • 30-07-18

Page Turner, or Commute Lengthener

I loved this murder mystery. It took a little while to get going, but I trusted in the reviews here on Audible and it was worth it.
I wanted to keep listening to the story, even when my commute was over. I gets into a great flow after the janky start.
I'm really happy I seen the cover of this book in the book shop and added it to my Wishlist here.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger
  • 07-08-20

it's a Sci-Fi book and you won't even notice it!

There are so many plot twists that my hips are hurting. I'd love to see a visual representation of all events.

it's clever, it's period and had me wanting for more at the end of every chapter. Not in a cliff-hanger-Dan-Brownish way, but in a what's next!!! way.

go for it

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  • Brenda Chetty
  • 28-02-20

Torturous

But eventually finished it.... a very insubstantial story, narrator did not help.
No recommendations from me.

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  • PJM
  • 09-06-18

Oh My Goodness

What a terrific book this is. I was gripped from the very beginning. The story is complicated and I think that listening to it in a short space of time helped me to keep up with the amount of information being decoded and remembering who all the different characters were, but it was well worth it. The writing is fantastic and I really felt like I was learning everything at the same time as the narrator. Jot Davies does a wonderful job with the narration. I can't recommended this book enough. It's unlike anything I've read or listened to before and the ending is quite simply stunning. It's a remarkable achievement to get such a high-concept story absolutely right without alienating the reader by being too clever or complex but Stuart Turton has done something very special and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 03-08-18

Complex but Brilliant. A Classic in the making!

If you tend to choose books (like I do) partly based on listening hours per credit then this is for you. After wading through the 16+ hours I instantly restarted just to revisit all the plot twists to check for holes. Stuart Turton manages to hold together all the intricate moving parts brilliantly and it all makes much more sense a second time through. How he kept it all organised in his mind as he developed the story is amazing and points to a serious new talent. I look forward to his next book even though this is not my typical genre type.

Other reviewers criticise the complexity; they are right to do so. This is definitely not a casual background listen. Some of the prose is fantastic, and the scene setting is bleak, atmospheric and claustrophobic. There are no innocent characters to redeem a darkly twisted plot or lift the oppressive mood where a stately house and grounds provides the stage for some frankly awful people to conduct their vile business. The house itself is like another character in the play, brought to life with descriptions that remind me of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast.

If that all sounds horrible, it is but in a darkly fascinating way where the story starts slow, drawing you in and accelerating once it orientates the reader and delivers some clues. It accelerates throughout with the last few hours leaving me reeling with the number of red herrings and direction changes as the mystery is revealed.

Others criticise Jot Davies' narration, but I personally found it spot on for the mood of the book. He creates the perfect atmosphere, slightly sinister but giving weight to such well written description and dialogue. His voice acting was consistent and completely believable over a wide range of characters and accents. Absolutely brilliant.

To sum up. Yes this does demand concentration and effort and benefits (for me) from a second listen, but I found it to incredibly rewarding and enjoyable in a morbidly fascinating way. The characters are vile, but are still believable and true to their own twisted motivations. The pacing is brilliant with more and more of the mystery revealed at an accelerating rate and the climax is brilliantly done. One of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to and I cannot recommend it enough. Please put the effort in and give it a go; this could be looked back on as a classic!

107 people found this helpful

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  • Shane O'Dea
  • 08-03-18

Fantastic and Original

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I loved this book. It was action all the way but you needed to pay attention as it had a complex plot. Took the time travel concept and reworked it in a totally original way. Can't wait for more from this author.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Missus-S
  • 12-04-18

Utterly gripping

So many twists, I feel quite dizzy.
I found the language breathtaking, this is a skilled writer. If Agatha Christie had written Groundhog Day, this would be the end product. My life has been pretty much on hold till I finished it, it so absorbed me. Loved it. Highly recommended.

41 people found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 16-05-18

Dense But Interesting

Thoroughly enjoyable however I think a lot is missed in the audio version, so much so that I have reserved the ebook from my local library. I feel like I missed out on some twists with the audio and want to read it properly.
Good performance however but I don't think this was the best medium for me for this title.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Sweetpea
  • 02-03-18

Downtown Abbey meets Groundhog Day!

This book is completely different to any other crime book I’ve ever read! it’s complex, confusing, and mind bending, but at the same time utterly compelling.
There is a host of different characters, time hops galore and a whole host of murders. It’s one of those books that once completed, you want to start rereading to see all the clues and red herrings you missed.
A fantastic debut novel, Mr Turton!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Suswati
  • 28-03-18

Convoluted

I would love to watch this as a TV series because as a book it seems rather all over the place. Following Aiden Bishop, who seems to be appear in a new host body every day in order to solve a Gosford Park-style murder, he's also stacked against competitors desperate to flee this entrapment.

The premise is fantastic - it's Inception mixed with Agatha Christie- but I feel the author Stuart Turton may have overstretched himself because by the end it's a tangle of a mess, and finishes rather abruptly, trying to tackle loose ends. I may be in the minority, but I found myself drifting away quite a bit, actually forgetting characters. There's far too many murders and body swapping, and I don't think it reached its potential.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Janet leslie
  • 23-08-18

Couldn't listen to the narration

The voice really disrupted my enjoyment of the story. I wouldn't buy another book with same narrator.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Sal
  • 30-04-18

Confusing

An interesting idea, well narrated and with real potential. However, the plot was incredibly confusing, particularly as an audio, and I kept having to go back and relisten to sections. I also thought it was over long and the ending lacked impact. Almost all the characters in the novel were vile so I found it difficult to care about them and at times the plot really dragged. I'm afraid this one wasn't really for me.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Wras
  • 16-05-18

A very hard to sustain conceit or device.

Here is a story that is a kind of science fiction, come detective story, come horror tale but not any of them, in the end, it is just a writers device to spice up a story of redemption and forgiveness. It felt contrived and claustrophobic and repetitive (but that was the warning the title gave), I kept on thinking let's get to the point, and I and the character would be taken back to the same point of the story viewed from a different angle, which did not open any new understandings.

Too much like as nightmare and too long within a conundrum that has no logic except for the one given by the author. It may be fascinating to create this world as a writer, but as a reader, I found it frustrating and without much reward, because in the end, everything had to be explained by one of the characters for it to be understood and have a logic that explained what had happened repeatedly.

Too stylized to feel connected to the character and too repetitive to care for the final outcome. I do not mind putting a bit of hard work for literature, but entertainment should not be this difficult.

58 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-18

Excellent narration

Addictive listening. Couldn’t wait for the next chapter. Dramatic narration was excellent. An interesting story concept.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-10-18

Patience and attention will give you a great story

At the beggining is a little difficult to engage with so many different characters, nevertheless, once you got a grip of the story, you get a mindblowing experience.

5 people found this helpful

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  • claire
  • 05-08-18

Simply brilliant

Everything about this is amazing. The original story idea, the setting, the characters. The narrator is perfect. I rarely leave written reviews but I have to forward this one.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-01-19

Wow keeps you guessing

It takes a while to get into it but once you do wow. So many twists and turns I found myself having to go back before I could move forward. I hope they make this into a tV miniseries (ABC/BBC) adds don’t spoil the suspense.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tory1
  • 13-10-19

Circular story with predicable ending

Round and round we go!
This story is a ‘groundhog day’ torture.
Audible performer does a great job.
Wouldn’t recommend this to anyone I know.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Katy
  • 25-03-19

excellent characters and creative writing

outside of my normal genre, so i was unable to finish it. excellent creative wording in the descriptive phrases.
if crime and detective thrillers are your genre then you will enjoy this interesting twist on things.
about halfway thru i found the strange involvement of the footman and plague doctor to jarring. they had no real place in the cast of characters or the flow of tha narrative, adding a rather more supernatural and starge feel that was ruining the picture. so being confused couldn't persevere for another 7 hours. but i will not ask for my credit back, because it is a quality work

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ellen
  • 29-08-20

Hooked from the first 5 seconds

I struggled to turn this book off! Quite a few looong work lunch hours with this on. Giving it a 4 star because I wanted a few more explanations at the end, but I imagine plenty will read this without that requirement.

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  • Wendy Stow
  • 17-07-20

long and hard work

I don't know why I persevered with this. it's way too long and I found the narrator's dramatic drawl annoying.The convoluted plot is clever but I did not find the story entertaining, it has a Groundhog Day quality which is exhausting.

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  • Mick
  • 08-07-20

A gem!

Stuart Turton wastes no words in writing this book. It is cleverly written and the story is interesting. A crime mystery involving time loops and a Groundhog Day premise, the reader is not left disappointed. The narration is fantastic and keeps you involved with the multi-character twists and turns throughout.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-20

Phenomenal

Possibly the best book I’ve ever had the pleasure of ‘reading’
I was on the edge of my seat for the entire time
I think I’m going to listen to it again