I just got around to reading THE 7 1/2 DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE by Stuart Turton. It’s confusing at the beginning, and gets both more and less confusing as you go along. Does that sound strange? Wait ’til you read the book!
I can generally take or leave stories in which the narrative character has amnesia; it’s hard to do well. Roger Zelazny set the bar with NINE PRINCES IN AMBER, but Turton’s book is right up there with it.
And the writing is fantastic. Check out the opening line:
I forget everything between footsteps.
BOOM! Instant amnesia. He still has feelings, impulses, reactions, and character traits, some of which don’t seem in sync. That’s because “he” is tasked with finding out who committed the murder that’s going to happen that evening, and he’s to do so inside someone else’s body. Are his feelings, impulses, reactions, and character traits his, or those of his host body? Some of each, and he begins to sort them out as he awakes every morning into the same rainy day in a different host body. To make things more difficult (or does it make it easier?), the hosts don’t awake in chronological order: One day his host wakes late in the morning, and another day he wakes earlier than he previous host. There’s at least one other person in the same condition, but she lives the same day over and over in the same host, so he has to coordinate what she knows when, and …. Trust me, it ROCKS!
Here’s one of my favorite lines, our introduction to “Dr. Dickie”:
I open the door to find a huge gray mustache on the other side.
I’m telling you, Turton’s language and style delight on every page.
It’s been picked up by Netflix UK as a limited series, and I’m hoping hoping hoping to see it soon! They changed the title to The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but I don’t know what happened to the extra 1/2 death. I guess they rounded down.
In honor of the weather in the book, my nails are weather-y this week.
The light blue base polish is pop-arazzi’s The Hue Is Blue, the very dark blue base polish and stamping polish is Maniology’s Cosmos, and the rain is Maniology’s Bam! White. The rain and wind came from Maniology’s MXM078, and the WEATHER collection came from Maniology’s MXM279.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Weather, specifically rain.