The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle | Stuart Turton

Two-thirds of the way through (exactly 66.6% I noticed, make of that what you will) my library ebook deleted itself without warning. The loan period had expired, and I was going to have wait 4 weeks to get to finish it. Frankly I was relieved. I’d doggedly stuck with it, hoping that it all might start to make sense, but after 300 repetitious pages of unrelenting time-loopy but oddly dull peril that hope had all but vanished. There’s just no thread to hold on to, and pity my simplicity but I do like a thread.

The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is another of those vogueish sprawling vaguely supernatural mysteries like The end of Mr Y, which I loathed, with all sorts of clever stuff about recursive time and unstable identities, which sounds quite appealing in theory but which is totally unengaging emotionally and is just gruelling and repetitive, no matter how tightly plotted. I don’t give marks for tight plotting; it’s like having a tidy desk or a good filing system. And there’s a huge fundamental flaw for me – why would I care about someone being killed if they’re always alive and well again the next day? So an accidental DNF, and thank you to Kent Libraries for not sending me a renewal reminder.