Thank you, SourceBooks, for gifting me a copy of THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER by Stuart Turton.
“It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.
But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.
And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.
Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?
With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.”
What a ride this story was! I was a bit intimidated going in because it is such a thick book, but I hooked by the end of the first chapter. I appreciated that Turton supplied his readers with a manifest of those aboard the ship and a map of the layout of the ship – this provided me with a great deal of information regarding the story. Plus, anytime I felt as I was confused about a character or a place the ship, I could flip back to reorient myself – I wish more authors did this.
This is the second book I’ve read recently that took the author over 8 years to write. Stuart Turton started DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER in 2003. Y’all, he has been working on this novel for almost 20 years and IT SHOWS!
This story was packed full of mystery, suspense, a little romance, some ingenious character creations, and a lot of moments that left me eagerly turning the next page or promising myself ‘just one more chapter’. DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER was described as a “genre-bending” story and this is the most accurate description that I’ve found. Within the pages of this are hints of a thriller, fantasy, horror, romance, and historical fiction (but really it was just fictional history – read the authors note at the end of more on this) and even reminded a bit of a Sherlock Holmes story. It was incredible.
I kept trying to figure out what in the world was happening on that ship, but my mind could not put all of the puzzle pieces together. When the final big reveal occurred, I was replaying pages and pages of information wanting to smack myself on the forehead because it made SO much sense.
Stuart Turton, you are a genius and you have made a fan out of me. I can’t wait to read the next book that you publish – which is supposedly coming in two years.
THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER was released on October 6th and is available to order now.