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The Devil and the Dark Water

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A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist. 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. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. But no sooner are they out to sea tha A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist. 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. Travelling 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. The breathtaking new novel from Stuart Turton, author of the The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, winner of the Costa Best First Novel Award.


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A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist. 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. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. But no sooner are they out to sea tha A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist. 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. Travelling 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. The breathtaking new novel from Stuart Turton, author of the The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, winner of the Costa Best First Novel Award.

30 review for The Devil and the Dark Water

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist. (4.25?) After reading The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I couldn’t wait to read anything else by the author. I wasn’t disappointed! I loved how once again, the murder-mystery was happening in a contained environment (the boat!) with lots of possible suspects. They all had interesting background and possible motives and the possibly of supernatural kept me guessing. I do think that once again the ending was the weakes A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist. (4.25?) After reading The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I couldn’t wait to read anything else by the author. I wasn’t disappointed! I loved how once again, the murder-mystery was happening in a contained environment (the boat!) with lots of possible suspects. They all had interesting background and possible motives and the possibly of supernatural kept me guessing. I do think that once again the ending was the weakest point of the book but I think if you’ve enjoyed his first book, you’ll enjoy this one too! PS. Calling one of your main characters "Arent" is cruel to all your non-native English speaking readers... XD

  2. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    1634: A mixed bag of passengers, and crew, begin to board the merchant ship, Saardam, for a voyage from Batavia to Amsterdam. On the docks, a leper suddenly appears high atop a pile of crates and issues a warning that the voyage will end in merciless ruin. He subsequently bursts into flames and dies a painful death. The observers, although chilled by his damning proclamation, shrug it off as the ramblings of a madman. It's harder to ignore the devil's mark that miraculously appears on the sails, 1634: A mixed bag of passengers, and crew, begin to board the merchant ship, Saardam, for a voyage from Batavia to Amsterdam. On the docks, a leper suddenly appears high atop a pile of crates and issues a warning that the voyage will end in merciless ruin. He subsequently bursts into flames and dies a painful death. The observers, although chilled by his damning proclamation, shrug it off as the ramblings of a madman. It's harder to ignore the devil's mark that miraculously appears on the sails, however. The incident, understandably, casts a sense of foreboding over the voyage. Samuel Pipps, a detective of some note, happens to be aboard, but as a prisoner. Due to that status, he is locked in a grimy, claustrophobic cell, without even enough room to stand up. Luckily, his faithful bodyguard, Lieutenant Arent Hayes, is also aboard and he happens to have a close connection to the Governor General, Jan Haan. Through Arent's suggestion, Samuel earns the right to be taken out of his cell every night to get his exercise and fresh air upon the decks. As mysterious happenings plague the ship, paired with reoccurrences of the devil's mark, Arent teams up with Jan Haan's lovely wife, Sara Wessel, to try to get to the bottom of it. An important piece of Arent's past, the lore of a demon named Old Tom, plays a large role in this story. Some say Old Tom is aboard the ship; he's the cause of all the problems. There's a ghost ship stalking them, their food supply is treacherously low, a storm like no other threatens to sink them, people die, things disappear and throughout it all, Old Tom is trying to sway all aboard to his side. This book has such a vibe. I don't quite have words for it, but I love it! As with The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, The Devil and the Dark Water is such a complex, suspenseful mystery. The tone of this novel, the is it supernatural, is it not-feel of it all was masterfully done. Additionally, the use of Arent and Sara as an amateur sleuthing team was incredibly executed. Together they are trying to work out who among them has been possessed by Old Tom. Their investigation has a lot of twists and turns, casting doubts on numerous passengers and crew. All of the characters were so interesting. Anyone could have been the baddie. I had no clue who to suspect! The entire story was completely original. I have never read anything quite like it. Turton's imagination knows no bounds. Apparently, 17th-Century Supernatural Mysteries are now my jam, because I am OBSESSED with this! Thank you so much to the publisher, SourceBooks Landmark, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. This was by far, one of my most anticipated reads of the year, so I certainly appreciate it. I am such of fan of Turton's writing and look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    “Some songs weren’t mere songs. They were memories curled tight and set alight.” Samuel Pipps and Arent Hayes are the dynamic duo responsible for stopping the most notorious crimes across the world. However, this last one might just be too much for even the Great Pipps. It centers on one, terrible boat...the very boat leading Pipps to his execution. Pipps is currently locked in the bellows of the ship, leaving his bodyguard (Arent) to deal with the mystery. And what a mystery it is - a twice-dea “Some songs weren’t mere songs. They were memories curled tight and set alight.” Samuel Pipps and Arent Hayes are the dynamic duo responsible for stopping the most notorious crimes across the world. However, this last one might just be too much for even the Great Pipps. It centers on one, terrible boat...the very boat leading Pipps to his execution. Pipps is currently locked in the bellows of the ship, leaving his bodyguard (Arent) to deal with the mystery. And what a mystery it is - a twice-dead leper on the sea, symbols being written into the wood, whispering through the walls and a possible-demon to boot. Aren't isn't the great detective...but when people are marked for death, he decides that he will have to be. “Questions are swords and answers are shields...” Whew! After reading 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle...I am prepared to be just blown away by Turton's second book...and the verdict is....it was good. It wasn't MIND-BLOWING like his first one but I was also entertained throughout. I like the way the mystery was structured and the setting chosen - it had Sherlock-and-Watson vibes, but with enough twists to make it unique. I thought it was fun to see "Watson" (Arent) handle the mystery, and I was cheering him on with each new reveal. I adored Sara, the much-grieved wife, who assists Arent with his mystery. And I loved the way she found ways to work around the patriarchy that governed every moment of her life. And the grand reveal - it definitely wasn't what I expected but it fit so well with the story! So happy with the way it turned out! HUGE thank you to Cristina from Sourcebooks for sending this one my way!

  4. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    ST has once again written a book that all mystery lovers will obsess over. the main duo are very sherlock and watson, while the remaining ensemble of characters remind me very much of agatha christies stories. and all set on the high seas, where everything is at stake and there is nowhere to hide. its the perfect set-up. this is a story full of adventure, mutiny, dark spirits, charming passengers, ruthless crewmates, and a fascinating mystery. i honestly couldnt have asked for a better time. tha ST has once again written a book that all mystery lovers will obsess over. the main duo are very sherlock and watson, while the remaining ensemble of characters remind me very much of agatha christies stories. and all set on the high seas, where everything is at stake and there is nowhere to hide. its the perfect set-up. this is a story full of adventure, mutiny, dark spirits, charming passengers, ruthless crewmates, and a fascinating mystery. i honestly couldnt have asked for a better time. thank you so much to sourcebooks landmark for the ARC! ↠ 4.5 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Stuart Turton returns with a cracking piece of historical fiction, a spine chiller that drips with colour and atmosphere set in the 17th century. In 1634, the cursed and doomed East India merchant ship, the Saardam, carrying spices and other mysterious cargo, sets sail from Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia) for Amsterdam, voyaging on the dangerous high seas, stalked by life threatening storms, plagued by fears, folklore and superstitions of the period. There appear to be the presence of devils in the Stuart Turton returns with a cracking piece of historical fiction, a spine chiller that drips with colour and atmosphere set in the 17th century. In 1634, the cursed and doomed East India merchant ship, the Saardam, carrying spices and other mysterious cargo, sets sail from Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia) for Amsterdam, voyaging on the dangerous high seas, stalked by life threatening storms, plagued by fears, folklore and superstitions of the period. There appear to be the presence of devils in the form of 'Old Tom', the devil's mark, a leper ghost with his tongue cut out, a crew of murderers and cutthroats, a Daemonologica, and prophecies of 3 unholy miracles that will take place on the ship, feeding the chaos and mayhem that comes to pass as the body count rises. Travelling on the ship is Sammy Pipps, a famous detective, a prisoner set to be executed in Amsterdam, accompanied by his loyal bodyguard, Lieutenant Arent Hayes, a relationship that echoes that of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Passengers include a group of nobles, headed by the Governor-General, Jan Haan, a powerful, ruthless, and cruel man who controls and beats his wife, Sara Wessel. Sara has refused to be cowed, has lost two sons, is a gifted healer, and is intent on protecting and looking out for her genius daughter, Lia, imprisoned all her life. This is a world in which women have no rights, even if they are noble, Sara tries to get Lia to hide her superior knowledge from men, men are dangerous, fickle of mood, likely to lash out without reason. With Pipps imprisoned in his cell, it is Arent that is tasked to investigate the crimes set to take place, aided by the able Sara. Arent has no faith in his abilities, he believes only in Sammy, Sammy is his religion, but he has no choice but to turn detective. Does he stand any chance of succeeding, surrounded as he is by sinners, intrigue, greedy, ambitious and evil men, and devil whispers in the dark bargaining for souls? Turton's storytelling is vivid and vibrantly alive with its details of life on the Saardam, and his creation of a wide ranging cast of characters beguile, charm, scare and horrify, individuals that including a dwarf, swashbuckling musketeers, witchfinders, the Governor-General's mistress, Creesjie Jens, and the feared boatswain, Johannes Wyck. This is a fantastic, hugely entertaining read, superbly plotted, that will have you investing in the characters, holding your interest right from the get go, having you avidly turning the pages until the sparkling reveal at the end. Do yourself a favour and read this! Highly recommended. Many thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Ship ahoy! Prepare yourself to have a dangerous intercontinental trip to Europe and feel the vibes of Pirates of Caribbean meets Murder in the Orient Express vibes embellished with supernatural/paranormal elements. Bring out your pop corns and refreshments because this is going to be unputdownable, addictive, action packed, dazzling, mysterious, twisty experiment and stock your adult diapers because during your read you want to cut your restroom breaks and be fully concentrated on the story, fl Ship ahoy! Prepare yourself to have a dangerous intercontinental trip to Europe and feel the vibes of Pirates of Caribbean meets Murder in the Orient Express vibes embellished with supernatural/paranormal elements. Bring out your pop corns and refreshments because this is going to be unputdownable, addictive, action packed, dazzling, mysterious, twisty experiment and stock your adult diapers because during your read you want to cut your restroom breaks and be fully concentrated on the story, flipping pages. ( I bribed my husband to put a slice of pizza on my mouth and move my mouth up and down to help me chew so I wouldn’t get starved when I focused on this incredibly exciting story! Good thing he accepted my pay in Belgium chocolates!) Tatatataaaa! The year is 1634 (when I write this review I can hear the voice over of Morgan Freeman in my head which improves my encouragement), an East Indian Company ship named “Saardam” is about to set sail and the passengers slowly arrive to board into the ship including a special passenger- a very famous detective Samuel Pipps: arrested and sent to Amsterdam for his trial accompanied by his devoted best friend& protector Arent Hayes whose only intention is proving Pipps’ innocence to the authorities. Don’t worry: Pipps doesn’t make stand on the railing of the ship, grabbing Hayes’ arms as he extends them out. There is no line in the book like: “I’m flying” and we don’t hear “My heart will go on” in the background. So their journey seemed a routine and necessary trip till a leper without tongue appears from nowhere, shouting at them: “they’re all gonna die and there is a devil in this ship coming after them” before put himself into the fire. Yes, I called it: that’s how you make a great entrance! The governor general of Batavia is also on board. Arent asks for his wife Sara for the help after the unexpected and shocking dead of leper. But as we’re introduced with his abuser, arrogant, dangerous husband we realize Sara cannot get his support to solve the mystery. And the leper’s premonition comes true, already three deaths are marked by the devil and it seems like he has no intention to stop. But I’m stopping here because giving any more details may ruin the big twists (they keep coming and you need to sit tight not to collapse after the head spinning, fast paced, intense, action packed, terrifying chapters.) I have to admit: I enjoyed “7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” even it burned each grey cells of mine and for one month I could only watch “Kardashians” and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” because these were the only shows can be watched if you feel like lackwit with a brain cannot function properly. But this book was way too much better than the first one: it was smart, entertaining, surprising, gripping, adventurous and remarkable. So if I could give five and half stars or six solid stars to that book, I would give it without thinking a second. This is best fast paced, twisty, exhilarating historical fiction I’ve read this year and I’m so pleased to recommend it to its genre lovers. Special thanks to NetGalley and dear Cristiana Arreola for sharing the ARC’s widget with me in exchange my honest review. I truly enjoyed it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    "Arent Hayes was a zealot. His religion was Samuel Pipps." My mind is fucking blown. Just read it. 15 or so characters and one of them may or may not be the devil doing some horrific acts and whispering their greatest desires. Samuel 'Sammy' Pipps together with his trusted friend and assistant, Arent Hayes, and their new found allies aboard the ship must race against time to defeat this devil known as Old Tom. Stuart Turton's The Devil and the Dark Water is fast-paced and gripping nov "Arent Hayes was a zealot. His religion was Samuel Pipps." My mind is fucking blown. Just read it. 15 or so characters and one of them may or may not be the devil doing some horrific acts and whispering their greatest desires. Samuel 'Sammy' Pipps together with his trusted friend and assistant, Arent Hayes, and their new found allies aboard the ship must race against time to defeat this devil known as Old Tom. Stuart Turton's The Devil and the Dark Water is fast-paced and gripping novel that blown my brains into bits especially the ending. The clues at first in the story were very very vague that got me like "what does this even mean?" but yeah they all caught me unguardedly. This book reminded me so much why I love mystery/thrillers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    4.5 stars. A very twisty, eerie mystery, set in the 1600s on a ship traveling from Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia) to Amsterdam. It’s not much at all like The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle except in the complexity of the plot. :) Full review to come. Update: CHEERS!! I just got approved for this on NetGalley. Please sophomore novel don't let me down here. I thought this author's first book, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, was flat-out amazing. 4.5 stars. A very twisty, eerie mystery, set in the 1600s on a ship traveling from Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia) to Amsterdam. It’s not much at all like The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle except in the complexity of the plot. :) Full review to come. Update: CHEERS!! I just got approved for this on NetGalley. Please sophomore novel don't let me down here. I thought this author's first book, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, was flat-out amazing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Canada for this gripping, historical/mystery story set on the high seas. The time is 1634 aboard a merchant ship, the Saardam, transporting spices and unknown cargo to Amsterdam from Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia). This is a perilous 8-month journey and at best of times would be threatened by storms and pirates, and hostility within the crew. The journey has a claustrophobic atmosphere. It is an enthralling, complicated mystery with fascinating characters Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Canada for this gripping, historical/mystery story set on the high seas. The time is 1634 aboard a merchant ship, the Saardam, transporting spices and unknown cargo to Amsterdam from Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia). This is a perilous 8-month journey and at best of times would be threatened by storms and pirates, and hostility within the crew. The journey has a claustrophobic atmosphere. It is an enthralling, complicated mystery with fascinating characters, occult folklore, and paranormal/supernatural beliefs that bring fear to those onboard who are beset by 17th-century superstition. While boarding the ship, the passengers hear a fearsome curse. A crippled leper in rags has climbed to a height on the dock. He utters the words that the ship is in danger and people are doomed to die. There is a devil on the ship coming after them. The leper then sets himself on fire and dies. It is learned that his tongue had been cut out, so where did the words originate? Later he is sighted onboard the ship. How can that be? Onboard the Saardam is the worlds' most famous detective, Sammy Pipps. Much has been written about Sammy's exploits and crimes solved. He is accompanied by his friend and bodyguard, Arent Hayes, a huge ex-mercenary with a kind, gentle nature. There will be plenty of puzzles to be solved on the long voyage. Unfortunately, Sammy is being transported in shackles to Amerstadam to stand trial and punishment for a crime unknown to Arent. Sammy is placed in a small, dark cell and implores his partner to find out what is going on. It is left up to Arent to solve the weird, mysterious occurrences. He has no confidence in his detective ability. His previous investigation found the wrong man guilty. Now he has been commanded to discover if the devil is on board, called 'Old Tom' by the superstitious. The Governor-General, Jan Haan, is present. He is a wealthy, powerful, and cruel man who seems to be more in control of the ship than its captain. He intimidates and beats his wife, noblewoman Sara. She is a determined woman with a mind of her own who has been suppressed by the lowly role of women in the 17th century. Her daughter, Lia, has been taught to keep her high intelligence secret so as not to insult the men who do not believe women should think for themselves. Sara's husband's mistress, Creesjie is also present. She is a sexy former prostitute and later a courtesan. Sara becomes friends with the cheerful Ceesjie and also with Arent. Sara teams up with Arent due to her curiosity about some frightening sightings and mysterious deaths and to feel independent from her stifling husband. The ship is peopled with all sorts of diverse, enigmatic characters. There are sinners, scoundrels killers, a dwarf, witchfinders, fearsome musketeers, the powerful and greedy, a cruel boatswain, an elderly holy man, and sailors with secret backgrounds. This sets up a dazzling and exciting plot which includes rivalries, revenge, and betrayals mixed with fearsome events that touch on the supernatural. I thought the middle was slow-paced with some filler that made it longer than need be (3 Stars). This detracted from its tension and suspense. The clever conclusion was ingenious and rated a 5 star with twists and revelations that I never could have anticipated.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    Oof I hate to do it, but after trying to read this book for a ~month~ now at this point, I’m gonna have to DNF @ 40%. Sorry guys! I’ve never seen a murder mystery go so long without an actual murder. I can’t believe this is the same author who wrote The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but idk maybe his next one will be better? Too long, too boring and too little happening for me. *Thanks to Sourcebook Landmark, BookExpo & Publishers Weekly for an advance copy! Oof I hate to do it, but after trying to read this book for a ~month~ now at this point, I’m gonna have to DNF @ 40%. Sorry guys! I’ve never seen a murder mystery go so long without an actual murder. I can’t believe this is the same author who wrote The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but idk maybe his next one will be better? Too long, too boring and too little happening for me. *Thanks to Sourcebook Landmark, BookExpo & Publishers Weekly for an advance copy!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The Devil and the Dark Water is a Sherlockian masterpiece, darkly atmospheric and twisty as hell. The past was filled with sharp things, he’d said. He couldn’t reach for a memory without drawing blood doing it. The world’s greatest detective, Samuel Pipps, is being transported back to Amsterdam from Batavia (Indonesia), kept imprisoned in the dank depths of the ship for crimes unknown. His bodyguard, Arent Hayes, is determined to prove him innocent… if he can find out what his friend was guilty o The Devil and the Dark Water is a Sherlockian masterpiece, darkly atmospheric and twisty as hell. The past was filled with sharp things, he’d said. He couldn’t reach for a memory without drawing blood doing it. The world’s greatest detective, Samuel Pipps, is being transported back to Amsterdam from Batavia (Indonesia), kept imprisoned in the dank depths of the ship for crimes unknown. His bodyguard, Arent Hayes, is determined to prove him innocent… if he can find out what his friend was guilty of in the first place. But his inquiries are put on hold when the brutal death of a leper turns out to be the first in a series of mysterious and deadly happenings. With Pipps’ prodigious memory and unsurpassable detective skills out of action, the only recourse is for Hayes to step in and do what he can. These are no normal crimes, however, a devil may be loose in the world. Someone, or something, is playing for the highest stakes: the souls of everyone on board. Hayes, uncertain of his abilities and unsure who to trust, is running out time to figure it all out and save everyone from the most terrifying of fates. For those, like me, who were more impressed with the ballsiness of the author for writing something like The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle as a first novel than than the actuality of the story, this book is well worth a go. Like his first novel, this showcases Turton’s talent for the unusual, the complex, and the downright daring. However, it has a much stronger foundation, a labyrinthine but well-defined plot that leans a bit more towards historical crime fiction than the supernatural (though it has a big dollop of that too). In fact, there were a few moments when I was genuinely perturbed. The suspense is cleverly managed, developed through a number of compelling characters, who themselves are part of an extraordinary cast of misfits. They’re all so incredibly memorable, deftly described and oh so flawed. When added to the roiling seas, the palpable sense of danger on the Saardam, and the intricacies of the relationships between the passengers, it’s literary dynamite. All the things you think you know, you don’t. And yes, to carry on that metaphor, the ending is explosive. It had me chuckling gleefully. I love being thoroughly bamboozled. Not only is it pure fun, it’s so much more satisfying than Turton’s first novel. I got to the end of that one and though ‘hmmm’, I got to the end of this one smiling like crazy and wishing it kept on for another few hundred pages or more. If you’re looking for a good time, give this a go. Highly recommended. ARC via Netgalley

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aoife - Bookish_Babbling

    Who to trust when so many have secrets? 🕵🏻‍♀️ I have been super excited to read this since being completely bowled over by Turton's debut and it deff didn't disappoint but also didn't quite live up to the high bar reading experience that was Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. There was just something about the memory loss, "body-switching" Cluedo type feel of that first book that really knocked it out of the park for me 🤷‍♀️ Trying to put those puzzle pieces together was such a trip 👍 I love a perio Who to trust when so many have secrets? 🕵🏻‍♀️ I have been super excited to read this since being completely bowled over by Turton's debut and it deff didn't disappoint but also didn't quite live up to the high bar reading experience that was Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. There was just something about the memory loss, "body-switching" Cluedo type feel of that first book that really knocked it out of the park for me 🤷‍♀️ Trying to put those puzzle pieces together was such a trip 👍 I love a period setting and being on a boat at sea in the 1600s staring down the barrel of many months of journeying with murderous characters on board made for a fun read heading into the spooky season 🙃 Kudos deffo go to the setting of this book, it almost had a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe to it...no, this is not a negative thing at all! Although sometimes perplexed by the layout of the boat I was totally here for the setting, Sherlock detective duo feel and the massive cast of characters even if it took a while to get to know them & I definitely flip-flopped on whether I liked some of them at times. I do enjoy how Turton manages to do this with his characters both in this book and his debut. Ultimately, however, the characters themselves were a more likeable lot than the morally questionable bunch we met alongside Evelyn Hardcastle 😈 Where this book didn't quite hit for me is in the ending. The reveals were fun although I had kind of half guessed one of them but couldn't quite see how it fit into the bigger picture 🤔 So that was a fun niggle at the back of my mind and an "I sort of knew it" moment when revealed. The overall religious slant & demonology didn't really float my boat if you'll pardon the awful #dadjoke 😅 I'm not often pulled in by philosophical musings/religious overtures and they typically tend to put me off more often than not - so that's a me vs the book issue 🤗 This was absolutely an addictive read and I am 100% tuning back into whatever else Turton chooses to share with us in the future.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    Many thanks to Cristina at Sourcebooks for the free copy in exchange for an honest review I HAVE AN ARC OMGGGGGGGGGGG (thank you Cristina) - - - - - - COVVVVERRRRRRR - - - - - - title! - - - - - - oooh, how exciting!! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram Many thanks to Cristina at Sourcebooks for the free copy in exchange for an honest review I HAVE AN ARC OMGGGGGGGGGGG (thank you Cristina) - - - - - - COVVVVERRRRRRR - - - - - - title! - - - - - - oooh, how exciting!! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  14. 4 out of 5

    sarah xoxo

    "Courage isn't an absence of fear. It's the light we find when fear is all there is." I am disappointed. In this book. In myself for not DNF'ing it. In the unfulfilled potential this story had. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Devil and the Dark Water is Stuart Turton's sophomore novel set in 1634 almost entirely on a merchant ship 'saardam'. The world's greatest detective Samuel Pipps and his bodyguard Arent Hayes are being taken from Batavia (present day Indonesia) to Amsterdam. Pipps has "Courage isn't an absence of fear. It's the light we find when fear is all there is." I am disappointed. In this book. In myself for not DNF'ing it. In the unfulfilled potential this story had. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Devil and the Dark Water is Stuart Turton's sophomore novel set in 1634 almost entirely on a merchant ship 'saardam'. The world's greatest detective Samuel Pipps and his bodyguard Arent Hayes are being taken from Batavia (present day Indonesia) to Amsterdam. Pipps has been imprisoned in the ship for crimes Arent does not know, but he is determined to prove his friend innocent. But things are not always what they seem in the Saardam, and a series of mysterious and bloody events have been set into action after a leper bursts into flames after seemingly placing a curse upon the ship. Is it the work of the devil, Old Tom, or simply the worst of humanity? I haven't read Evelyn Hardcastle, but the idea of seemed so interesting and the reviews mostly positive that all I needed to see was Turton's name attached to this and I requested it. I maintain my interest in that book even after this one because the premise sounds so much more interesting to me. That being said, the idea behind this book also seemed like something I would like. I was so excited to feel the Sherlockian x Pirates of the Caribbean vibes I had heard about- but it ultimately fell flat for me. "Questions are swords and answers are shields." From some of the reviews of Evelyn Hardcastle, I was expecting to be confused with what was happening in this book but my main problem was unexpectedly being bored. It was so slow. The pacing felt off for a good chunk of this book and it felt like I was wading through mud trying to get to the end. In my opinion, it could have been a good 100 pages shorter. I read an arc, so this may well be tidied in the finished copy but I noticed a few passages saying almost the exact same thing being repeated throughout the book. All this together made it difficult for me to push through the book, but I continued to have hope that it would improve and so decided against DNF'ing it. While the ending was satisfactory, it didn't make up for the rest of the book and so I definitely regret slogging through over 400 pages to get to it. To be honest, I was seriously considering rating it one star for a time, and the only things that prevented me from doing so were the ending, some quotes and the atmosphere. "Wealth was a key and poverty was a prison, and they'd been born shackled through no fault of their own. It was senseless and unfair, and mankind could withstand almost anything except unfairness." This book definitely succeeded in maximising the setting to its upmost potential and it added a layer of atmosphere that I desperately needed in pushing through. The ship was described in a vivid way that made it easy for me to picture it. However, the stagnant and almost claustrophobic feeling of spending the whole book on one ship also contributed to a lack of interesting events and changes in scenery. In addition, while the setting was well developed I didn't feel like the time period was. I could easily picture the ship and its inhabitants, but it didn't feel like they were from the 17th century. Some phrases felt quite modern and I found myself forgetting that this was set almost 400 years ago. Not only did the characters feel unrealistic for the time, but many of them were overly clichéd. I am not sure if that was the author's intention to perhaps make fun of typical mystery tropes and clichés, but it didn't come across like that to me and instead felt like lazy writing. However, while the modern influences were a bit jarring I did appreciate the addition of a little feminism and subversion of women's roles. "Strong is strong and weak is weak, and it doesn't matter if you wear breeches or skirts or if you're the latter. Life will hammer you flat" Overall, take this review with a grain of salt as I have seen many other 5 star ratings and positivity surrounding this book. If you don't mind a slow going mystery and you enjoyed Turton's debut- I would probably still recommend it. Definitely temper your expectations and don't go in thinking of it as a thriller because you will probably be disappointed like me. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for this ARC Release Date: 6 October 2020

  15. 5 out of 5

    Klaus

    My booktube review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqvFv... -- A murder mystery set on a ship in the 17th century with intriguing characters and a promising idea that does not unravel as magnificently as expected: everything is just what you expect it to be. 'Captain,' persisted Isabel. 'What's the dark water? 'It's what old sailors call the soul,' answered Van Schooten, from the opposite end of the table. 'They reckon our sins lie beneath it like wrecks on the ocean bed. Dark water is our soul, My booktube review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqvFv... -- A murder mystery set on a ship in the 17th century with intriguing characters and a promising idea that does not unravel as magnificently as expected: everything is just what you expect it to be. 'Captain,' persisted Isabel. 'What's the dark water? 'It's what old sailors call the soul,' answered Van Schooten, from the opposite end of the table. 'They reckon our sins lie beneath it like wrecks on the ocean bed. Dark water is our soul, and Old Tom is swimming within it.' Now, I don't read whodunnits very often. I've read a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories at school, and I've seen every single episode of Castle - and that's my whole experience with solving murder mysteries, so I don't consider myself an expert, mind you. However, I was able to solve this thing here after about one third of the book. So I'm either a criminal mastermind or this book isn't a good murder mystery. While I hope it's the first one, I guess the latter is true. But let's start at the beginning, shall we? Basically, it's all in the description: Sherlock Holmes, who's called Sammy Pipps here, is himself being accused of a vile crime which is why he spends the entire journey aboard this ship locked away. So when a murder happens, his assistant has to rise up to the challenge and solve the case himself, with only the little bit of help he can get from the detective in the small time periods of night where he's allowed to talk to him. The assistant manages to get an assistant himself who is the beautiful, unwilling wife of the master of everyone around, so obviously there's a romance in the making. Anyway, these two take a look into that murder case while all sorts of mischief breaks out on the ship - mischief for which a devil called Old Tom seems to be responsible. So the reader gets to wonder whether this is a good old whodunnit or if there are supernatural powers involved. There's of course a big set of characters who could be responsible for the atrocities committed aboard the ship - the thing is, all of them were just what you expect them to be, just like this story that went exactly where I expected it to go. And, well, a whodunnit that lets you know whodunnit pretty early if you notice certain hints and clues just isn't a gripping read anymore. What stopped me even more from truly immersing with this story was the whole way it was told: lots of very short chapters from changing perspectives. Every time chapters end/begin, I tend to make a short pause to reflect on what's happening and to wonder where it all will end up, so...there were a LOT of breaks for me in this one. Which is why the story couldn't capture me the way it could've done when the chapters had been longer. The writing focuses a lot on the plot and the characters - there's lots of dialogue and very few descriptions of the setting in my opinion, which also didn't help me get immersed into the world of the ship. But maybe I'm just too spoilt, because the book I've read that took place on a ship was Red Seas Under Red Skies and that was just awesome. Also, I didn't get a lot of stuff I was hoping for when reading a story on a ship. To elaborate on this might include spoilers, so I won't say more on that. What also hugely irritated me was the pacing of some parts of it: it's mostly a thriller with detailed descriptions of what everyone does the entire day, so I was really disturbed by the scenes where suddenly whole weeks were written in off in a single sentence and the action apparently just was on hiatus. And, er, the ending. Just no. It left me massively dissatisfied. I was not okay with how things were finished at all. To me, it felt unjust, and the characters' reactions to those responsible didn't fit with their nature and the way they had acted in this book at all. So all in all, I was disappointed by this one. I was expecting some big twist to happen to prove me wrong, but everything turned out the way I expected it to...three stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    NZLisaM

    ‘Whether this is a devil dressed as a man, or a man dressed as a devil, our course of action remains the same.’ If you're a fan of any, or all, of these authors and books – Ken Follet, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, The Shining, or Lord of the Flies, then The Devil and the Dark Water is going to be a sure-fire winner for you. Even if you're not, there is still plenty to enjoy. The year is 1634. When passengers set sail on the Saardam (one in a fleet of seven Indiaman ships) at Batavia, for ‘Whether this is a devil dressed as a man, or a man dressed as a devil, our course of action remains the same.’ If you're a fan of any, or all, of these authors and books – Ken Follet, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, The Shining, or Lord of the Flies, then The Devil and the Dark Water is going to be a sure-fire winner for you. Even if you're not, there is still plenty to enjoy. The year is 1634. When passengers set sail on the Saardam (one in a fleet of seven Indiaman ships) at Batavia, for an eight-month journey to Amsterdam, they anticipated boredom, misery, and the potential hazards of pirates, storms, fire, shipwreck, disease, or accident. What they didn't expect was a manifestation of a dead leper haunting the decks and cargo hold. A whispering voice echoing through the night – taunting and tormenting, offering rewards and riches in return for servitude. An ominous eighth lantern out at sea that shouldn’t be there. And the prediction of three unholy miracles, each worse than the last – two of which have already come to pass. All I can say is WOW! The Devil and the Dark Water was equally as original, clever, puzzling, and enthralling as Stuart Turton's debut, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Strap yourself in for a wild voyage of epic proportions. TDATDW fits multiple genres – historical, horror, gothic-horror, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller, action, adventure, drama, and romance. It’s a slow burn, but pay attention and read carefully, as it's always the small details that count, otherwise you may be confused by the end reveal. To give you some context, the first 35% only covers the first day of the voyage, beginning with the passengers arriving, boarding, and then setting sail. I feel this gradual build approach was necessary due to the extension cast of characters introduced, as well as to get your head around the layout, hierarchy of the crew and passengers, and the operation, routine, and conduct aboard the Saardam – all things pertinent to the plot. Included at the front is a ‘Manifest of Notable Crew and Passengers’ which I kept flipping back to until I had all the players straight. The prevalent question continuously plaguing me throughout was whether or not the threat was supernatural? Was someone actually possessed or controlled by a Devil entity to do its bidding, or was the answer trickery perpetrated by a cunning mastermind/s? And, I was constantly torn one way or the other, my every theory (and admittedly all my ideas were weak) soon shot down by the author. The growing hysteria and paranoia of the people on board increased the tension, claustrophobia and desperateness of the situation and had me anxious for the characters that were my favourites. Superstitious beliefs were commonplace in the 17th century, and crew and sailors on board the Saardam used charms, prayers, and rituals as a protective barrier to ward off the Devil and disaster. Fights, resentments, rivalries, riots, and insubordination went hand-in-hand with such closed quarters, and when exacerbated by a satanic presence inciting discord, rage, hatred, fear, and terror, mutiny and murder were but a stone’s throw away. The Devil and the Dark Water definitely makes my top three favourite reads of 2020. In his Author’s Note Stuart Turton has promised another book in the next two years, and I'm going to hold him to that! With Halloween approaching, this would be the perfect time to read this.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    3.5 Stars An enjoyable and atmospheric historical fiction mystery, which the author himself describes as more fiction than historical. It’s certainly different and while I enjoyed it I found it quite a long slow burner and struggled to keep track of all the characters hence my 3.5 star rating. This is my first novel by Stuart Turton and he certainly crafts and unique and suspenseful tale. Set in 1634 Samuel Pippa the worlds greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to 3.5 Stars An enjoyable and atmospheric historical fiction mystery, which the author himself describes as more fiction than historical. It’s certainly different and while I enjoyed it I found it quite a long slow burner and struggled to keep track of all the characters hence my 3.5 star rating. This is my first novel by Stuart Turton and he certainly crafts and unique and suspenseful tale. Set in 1634 Samuel Pippa the worlds greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trial and execution fro a crime he may or may not have committed. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard. Aren’t Hayes, who is determined to proves his friend innocent. Also on board are Sara Wessel a noblewoman with a secret and her husband the Governor General of Batavia. Thankfully the author included a brilliant detailed drawing of the ship and all the cabins, compartments and decks and also a Manifest of notable passengers and crew sailing aboard the Saddam. This was so helpful for the reading of a book like this and without it I personally would have been lost with so many characters to keep track of. I found myself and several occasions having to revert back to the manifest until I got used to all the characters. I enjoyed the story and the atmosphere created and it was perfect reading for this time of year. I did find the book dragged a bit for me and I really think this story could have benefited with being shortened as it was very long and drawn out. I especially loved the Author’s note at the end although I do think he should have placed it at the beginning. An apology to history and boats “ This is historical fiction where the history is the fiction” While I enjoyed the read it’s not one for my favorites shelf although I will be adding my hard copy to my real life bookshelf.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Smith

    As a reader of naval historical fiction (e.g. David Donachie), I got very excited by the premise of best selling author Stuart Turton’s latest publication, “The Devil and the Dark Water”. Set in the 1600’s in Batavia (present day Jakarta, Indonesia) we are taken on a voyage on the merchant ship ‘Saardam’ an Indiaman laden with spices, under the charter of the East India Company across the high seas. Together with some fantastic naval scenes, intrigue, suspense and a hint of the supernatural, the As a reader of naval historical fiction (e.g. David Donachie), I got very excited by the premise of best selling author Stuart Turton’s latest publication, “The Devil and the Dark Water”. Set in the 1600’s in Batavia (present day Jakarta, Indonesia) we are taken on a voyage on the merchant ship ‘Saardam’ an Indiaman laden with spices, under the charter of the East India Company across the high seas. Together with some fantastic naval scenes, intrigue, suspense and a hint of the supernatural, the three weeks the story is set at sea was atmospheric, thrilling and at times scarily entertaining. The author’s writing is so expressive and stirring from the very start there’s no escaping the reader being transported to the port at Batavia, where the sights, sounds and smells encourage you to feel you’re actually standing watching the opening chapters, with a leper appearing to pronounce the devil. For an author to be able to engage the reader into the depths of the story to the degree I did, I felt this a genuine skill not many writers can accomplish. Intricately detailed in a casual and entertaining way, this ensured you knew exactly how the scene was playing out and many a time I could sense the salt air and the grimy smell of the unwashed sailors. Not a pleasant sensory but a very necessary one, considering most toilet routines were carried out at the end of the ship and sailors often washed their clothes in their own urine. The characters were all superbly portrayed and in my mind I couldn’t decide if Samuel Pipps was a vision of Benedict Cumberbatch as a Sherlock Holmes persona or Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow - maybe both, so even better! I really enjoyed the relationship Sammy had with Arent, they worked so well together as a detective duo and a partnership that deserves being delved into further. My favourite word in the story was ‘daemonologica’ ( a taxonomy of devils), a book I’d love to have though I very much doubt one exists! There was without doubt some pulse pounding moments and the cold shiver of fear ran down my spine on more than one occasion. “The Devil and the Dark Water” reminded me why I love reading historical fiction and it’s a book I will return to again and again to read, it was that good. A complex plot filled with trepidation, excellently thought out and executed, which was fully explained and recounted towards the end. This enabled any questions you may have had to be completely answered and with an opening for a possible second in the series, I’m hoping there’ll be more from Sammy, Arent and company. The author intimated that when you finish reading his story, you’d look up and be ever grateful you’re back at home, safe and sound and no longer at sea and never were there truer words. My sea legs were totally gone and I’m very happy now to be sitting in a chair, on land, writing this! A five star read (which I would award more to if I could) that kept me enraptured and entertained from start to finish! Would I recommend? Aye,aye captain I would! 5 stars

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Hendry

    Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Arent Hayes is the bodyguard of Sammy Pipps, who is the greatest detective the world has ever seen. Sammy is arrested for a reason unknown to either himself or Arent, and is being transported to Amsterdam to stand trial. Once aboard the ship, strange events start happening. A symbol from Arent's past is painted and carved on the ship, livestock are slaughtered, a leper is seen wandering the ship and t Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Arent Hayes is the bodyguard of Sammy Pipps, who is the greatest detective the world has ever seen. Sammy is arrested for a reason unknown to either himself or Arent, and is being transported to Amsterdam to stand trial. Once aboard the ship, strange events start happening. A symbol from Arent's past is painted and carved on the ship, livestock are slaughtered, a leper is seen wandering the ship and they are being stalked by a mysterious ghost ship. With passengers turning up dead and Sammy locked up in a cell, it is up to Arent to investigate these strange goings on and discover who is responsible for this devilry. What I liked about this book The story is cleverly put together. I did not see the big twist coming at all. Arent and Sara are my favorite characters. Sara is a forward thinking female character and Arent is kind despite outward appearances. It was quite refreshing to read a book where the main character is not outrageously handsome. I really enjoyed the writing style. What I didn't like For the first few chapters I felt like I had missed something. As though there was another book before this one that I hadn't read yet. the story was quite slow to build up. Although this book is slow to start it does pick up and when it does the story grips you and keeps you guessing. I think that you would enjoy this book if you like stories set in the 1600s or mystery novels. Find this review and others on my blog 3.75 Stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    ScrappyMags

    You had me at “demon.” Shortest Summary Ever: 1634. A Dutch sailing vessel where investigator Samuel Pipps is being held for a mysterious crime. His friend and “Watson” Arent Hayes is right by his side trying to determine first - how to free Sammy and then second - solve a mystery of demons and witch lore haunting the ship. Omens abound. Secrets in the passageways... and one by one the body count increases... Thoughts: I’m a wee bit into the 1600s. The age of colonization and the effect on the wor You had me at “demon.” Shortest Summary Ever: 1634. A Dutch sailing vessel where investigator Samuel Pipps is being held for a mysterious crime. His friend and “Watson” Arent Hayes is right by his side trying to determine first - how to free Sammy and then second - solve a mystery of demons and witch lore haunting the ship. Omens abound. Secrets in the passageways... and one by one the body count increases... Thoughts: I’m a wee bit into the 1600s. The age of colonization and the effect on the world. A time of grand ocean journeys. Oh - and witchcraft. Yeah it’s really about the witchcraft (she’s a witch!!! She’s a witch Burn her!! - Monty Python). This book did something that doesn’t happen often - it surprised me. I’m not a spoiler maker but I only saw PART of the end coming... the rest was a blindside. (Score!) I was absolutely riveted by the first 3/4 of the book. So many vendettas and scores to settle, the reader peels the layers of the mystery one by one. The last 1/4 seemed a bit smooshed. Jumbled. Like so many finale ideas thrown together, but it was still agreeable and aptly written and made me do some double takes. Very entertaining, fast read. All my reviews available at scrappymags.com around time of publication. Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery Recommend to: 7 out of 10 on the gore side - not terrible but not cozy. Not recommended to: If you’re not into a pretty convoluted twisty and turny ending. Thank you to the author, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for my advanced copy in exchange for my always-honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    My signature touch is not reading an author's debut novel and requesting arcs of their newest release. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy. My signature touch is not reading an author's debut novel and requesting arcs of their newest release. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jordy’s Book Club

    QUICK TAKE: Turton's previous book, THE SEVEN AND A HALF DEATHS OF EVELYN HUGO, was one of my favorite books of 2018. The follow-up is also quite good, though not at the level of Hugo. Think Sherlock & Watson solving a mystery that may or may not involve the supernatural set against the backdrop of an East India trade ship in the 1600s. Except Holmes is locked up for most of the book and Watson is forced to do the detective work. A little long, but I liked the strong female characters and really QUICK TAKE: Turton's previous book, THE SEVEN AND A HALF DEATHS OF EVELYN HUGO, was one of my favorite books of 2018. The follow-up is also quite good, though not at the level of Hugo. Think Sherlock & Watson solving a mystery that may or may not involve the supernatural set against the backdrop of an East India trade ship in the 1600s. Except Holmes is locked up for most of the book and Watson is forced to do the detective work. A little long, but I liked the strong female characters and really enjoyed the twists and turns (particularly at the end). Turton is one to watch.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna Luce

    2 ½ stars “That's the problem with summoning demons, you see. Sooner or later somebody else raises them against you.” Readers who enjoyed Stuart Turton's previous novel will probably find The Devil and the Dark Water to be a far more captivating read than I did. While I personally was not enamoured by The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I was willing to give Turton another try. The first quarter of The Devil and the Dark Water had me intrigued. The narrative opens in Batavia (Jakarta) in 1634. 2 ½ stars “That's the problem with summoning demons, you see. Sooner or later somebody else raises them against you.” Readers who enjoyed Stuart Turton's previous novel will probably find The Devil and the Dark Water to be a far more captivating read than I did. While I personally was not enamoured by The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I was willing to give Turton another try. The first quarter of The Devil and the Dark Water had me intrigued. The narrative opens in Batavia (Jakarta) in 1634. Our protagonist, Arent Hayes, a former mercenary turner bodyguard, is accompanying his employer and friend, Samuel Pipps, on a voyage to Amsterdam. This trip is not for pleasure as Samuel, a famous detective, has been convicted of a 'mysterious' crime and is under arrest. Arent wants to prove his innocence, but not knowing the crime Samuel has been accused of obstructs his attempts to free him. Still, he's determined to protect him and decides to go alongside him to Amsterdam. As the passengers and crew embark this ship however, they are intercepted by a leper who perishes after pronouncing an ominous threat. Before Samuel is taken to his cell in the ship, he tasks Arent with finding out more about the leper, believing that his threat was not empty one, and that someone means harm to the ship. There are quite a few charcaters, but the 3rd person narrative tends to focus on Arent, the Governor General Jan Haan, and his wife, Sara Wessel. Sara, who happens to be very forward-thinking and in possession of some fine detective skills, joins Arent, and the two try to question the less-than-friendly crew and investigate the ship in order to find out whether something is truly haunting it. Sinister occurrences seem to confirm our characters' fears: someone or something is set on stopping the ship from reaching its destination. At first the story held my attention, and I did find the novel to be rather atmospheric. Turton has clearly done extensive research in the way ship's operated (from its hierarchy to the mentality of those willing to lead such a life) giving plenty of specific details relating to its various parts and or levels. Now, sadly, I can't say the same for the narrative's historical accuracy. The characters spoke in a very modern way, with the occasional 'mayhap' to give some authetniticity. While sometimes adding modern elements to historical films or books can work (such as with The Favourite), here it just took me out. Having Sara remind herself and be reminded by others, such as her maid, that she is a 'noble-woman' seemed odd. While I understand that Turton did so because he wanted to explain to his readers that because of her class Sara could and couldn't do certain things (or should be addressed in a certain way by those belonging to a lower class) or , but surely he knows that his audience would be already aware of this? The interactions between the characters also struck me as modern, and it seemed weird that every woman on the ship was so ahead of her times (Sara's daughter is a genius). Arent struck me as the typical 'giant' with a heart of gold, who may have done some bad things in his past, but has now turned a new leaf. Samuel plays a very minor role, and while it made sense given his imprisonment, as things escalate on the ship, I would have expected for Arent to seek his counsel more often. The middle of his novel drags. Arent and Sara investigate by asking the same boring questions to the same people, they explore the ship some more, and that's kind of that. The Governor, who is compared to a hawk and happens to have very sharp nails, acts like a Bad Guy, which is not a spoiler since within a few lines of being introduced to him we know that he beats his wife. Arent and Sara were similarly 'good'. Unlike most other people on the boat they do not approve of the United East Indian Company. Given their respective backgrounds their humanitarian awareness seemed a tad odd. Also, the whole romantic subplot....puh-lease. There were quite a few moments that were meant to 'unnerve' the reader but I personally found them comical. When characters made a certain discovery or realised something (“It can't be…” he said out loud, as the answers arrived in a dizzying rush. “It can't be...”) we had these 'cliff-hangers' as the narrative would jump to another character and by the time we returned to that other character I no longer cared to learn of their discovery. The writing in general wasn't to my taste : “she had so much life, it was bursting through the seams of her” / “he was coming apart at the seams” / “her daughter's [eyes] glittered with life. Her husband's were empty, like two dark holes his soul had long run out”. Toward the ending things take a chaotic turn. There are a few twists, most of which I'd predicted (not bragging, I have merely read enough mystery novels to know how certain stories will unfold). The novel's main twist was painfully clichéd and made very little sense (it was obsolete). Long, boring, unconvincing, and with a vague 'historicalness' that is miles away from the likes of Sarah Dunant or Eleanor Catton. Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I am a big fan of Stuart Turton’s 7 ½ deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. So, I was so excited to receive a copy of The devil and the dark water. At first, I was a little bit disappointed because it is completely different to his previous novel. But Stuart Turton is a master storyteller and once I got into the story I was hooked. It’s 1634 a fleet of ships from the East India dock company and the Saardam at the helm is travelling from Batavia to Amsterdam. Carrying the usual spices and a mysterious carg I am a big fan of Stuart Turton’s 7 ½ deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. So, I was so excited to receive a copy of The devil and the dark water. At first, I was a little bit disappointed because it is completely different to his previous novel. But Stuart Turton is a master storyteller and once I got into the story I was hooked. It’s 1634 a fleet of ships from the East India dock company and the Saardam at the helm is travelling from Batavia to Amsterdam. Carrying the usual spices and a mysterious cargo. One of the passenger’s detective Samuel Pipps but he has been arrested waiting for a trail for something he did or didn’t do. Included in the passenger list is the Governor general and his wife on the way to Amsterdam who is responsible for the mysterious cargo. But the journey is not plain sailing? And things start to go wrong when there are rumours that there is a demon on board. There is munity of the crew and storms and murder. This is another great book from Stuart Turton which I thoroughly enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong it was a bit hard to get into at first because of rich descriptive storyline and many characters but as you get into it’s a very good gripping read. This story is part detective novel and I thought it had a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean vibe for me personally. I highly recommend.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Janhavi

    That was awesome! It’s so intriguing, complex, and quite creepy at times. I was never the biggest fan of ship settings, but this book definitely changed that, and I look forward to stories set on ships now. I just love how everything came together at the end. It was such an inventive and original mystery, just as good as The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, if not better!

  26. 5 out of 5

    rebecca ☕️

    it's always stuart turton's way of ending books keeping me from giving them five stars. because if it hadn't been for that super weird ending, this would've been perfect! right from the first chapter on, we know that this ship's voyage is doomed. the characters we slowly start to fall in ove with tumble towards their inevitable fate. this creepy anxiety combined with a contained environment, short chapters and highly intricate relationships make for a perfect, chilling, mysterious thriller. howev it's always stuart turton's way of ending books keeping me from giving them five stars. because if it hadn't been for that super weird ending, this would've been perfect! right from the first chapter on, we know that this ship's voyage is doomed. the characters we slowly start to fall in ove with tumble towards their inevitable fate. this creepy anxiety combined with a contained environment, short chapters and highly intricate relationships make for a perfect, chilling, mysterious thriller. however, the ending left me very unsatisfied, as it felt very abrupt and overdone. all in all, a great thriller that was perfect for spooky season!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    The Devil And The Dark Water is darkly atmospheric and so so very twisty! Set in the 1600's, setting sail from Batvia to Amsterdam - Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective is aboard the Saardam on his way to his execution for a crime he may or may not have committed. But his journey is anything but smooth sailing as questionable events begin to unfold. Strange symbols appear on the sails, livestock is slaughtered and a leper that many saw die before their eyes stalks the decks... I loved t The Devil And The Dark Water is darkly atmospheric and so so very twisty! Set in the 1600's, setting sail from Batvia to Amsterdam - Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective is aboard the Saardam on his way to his execution for a crime he may or may not have committed. But his journey is anything but smooth sailing as questionable events begin to unfold. Strange symbols appear on the sails, livestock is slaughtered and a leper that many saw die before their eyes stalks the decks... I loved the setting so much!! A murder mystery on a ship? Yes please! The storyline is creepy and the events that take place aboard the Saardam kept me on the edge of my seat. Loved the writing, I often felt as though I was on board with the rest of the crew. I'm good though ... not a ship I would want to be on!! Solid cast of characters too. I had some favorites. I had my suspicions about several characters and was ultimately wrong in the end ... which I LOVE! The ending was great. Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for my review copy! The Devil And The Dark Water publishes TODAY!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Seriously that's kind of the best way to describe how I feel about this book. Its a very, very, very long kinda okay historical "thriller" with so very many characters and despite its taking place in the 1600's said characters frequently ask each other "are you okay" and all the women are very ahead of their time (one of my "favorite" things in historical fiction) and we've got the typical giant manly man who's a hardened mercenary but really gentle and kind and Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Seriously that's kind of the best way to describe how I feel about this book. Its a very, very, very long kinda okay historical "thriller" with so very many characters and despite its taking place in the 1600's said characters frequently ask each other "are you okay" and all the women are very ahead of their time (one of my "favorite" things in historical fiction) and we've got the typical giant manly man who's a hardened mercenary but really gentle and kind and lots of people who believe in witchcraft and husbands beating their wives and a million and one reasons for me to never, ever set foot on a boat should time travel become a thing that allows me to travel to afor mentioned 1600's and everything is very dirty and disgusting and so there are pomanders which I very much think we should bring back particularly in the current climate and no one is who they seem and even if it looks like witchcraft clearly there's a logical explanation and DEAR GOD THIS BOOK WAS SOOOOO LONG.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Umut Rados

    Rounded up from 3.5 stars. I really loved Turton's first book, Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It was unique, thrilling, had a high pace with a very gripping plot. So, this was an auto-pick definitely. I loved the premise of the book. The setting in a ship in the 1600s sailing from Australia to the Netherlands which is a long journey those days. Our characters are stuck in this ship, weird things start to happen from the beginning and they are trying to figure out what's going on. Is there an Rounded up from 3.5 stars. I really loved Turton's first book, Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It was unique, thrilling, had a high pace with a very gripping plot. So, this was an auto-pick definitely. I loved the premise of the book. The setting in a ship in the 1600s sailing from Australia to the Netherlands which is a long journey those days. Our characters are stuck in this ship, weird things start to happen from the beginning and they are trying to figure out what's going on. Is there any paranormal element in it or not, is something you need to discover yourself. The book was very gripping at the beginning. We're also introduced to the many many characters of this book slowly. Little by little, the story is piecing together, as well as the mystery. The end of the book was very good, when things started to happen really fast and the mystery was coming together. The twists were good as well. I figured some, I couldn't figure others. It's very very complex, because there are loads of characters and events happening at the moment, and happened in the past that comes into the story. It all layers slowly. I really admire and appreciate how Turton builds these complex plots with so many characters involved. Definitely a talent. However, I need to say the length and pace of this book in the middle really brought down my enjoyment, hence the rating to a 3.5. There is a good chunk of the book, where things happen really really slowly, or nothing happens at all. It went on and on, and suddenly last 100-150 pages (it's a long book over 500 pages after all) were a good ride. If the book was shorter, more balanced with its pace, it would have been a really entertaining, enjoyable one. To give you an idea, I stopped reading around 250 page mark. Couldn't pick it up again for weeks, and came back to it. I also want to make it clear that this book is quite different than his first. So, to set your expectations right, it's a very slow going mystery and there's more stress on the characters. His first book was action-packed, really fast, bam bam bam kind of book. This is very different. Hope you enjoy!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Pretty much a miss for me. Like Turton's last novel, it is clear he is an incredibly talented and creative writer. It's also clear he is way smarter than me. Like his last novel, this was too long, had too many characters and too many details (albeit well done). His stories are complex but I can't hang for the ride. I said it in my last review, I'm not smart enough for the story he wants to tell. I can't keep up with the details or intricate plot. I'm well aware I'm reading a good book but I can' Pretty much a miss for me. Like Turton's last novel, it is clear he is an incredibly talented and creative writer. It's also clear he is way smarter than me. Like his last novel, this was too long, had too many characters and too many details (albeit well done). His stories are complex but I can't hang for the ride. I said it in my last review, I'm not smart enough for the story he wants to tell. I can't keep up with the details or intricate plot. I'm well aware I'm reading a good book but I can't totally click with it. I will still read his books moving forward, but I wonder if his style will always leave me feeling this way: I know this is good but it's not really for me.

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