The Devil and the Dark Water
"Compulsively readable."—New York Times Book Review
From Stuart Turton, author of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, comes an extraordinary new locked-room murder mystery.
A murder on the high seas. A remarkable 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. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. Among the other guests is Sara Wessel, a noblewoman with a secret.
But no sooner is their ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead leper stalks the decks. Livestock dies in the night.
And then the passengers hear a terrible voice, whispering to them in the darkness, promising three unholy miracles, followed by a slaughter. First an impossible pursuit. Second an impossible theft. And third an impossible murder.
Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?
With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent and Sara can solve a mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.
Shirley Jackson meets Sherlock Holmes in this chilling thriller of supernatural horror, occult suspicion, and paranormal mystery on the high seas.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Equal parts historical fiction, supernatural horror, and whodunit, The Devil and the Dark Water takes readers on a strange high-seas adventure. In the 17th century, a ship sets sail from the Asian port of Batavia, loaded with distinguished passengers—including famous detective Samuel Pipps, who’s bound for Amsterdam to be executed for his role in a mysterious crime. Pipps’ muscle-bound bodyguard hopes to clear his boss’ name, a mission that’s rudely interrupted by the appearance of a demon named Old Tom, who apparently has business with several other passengers. Author Stuart Turton packs this lightning-fast adventure with lots of eeriness and fascinating period details. (You’ll learn more about personal hygiene in the 1600s than you ever imagined!) With twists, treachery, and romance at every turn, Turton’s book is a wild ride in every sense of the word.
Set in 1634, this outstanding whodunit from Turton (The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle) opens in Batavia, where celebrated investigator Samuel Pipps, who was working in the Dutch East Indies until his arrest for an unknown reason, is about to be transported to Amsterdam aboard the Saardam, along with his longtime sidekick, Arent Hayes. From the dock, a bloody man issues a dire warning to the Saardam's crew and passengers. As the grim figure, who appears to have leprosy, prophesies that the ship won't reach its destination, his clothing bursts into flame. Hayes and another passenger, the governor-general's wife, rush to help the dying man, only to find that his tongue had been cut out, making any speech impossible. The puzzles only continue once the vessel sets sail, including a locked-room murder, the reappearance of the dead leper, and a ghost ship dogging the Saardam. As Turton ratchets up the tension en route to the brilliant resolution of the plot, he keeps readers in doubt as to whether a rational explanation is possible. Fans of impossible crime fiction won't want to miss this one.
Need more like this!
Excellent historical whodunnit with believable characters and thrills and chills. Mr. Turton, keep up the good work!
Tense and exciting
Excellent read from beginning to end.
Quick and fun read
This book was easy, quick and fun to read. The details I crave in historical fiction weren’t there, but I got so caught up in the mystery, it hardly mattered.