The Devil and the Dark Water – Stuart Turton

The Devil and the Dark Water

The Devil and the Dark Water (2020)

Author – Stuart Turton

Genre – Historical Fantasy/Mystery

Page Count – 448 pages

October means you have to read at least one horror or mystery. I finished reading The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson and I really loved it. Then I picked up The Devil and the Dark Water.

Its the year 1634. Saardam is about to set sail from the port of Batavia to Amsterdam. However, right before the people get aboard, a leper curses the journey in the name of the devil, Old Tom.

Governor General Jan Haan who is adamant on securing his seat in the Gentlemen 17 of the Dutch United East India Company does not heed the advice of his wife, Sarah or the pleas of his crew and Saardam begins her journey back home.

Soon enough the curse begins to work its way through the ship, sowing seeds of dissent, promising fortunes in return of favors and throwing the crew into disarray and fear.


The book has a cast of really dynamic characters.

The story takes its inspiration from Sherlock Holmes like mystery and Hercule Poirot like investigators. At the core of it is Samuel Pipps, a detective of sorts who is indisposed for this particular mystery.

Pipps is manacled and left in a small compartment on the ship and his arrest becomes a mystery of its own. I thought it was a very clever way to keep the reader distracted from the real story which makes guess work slightly difficult.

The characters are incredibly lovable. Arent Hayes is a mercenary and a friend of Samuel Pipps. He is intelligent but sober in its knowledge. Sarah is smart and full of surprises of her own. The female characters in the book are awe-inspiring and really insightful.

I found the mystery aspect of the book to be suspenseful and not easy to figure out which made the overall experience exciting.


I can not think of a many things I didn’t like about the book.

Its relatively long – 448 pages and I found it a little repetitive towards the last 80-100 pages.

Have you read this new release from the author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle?

(1) Comment

  1. […] every day, Aiden wakes up as a different person in the Blackheath Manor. Turton’s latest, The Devil and the Dark Water was good but Evelyn Hardcastle is a blacklist book you need to […]

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