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Book Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Title: The Devil and the Dark Water

Author: Stuart Turton

Length: 548 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Synopsis: It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trail and execution 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, while also on board are Sara Wessel, a noble woman with a secret, and her husband, the general governor of Batavia. But no sooner than their ship is out to see than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead Leper stalks the deck. Livestock are slaughtered in the night. And then the passengers hear a terrible voice whispering to them in the darkness, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft. 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.

Okay, I’m writing this review right after I finished The Devil and the Dark Water and all I can think about is that ending!!! But we’ll talk about that more later. The more I think about this book, the more I love it. It’s was sooooo good.

Just a little warning this review might seem vague but I really don’t want to give anything about the plot away. I want you to be swept away like I was.

We mainly follow Arent, as he has to solve the mystery that’s happening Saardam while his crime solving partner, who usually solves the crimes, Sammy is imprisoned. Is there a devil aboard called Old Tom?

The plot of The Devil and the Dark Water was pretty incredible. It’s a very detailed and intricate storyline, I definitely had to concentrate. But trust me you’ll want to concentrate. I usually try and guess what was going on, but I couldn’t. I had no idea. It really kept me guessing throughout. It was full of twists and turns, cliffhangers, murder, mystery. Ugh, it was just so damn good.

This book is full of characters. And I have to say at the beginning there’s a lot of names and I did get a tiny bit confused. But like I said, we mainly follow Arent. He’s a great character. He really is. I loved his friendship with Sammy and that’s all I say on that!!! I also loved Sara and Lia. Both fantastic characters. It’s great to read strong female characters. There’s many more you’ll meet when you read this book.

It did take me a while to read this book, but I think it’s because I was enjoying it and didn’t want it to end. Stuart has created such an immersive world. As I read the book I just forgot about everything else. It also has real momentum. It’s a slow build that buy the time you reach the end there’s so much anticipation that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Now shall we talk about the ending?

The ending! I was so shocked! I still can’t believe it. So I’m obviously going to talk about this without giving anything away but the mystery of this book was revealed and I was shocked, but I thought it was a clever twist and I was satisfied. And then there was ANOTHER twist that I didn’t see coming and it shocked me to my core. I had to put the book down for a minute to comprehend what I’d just read.

Also, the ending sort of broke my heart in a way. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean.

I really recommend this book. It was brilliant. It’s exciting, immersive and so enjoyable. Please give this one a read. You won’t regret it.

Thank you to Laura at Bloomsbury for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

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