Cover Image: The Devil and the Dark Water

The Devil and the Dark Water

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Member Reviews

In Stuart Turton’s second novel, The Devil and the Dark Water, he improves on his already engaging and entertaining debut novel, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, to create a mystery full of twists, turns, and the supernatural that kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The Devil and the Dark Water has proven Turton to be a masterful storyteller, and his ability to create puzzles that draw you in astounds. This novel is full of intelligent, interesting characters that you love and are rooting to win.

With his second book, Turton has become an author that I eagerly look forward to whatever he will write next! I can’t urge you enough to go and read The Devil and the Dark Water as soon as it is available!

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton will be published on October 6, 2020.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for this ARC.

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I was given this e-copy by Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I wished I liked this book more. Unfortunately, it was only the plot twist ending that truly saved it.

The novel begins with Samuel Pipps, world's greatest detective, in manacles about to be prisoner on a ship towards his execution. Sammy's companion, Arent Hayes, is amongst the passengers who is trying to figure out a way to prove Sammy's innocence. However, once the ship is at sea, strange and deadly happenings begin. Arent combines forces with Sara, a noblewoman, to determine if this is the devil or a man pretending to be thus.

I struggled with his novel. Throughout the whole thing, I felt that I was reading too far ahead, like I had skipped a novel or two. Even knowing that this was Turton's second novel, I felt very confused. There were references to Arent's past that could have been built up in a previous tome. And the fact that characters spoke of Arent's and Sammy's previous adventures.

I did enjoy the Sherlock Holmes-esque feeling. Though this was more Dr. Watson based, there were elements of Sherlock throughout the novel. I enjoyed Arent's part more because the reader could see the techniques he had been taught while with Sammy. Which is a distinct omission in the Sherlock Holmes compendium.

I will continue to follow Stuart Turton because I loved his debut novel. The puzzles in his novels are truly ingenious, and continue to be challenging. However, I must rate this novel 3 out of 5 stars, because of the abrupt greeting and fully packed history of Sammy and Arent. I wish this had been a series with this novel being the finale. Though that ending is making me hope that there might be more to come.

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I just don't know! I really REALLY wanted to like this book but there is just something preventing me from really sinking my teeth into it. I've tried to read this book 3 times now and it just never quite clicks so I set it aside. I'd recommend it to patrons since I know how popular his first novel was (been trying to read that one since it came out too), but I guess Stuart Turton just aint for me.

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I might have squealed, or done a little happy dance when I received an e-ARC of this book. Having enjoyed Turton’s debut novel The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I was really looking forward to his new book.

The book is set in the early 17th century. A ship loaded with spices and other valuable cargo is setting off from Batavia (Jakarta in Indonesia) on an eight month journey to Amsterdam. On board of the ship are several nobles, lots of musketeers and sailors, the best detective in the world and his assistant, and ‘Old Tom’, the devil.

Turton writes very vivid main and secondary characters. His descriptions of the life on ship and the ship itself are detailed but never boring. The story’s pace is good throughout and keeps you turning the pages, because you need to know who’s behind all this.

Why am I not giving this book 5 stars? I kept wondering throughout the book how some of the characters managed to obtain their information; character A finds out something, which two chapters later is used by character D, who shares it with character F. But there’s no mention of A talking to D at all.

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Just finished reading THE DEVIL IN THE DARK WATER by Stuart Turton. I received this ARC from Sourcebooks Landmark via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Official publication date is October 6th, 2020.

This was one of my highly anticipated reads for 2020, and Turton didn't disappoint. I was also a huge fan of his debut novel THE SEVEN DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE.

Welcome aboard the Saardam setting sail from Bativa to Amsterdam. It's the 1600s and Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective is aboard being transported to be executed for a crime he may, or may not have committed. Arent Hayes his loyal associate and friend is along for the ride to prove his innocence.

As soon as the ship sets sail though it is anything but a normal journey. There seems to be some devilry going on, with a leper stalking the ship, a ghost ship appearing in the night, strange demonic symbols, and murdered livestock. Hayes must use his knowledge learned from years working with Pipps to discover if this demon haunting the Saardam is real or fake.

With the help of some intriguing characters including a governor generals wife, a witchfinder, swashbuckling musketeers, a dwarf, and a mistress... what will they find?

This story had me hooked from the beginning and I definitely didn't see the ending coming. It was twisty as hell and I enjoyed the detailed atmosphere that Stuart Turton paints a picture of in my mind. Couldn't put this one down. Felt like I was right there on the ship!

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Samuel Pipps, famous detective, is in prison on a Dutch East India Trading Company ship to Amsterdam to face possible execution for crimes unknown. His side-kick and loyal bodyguard, Arent, comes along to ensure that Pipps makes it to Amsterdam relatively un-hassled. But as the ship leaves port, onerous signs from a demon portend that the voyage will be anything but peaceful. As the bodies pile up, each in a more fantastic way, Arent tries to catch the mysterious criminal, and unravel the many mysterious threads each of which points more and more to something supernatural.

This book is totally Death on the Nile meets Sherlock Holmes with about 200 extra pages. If you like a twisty mystery with intriguing characters and a lot of set-up, you'll love this. The setting of a large ship in the 1600s adds a historical flair that I enjoyed quite a bit. The characters are very developed and in an Agatha Christie like fashion, you quickly realize that they're all slightly related and have been brought on board for some reason. Arent, the Watson character, is much more capable than Watson and quite a bit more fun to read. That said, the book really sagged at about halfway through, and the conclusion felt a bit rushed to me. It's a good mystery with solid characters, and if you liked Evelyn Hardcastle, you'll enjoy this one too. I wish it had been a little more quickly paced and quite a bit shorter, but overall, I liked it!

TLDR: While a bit overlong, The Devil and the Dark Water is an intriguing mystery with enigmatic characters that will enthrall readers who don't mind a mystery that unfurls slowly. 3 stars - I liked it.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and Netgalley for the advance copy which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Devil and the Dark Water will be available on 06 October.

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Me encantó Las siete muertes de Evelyn Hardcastle, así que en cuanto pude ponerme con The Devil and the Dark Water no dejé pasar la oportunidad.

En esta ocasión Stuart Turton cambia bastante de registro, ofreciéndonos de nuevo un misterio pero con una ambientación muy alejada a la de su primera novela. Se podría definir la novela como un «misterio de habitación cerrada» (cambiando habitación por barco, pero al fin y al cabo refiriéndonos a un entorno restringido) con tintes sobrenaturales.
Hay varios elementos que muy atractivos en la novela. Para empezar, la ambientación naútica y el momento temporal en el que está situada, escogiendo una época en que los Países Bajos controlaban con mano férrea la llegada de mercancías a Europa. También es especialmente interesante la plétora de personajes que se despliegan ante nuestros ojos, con un proto-investigador privado, su guardaespaldas, el cruel gobernador de Jakarta y tantos y tantos otros que desarrollarán un papel fundamental en la historia.
Pero sin duda, el elemento principal sobre el que gira la novela es el miedo. Miedo a la maldición que parece pesar sobre el viaje, miedo a la ruina, miedo a los espacios cerrados o al hambre. Cada personaje que es víctima de la maldición la personaliza según cuáles sean sus fortalezas y debilidades mentales, lo que hace que la caracterización de los personajes por parte del autor cobre aún más importancia, pero es que Turton consigue que cada individuo tenga su luz propia.
No es menos cierto que el escritor se guarda información fundamental para el desarrollo del «caso» y que la va suministrando con cuentagotas, de forma que aunque hay algunas pistas a lo largo del libro resulta complicado resolver el misterio hasta que él mismo decide exponer todas las cartas. Esto también lo hizo en la primera novela, aunque pienso que con un resultado mejor.
The Devil and the Dark Water es una lectura absorbente y no hace sino confirmar que Stuart Turton es un autor al que seguir de cerca. Además, tendremos la suerte de verlo en español relativamente pronto, según se anunció en redes sociales, de la mano de Ático de los Libros.

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Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 stars

Pirates, devils, the sea, islands and murder mysteries. What more could a girl ask for??? I really enjoyed my experience while reading this but it honestly took me forever to read!! I liked reading it but it probably took 2-3 weeks to get through. I found it a little hard to keep up with all the characters but that could have been due to my slow reading pace. I can’t say why exactly I’m not obsessed with this book because it has all of my buzz words but it wasn’t quite amazing for more but I also really liked it! I would recommend this to customers in more store and online but I’m not rushing out to buy myself a physical copy.

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"A murder on the high seas. A remarkable detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

The extraordinary new novel from Stuart Turton, author of the bestselling The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, winner of the Costa Best First Novel Award.

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. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board."

After devouring The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle earlier this year Stuart Turton instantly became an author to watch and an author to recommend to anyone willing to listen to me. Hence the publication of his second book is a BIG DEAL in my world!

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A mystery, a vivid historical sea adventure setting, a twisty plot with plenty of surprises...Turton has created another unique and compelling story to follow up The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
It's 1634, and a renowned detective who has recently fallen from grace, is being transported by sea from the West Indies to Amsterdam to face charges for an unrevealed crime. Accompanied by his faithful friend/bodyguard, it's a good thing their are on the ship- because even before they leave port, strange things begin to occur. Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

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An easy 5 star read where Sherlock Holmes meets Agatha Christie in a thrilling super natural suspense mystery. I loved ‘The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ so much, it was one of my favorite books that year as well as one of my favorite reads ever. It was such an original and inventively clever book. So when I saw that Stuart Turton had a new novel I was extremely happy and couldn’t wait to read it. This book is excellent, Stuart paints a great picture everything is vividly described, the characters jump off the page and are well defined. The story makes perfect sense and flows as if Stuart has written as many books as Stephen King. The story isn’t as complicated as 7 1/2 Deaths but is still as engaging and mysterious. The readers will not want the skip or skim any portion of the book, small or large, because there are the smallest details everywhere to help the reader try to solve the mystery. Don’t pass on this one.

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Thank you to Sourcebook Landmark for given me chances to read the second book by Stuart Turton. For your information, I love his debut book so much that made me request to review his second book. The 7 1/2 Death of Evelyn Hardcastle still blows me away.

For The Devil and The Dark, I can see that it is also a good attempt of mystery/thriller genre. It has that Sherlock/Watson's vibe too. I admitted that I was not very familiar with sailing stories but I gave an exception to this because Stuart Turton. My expectation is quite high. And does my expectation turns out to be true, well it's slightly lower, and Evelyn Hardcastle is the best one. To me, I had taken almost 2 weeks to finish this rather than Evelyn Hardcastle.

Maybe because when the story happened at the sea, supertitious was a normal thing for sailors so I have got this general idea where the mystery must got to do with some superstitious. Luckily, it is not about Kraken or Siren stories. In the end, it has the plot twist I would not expected, maybe to other reader might noticed but I didn't. Scooby Doo vibes is on, man.

Overall, I'm satisfied with mystery shroudded and in the end, the mystery has taken to the next level. Build as a team??? Wow that's pretty unexpected.

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I thoroughly enjoyed The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and so I couldn't wait to get my hands on Turtons second novel.

The Devil and the Dark Water is an Agatha Christie-esque mystery which takes place on an East India Trading Company voyage from Batavia (Indonesia) to Amsterdam in the 16th Century.

Turton keeps readers guessing during the course of this book starting with who the main character will be, what even is the Folly (we never do fully learn what it is btw), and culminating with the question of whether the ship they travel on is indeed haunted by a demon intent on killing anyone who will not yield or someone aboard playing out a diabolical plan.

I learned much about sailing ships from the time period and while I had my suspicions about what was happening in true Christie fashion Turton laced together an intricate plot that I never could have guessed myself.

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I was surprised how much I liked this because it is not my usual kind of book, although I really loved his past book 7 .1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I really have to be convinced historical fiction books these days because most are the same and follow some account or backstory about World War II. I am glad this book had a different timeline and followed the East India Company that was big on the transporting of exporting and importing of goods between continents.

This plot involves murder and lies on the high seas in the 1600's. There are twists and turns, and for historical fiction this was great and a time period that is not discussed often enough. Some mystery and intrigue too. Highly recommended!

Thanks to Netgalley, Stuart Turton and Sourcebooks Landmarks for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Available: 10/6/20

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Thrilling, addictive, and brilliant!

Turton has done it again with another masterpiece.

This was my most highly anticipated book of the year and I am so happy it delivered.

As passengers are boarding the Saardam, on an eight-month voyage from Batvia to Amsterdamn, they are met with a grave warning from a leper before he bursts into flames. Many choose to believe they are the mere ramblings of a mad man, but some cannot shake the feeling that their past dealings with the devil are about to catch up with them.

First of all, I loved the characters in this book. It's a very large ship and there were a lot of minor characters to keep track of. Sometimes this was confusing as I would forget who some of them were or would get them muddled with others, but the leading characters were very well fleshed out and very distinguishable from one another. Sammy Pipps had a lot of Sherlock-like qualities in his approach to mysteries and problem solving, particularly the way he in which he was excited by cases and bored instantly when he was done. It seems Turton took more care with Arents character to make him his own, instead of a carbon-copy Watson type sidekick, so I'm glad he took on the leading role in this mystery while Sammy was in his cell.

Secondly, even though this book has over eighty chapters, the pacing was brilliant. At first it may appear to be a slow burn, but the creepy build-up and time taken to flesh out the characters' secrets and relationships has an amazing pay off throughout the rest of the book. The mounting sense of doom is presented from many different sides. Maybe the demon will get them, they could be attacked by pirates, they could run out of rations, be blown to nothing, and lost the sea. You are trying to figure out how their downfall could occur, not just who or what might be behind it.

Lastly, the ending took me by surprise. It was definitely not what I expected but in hindsight, it suits the themes in the book very well. When all was revealed, I thought it all fit together very well.

I know this book isn't actually published yet but I am already very excited to read Tutons next book as he is one of my favorite authors.

Thank you to #netgalley for granting my wish for this advanced ARC.

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If you read and enjoyed Turton’s first book *The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle* then get ready for this new seafaring mystery aboard the Saardam.

The doomed outcome of the journey is foretold by a man with no tongue and a lame foot right before his death. The reader is then introduced to the crew and passengers as they board for sailing. Two of the passengers are Samuel Pipps, detective, and his assistant Arent Hayes. With ribald sailors, musketeers, a dwarf, and the Captain who is partial to fine clothes, we set sail on this adventure. Does the Saardam sail with a demon aboard? Does catastrophe await? What is the meaning of the strange symbol that keeps appearing? These mysteries must be solved but Pipps has been manacled and confined to a claustrophobic space on the ship for reasons unknown.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself engrossed in this ill fated voyage under threats of ghosts and other evils. See if you can figure out the ending.

Thank you @bookmarked for this #advancereaderscopy.

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Thank you to NetGalley and SourceBooks Landmark for allowing me to read and review this book. Let me start by saying I loved the 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, so I was very excited about this book. Even though the setting and style were completely different, I loved The Devil and the Dark Water too! Stuart' Turton's writing style is so perfect and keeps you enthralled in what is going to happen, he is quickly becoming my favorite new author.

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“Something was stirring in the dark water, the old sailors claimed. Something that called itself Old Tom.”

Like The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, The Devil and the Dark Water is a similarly stunningly original and absorbing story, though I thought it lacked the clean, clever, and effortlessly beautiful writing of Evelyn. It took me a little while to get very interested in the story, and even longer to become invested in the characters but once it all got going I was *hooked*—and I loved the ending.

I think the main problem for me was that I was not in the mood for or really expecting an historical fiction novel and certainly not one set entirely on a ship on the sea which I feel one really has to be in the *mood* for to properly enjoy (I get very claustrophobic and Turton’s descriptions of what life is like on a ship were very atmospheric and extra claustrophobic 😅), BUT Turton really just blewww me away with his penetrating look at human psychology and an incredibly absorbing mystery plot. And tbh there was still a lot of his beautiful writing just not as much as in Evelyn.

One of the things I especially liked about the book was that from the beginning, nothing that I was expecting to happen happened. The characters in particular were wholly unpredictable and original—which was the case in Evelyn as well. Turton writes more deeply about human psychology in his mystery-plot novels than many authors who pride themselves on their literary fiction featuring complex characters.

He also painted such an interesting presentation of the nature of patriarchally oppressive misogyny in the 17th c. West, and Sara’s development in the face of her historical period and inner desires in spite of the horror going on on the ship was extremely well done. Turton writes of his historical characters acting out historical mistakes like they’re actually real people that just don’t realize that things could be different if they didn’t blindly follow cultural expectations and unquestioningly uphold unexamined social values and constructs. Which seems so obvious but he shows the psychology and actual experience of it rather than just regurgitating the words.

I also really liked the conversation Lia and Creesjie have at the end of chapter 54. I’m glad Turton was clear about what these two women discussed in light of the humanity he paints all his characters with—I feel that this conversation was super important to include which many authors of historical fiction *never* do and is why I’m very disenchanted with the genre in general.

BUT, the philosophy and psychology of the book—the exploration of the nature of superstition and, as Turton says in the interview in the back of the book, “how we come to collectively believe untruths” etc. was *spot on*. I loved all the discussion of good vs evil, nobility vs depravity, and how each character perfectly encapsulated one of the many facets of that debate—Arent, Sara, Lia, Sammy, Creesjie, everyone. And all the anticapitalist nuggets surrounding the Company and the fate of the Folly were an important element to discuss as well that I was very pleased to see Turton include.

I’m still just a bittt caught up on the mystery plot though… There was a few things that sort of didn’t seem to come together as nicely as I wanted them to?—but it’s also very possible that with a second reading I might feel differently about this—because it’s quite probable that I just missed a lot, because there *was* a LOT. I just… I wanted to be SHOCKED. And I wasn’t. Maybe I shouldn’t have read an Agatha Christie novel right before. 😂 Ruined my expectations! 😂😂


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This may prove to be an unpopular opinion later on but this feels more like a satisfying end than an introduction.

“Devil in Dark Water” takes us aboard an ill fated ship where a devil known as Old Tom threatens the passengers and crew appealing to their darkest desires in order to be delivered the death of the single soul it craves most.

This book begins with an introduction to a wide variety of characters which I personally had a hard time keeping track of but I pushed through because of how much I love Turton’s work but it did make things complicated when trying to piece together the mystery and determine if it was demons or if it was all a clever ruse.

Arent and Sammy were interesting and their dynamic is a large reason why I think this should have been a book placed at the end of a series as it was hard for me to feel the bond they shared when they spend so much of the book apart. The fall into the Sherlock and Watson like trope with this being the first case where the greatest detective is sidelined and if we had been able to see even one book ahead of this to really get to the heart of their friendship I think it would have made certain aspects of the plot have a stronger impact.

The mystery itself was interesting I did a lot of guessing as to who it could be and I will give credit where credit is due when I can’t figure it out and though there are a lot of misdirects it has a somewhat satisfying conclusion as to the who and the why but the how was where I had some trouble as it seemed a bit extravagant? I’m not sure that’s the right word for it but nevertheless I think it was wrapped up nicely.

I think if you’re a fan of Sherlock you’ll quickly fall into this book where the key to unlocking it all is to remember that the devil is in the details.

**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**

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Love it! The Devil and the Dark Water is a fantastic story that gave me Sherlock vibes, but had the most delightful and unexpected twist. Samuel Pipps and Arent Hayes as detective and bodyguard are thrown into an impossible situation with Pipps being aboard the ship as a prisoner, and Hayes trying to step from sidekick to main star to solve the mystery before the entire ship goes down and more people die.

The ship, bound for Amsterdam, was a fantastic setting for this thriller, and the leper on the docks with the dire warning - from a man with no tongue - the detail was just fantastic. I loved how this ship became a character, with hidden secrets on a deathly course.

I could not stop reading this book, I read through the night just to avoid putting it down.

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