With The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, British creator Stuart Turton kept readers guessing Agatha Christie-fashion as they investigated a thriller with a time- and body-hopping detective named Aiden Bishop. In The Devil and the Dark Water, Turton provides readers with another cat-and-mouse game, but a vastly distinctive setting: A galleon that units sail from the Dutch East Indies in 1634, sure for Amsterdam.
The Devil and the Dark Water artfully combines intriguing characters, charming ancient information and a seafaring labyrinth of twists and turns—not to mention a demon named Old Tom. There is in no way a dull moment in this 480-web page whodunit, but readers can be thankful no longer to be bodily aboard for the grueling journey. As passengers arrive, a leper abruptly shouts that the voyage is doomed, after which burns to death. What greater could possibly cross wrong? As the ship’s constable notes, the “team is produced from malcontents, murderers, and thieves to a man.”
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: How Stuart Turton discovered to banish demons at the Internet.
One passenger can be able to get the bottom of the strange curse and ensuing foreboding events—and deaths—that follow. Unfortunately, detective Samuel Pipps is locked within the brig without knowing what crime he's accused of, leaving his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, to investigate. A trio of women (the captain’s wife, daughter and mistress) also are sleuthing, adding a refreshingly female twist to this Sherlock Holmes-styled thriller. Turton’s characterizations dovetail well together with his careful, clever plotting. Meanwhile, he makes use of history to his advantage, including dollops of observation on women’s rights, class privilege and capitalism that lend the radical a current vibe.
As communicate of Old Tom’s powers ramp up, passengers wonder whether or not the ship’s misfortunes can be supernatural, and which unfortunate soul could be Tom’s next target. Steadfast Hayes remains convinced that “There were simplest human beings and the stories they advised themselves.” With no end of testimonies aboard this ill-fated galleon, and even a hint of romance, opportunities abound. Meanwhile, a ghost deliver lurks within the distance, and a big storm wreaks havoc.
History and mystery fans alike will satisfaction within the heart-racing escapades of The Devil and the Dark Water.