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Updated: Apr 19, 2021




Having read and raved to anyone who would listen about The Seven (and a half) Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle which was Stuart Turton’s debut book I had very high expectations of The Devil and The Dark Water. Firstly, the books are in no way related to each other, besides the author’s skill at creating a complex and thrilling plot. The Devil and the Dark Water is set in the 1600s as a ship sets sail with a curse aboard. We meet a thrilling cast of characters – something else which Turton seems particularly skilled at creating. There’s Sherlock Holmes-esque Samuel Pipps who is locked onboard as a prisoner, his loyal bodyguard Arent Hayes, noble-woman Sara who is ahead of her time and her brilliant daughter Lia. They are surrounded by an interesting and ruthless crew who may turn on them at a moments notice, as well as a priest and his assistant, both with mysterious pasts.

The book is very well plotted and the story clips along a good pace, although I must admit it did feel a little slow in places. It’s a great setting for a book and the claustrophobic air of the ship really works well for a murder mystery. There’s also an amount of superstition and the supernatural as well which keeps you guessing – I don’t think I’d guessed any part of the overall plot which is very unlike me! The end twist in particular really shocked me and I did not see it coming. The book also sets up a sequel which I would be interested in reading as I felt I would like to get to know some of the characters a little better. That said, it does work well as a standalone piece as well.

Overall The Devil and The Dark Water showed off more of Stuart Turton’s talents as an author and I can’t wait to read what he writes next. Thank you to NetGalley & Bloomsbury Publishing Plc – Raven Books for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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