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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The Devil and the Dark Water

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Warning - This Review Contains Spoilers - Spoilers Section Will Be Warned Ahead Of Time

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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


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


 

The Devil and the Dark Water is a standalone historical fiction/mystery novel by Stuart Turton.


There were things I liked and things I didn't like about this book.


The plot was interesting which is enough to keep me going and I liked the slow reveal of the pieces of the puzzles. The characters on the other hand didn't do much for me. They felt more like things being used to forward the plot rather than actual people. I was also surprised by the lack of Pipps in the book. I thought we would get a kind of buddy-cop mystery, but Pipps spent most of the book locked away.


I was also bothered by some of the grammar as it confused me. Either I'm an idiot or it is a product of its setting, but there are some sentences that have a word in it that doesn't belong. The other thing that bothered me about the book was a minor plot point that was had no relevance to the story which contains spoiler. To skip ahead, scroll down until you don't see any more dots or you see spoilers finished.


Spoilers Ahead

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With all the characters stuck on an island, it is proposed that the women should be forced to pleasure the men in order for everyone to live longer... They proposed forced prostitution, and Avery agreed with it but drew the line at his love interest and her friend taking part in it. This was made worse when the plot picked back up and this wasn't mentioned again. Why was this even mentioned at all then??

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Spoilers Finished



So, aside from the lack of feeling for the characters and the unnecessary plot detail, this was an enjoyable murder mystery on the high seas.

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