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


Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing / Raven Books
Publication Date: 
1 October 2020


An impossible murder
A remarkable detective duo
A demon who may or may not exist

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 trial 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 governor general of Batavia.

But no sooner is their ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead leper stalks the decks. 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…

Review of Sampler

The Devil and the Dark Water, the new book by Stuart Turton, was published this week and I was fortunate to receive a sampler of the book via Netgalley.

It’s hard to give a review after reading a sampler, as you have no idea in which direction the story is going to go. However I cannot wait to find out! From the little I’ve read, it is instantly atmospheric, mysterious and a bit bloodthirsty – exactly what I was expecting from the title and blurb.

After reading Turton’s previous novel, I’m anticipating a thrilling, puzzling and possibly mind-bending mystery. I’m pretty certain this book will not disappoint.

I have had a signed copy on pre-order for months and it should be winging its way to me now. I will be dropping everything in order to delve straight back between the pages once it arrives. Stuart Turton is fast becoming one of my favourite authors (and not just for his cheeky tweets!).

Congratulations to both the author and publisher on what I anticipate will be another roaring success!

About the Author

Photo from

Stuart lives in London with his amazing wife and daughter. He drinks lots of tea.

What else?

​When he left university he went travelling for three months and stayed away for five years. Every time his parents asked when he’d be back he told them next week, and meant it.

Stuart is not to be trusted. In the nicest possible way.

He’s got a degree in English and Philosophy, which makes him excellent at arguing and terrible at choosing degrees.

Having trained for no particular career, he has dabbled in most of them. He stocked shelves in a Darwin bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, worked for a technology magazine in London, wrote travel articles in Dubai, and now he’s a freelance journalist. None of this was planned, he just kept getting lost on his way to other places.

He likes a chat. He likes books. He likes people who write books and people who read books. He doesn’t know how to write a biography, so should probably stop before he tells you about his dreams or something. It was lovely to meet you, though.

Stuart’s debut novel is called The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the UK and The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the US. They’re the same book. Don’t fret.

Author Links

Twitter: @stu_turton


Amazon UK Amazon US  |  Goodreads  |  Waterstones  |  Foyles  |  Hive  |  Kobo

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