The Devil and the Dark Water


"Compulsively readable."--New York Times Book Review

From Stuart Turton, author of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, comes an extraordinary new locked-room mystery.

A murder on the high seas. 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 to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. Among the other guests is Sara Wessel, a noblewoman with a secret.

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 dies in the night.

And then the passengers hear a terrible voice, whispering to them in the darkness, promising three unholy miracles, followed by a slaughter. First an impossible pursuit. Second an impossible theft. And 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.

Shirley Jackson meets Sherlock Holmes in this chilling thriller of supernatural horror, occult suspicion, and paranormal mystery on the high seas.

Show more


512 pages

Average rating: 6.4




Community Reviews

Oct 28, 2023
2/10 stars
Too many ideas. This book was not tight. I felt like it needed another round of editing to get rid of parts that did not add to the story. I also felt there were too many characters and the main characters were underdeveloped.
Show more
Oct 16, 2023
6/10 stars
This was an interesting read, and I liked how the author surprised me in the end with a bigger reveal than I was expecting. Yes, I do like books that have characters that I can't quite figure out or predict.
Show more
Oct 09, 2023
6/10 stars
I picked up Devil because of my experience with 7 Deaths and I can say I am not disappointed! We board a ship in the 17th century with some nobels and a famous detective who has been imprisoned. And by the end we find our perceptions completely turned upside down. Now, there were quite a few inconsistencies which kinda bug me, part of the reason for the missing stars. Otherwise though I felt engaged and, especially by the mid point in the book, invested in finding out the end of the story. Also, I know that the historical stuff isn't all accurate, the author even mentions as much in the pages at the end but unless you feel the only way you can enjoy a novel (and a novel that is non-fiction too!) is 100% historical accuracy I think you will be fine. Along with the inaccuracies the reason I removed a star was the ending. Our main characters are supposed to be good, honest people but are able to forgive murder and other horrible things just because the story needed to end. I am not sure that I love that.
Show more
Aug 01, 2023
4/10 stars
That took me almost a month to finish because I was so bored. Even the ending wasn’t satisfying. But I give it 2 stars because Turton’s writing is definitely a strength. I just wish I liked the characters and plot more… but I didn’t.
Show more
Jul 10, 2022
I really enjoyed this book-mystery, murder, Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes flavor all set in the 1600’s on a ship. Good characters
Show more

See why thousands of readers are using Bookclubs to stay connected.