Book: Mystery aboard

The Devil and the Dark Water

By Stuart Turton

(463 pages, mystery, 2020)

 

The Devil and the Dark Water is a delightful take on the classic locked-room mystery — with this “locked room” taking the form of a Dutch East India trading ship traveling from Batavia (present-day Indonesia) to Amsterdam.

No sooner has the galleon left port, than the strange goings-on begin. A supposedly-dead leper appears out of nowhere and curses all aboard to a watery doom during their eight-month voyage. Chaos continues to unfold, and several passengers work to unravel the whodunit through a series of breathless plot twists.

Clues point to a demonic figure named Old Tom as the orchestrator … but does Old Tom even exist, and if so, how would he possibly be apprehended? The colorful cast of characters includes Samuel Pipps, a Sherlock Holmes-esque detective imprisoned on the ship and awaiting trial in Holland; his sidekick and “muscle,” Arent Hayes; and noblewoman and healer Sara Wessel, who brings a feminist flair into the mix. The story feels surprisingly modern, considering the 17th century setting, and includes enough humor and romance to keep the tone relatively light.

It is a credit to the author that I was kept guessing until the very end.

Visit Concord Public Library online at concordpubliclibrary.net.

Faithe Miller Lakowicz

Author: Insider Staff

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Newspaper Family Includes:

Copyright 2020 The Concord Insider - Privacy Policy - Copyright