Book review

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton | Book Review

I don’t read much thrillers/mystery books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I actually try to read more of them every year but I tend to stick to my comfort genres. However, I had the perfect excuse to read this one because I was participating in a readathon back in January and I had to read a book from a genre I don’t read frequently.

The Devil and the Dark Water is set out at sea in 1634. Samuel Pipps is the world’s greatest detective, but he is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he might or might not have committed. But he is not alone, his bodyguard, Arent Hayes, is traveling too to prove Samuel Pipps’s innocence. However, weird things start happening on board and it is thought a demon is causing all of it. With Samuel being imprisoned, Arent has to take the reigns of the investigation and solve the mystery before it is too late for everyone.

As soon as I finished reading it, I was a bit confused about how to feel about it, but now that a lot of time has gone by, I remember this story with a bit of love and I think it is safe to say I did like it. Not enough for it to be a new favorite of mine, but I had a great time reading it tho. Since I don’t read much thrillers, I suck at reading between lines and noticing little hints the author leaves here and there, so I was surprised with the plot twists that were revealed. Although I believe I could have guessed a few of them, but I was so hung up on my theory, I didn’t see all the other signs.

Now, as for the characters, I liked most of them. But first let’s talk about Arent. I love him and that’s it. I’m joking, but seriously, I liked him since the very first moment he appeared in the story, which was on the first page. Even when he was described as a giant, I wanted to protect him from all the bad in the world. And I’m going to say this which is actually not a spoiler, but the author didn’t think of Arent as a sexy bodyguard at all. The character in his mind is completely different from the one a lot of his readers imagined, me included, but he is okay with that. I am guilty of thinking about him as a handsome big guy, but you can’t blame me for it!

On the other hand, I wish there was more of Sammy because even though we learn about him because of Arent and his loyal devotion to him, Sammy seemed like an interesting enough character to want to read more about him.

Then there was Sara. She has gone through a lot of horrible things in her life and I just wanted her to be happy forever and ever. I support her through and through. Even if she were to plot a murder, I would be in the background shouting “yas, queen!”. Also Lia was a very interesting character who deserves nothing but happiness.

And there were many more characters but I don’t want to talk about them because it’ll take me forever and honestly, I didn’t care about them enough to even remember their names, but they served their purpose in the story and they were good.

As for the mystery part of the story, which is the main thing. Like I said before, I suck at playing detective while reading so I didn’t guess anything, which for me is good and that’s why I liked the book. And now that I think about it, I didn’t like being played by the author so that’s the reason why when I finished reading, I was kind of mad at how easily I was distracted with everything that I couldn’t see the truth. I felt so betrayed!

Another thing I liked, and this might not be for everyone, is the romance. Of course this is not a love story by any means, nor the romance was that amazing, but me being a hopeless romantic, I enjoyed reading about this couple. As I was trying to piece everything together, I was also rooting for these two characters. With that being said, if you don’t like reading books with a hint of romance, then you might not like this book, but I still encourage you to read it.

Ah, the ending. It was… I don’t know. I liked how everything was revealed, but the very ending left me feeling hopeful but also kind of unsatisfied. The way a couple of characters handled the truth didn’t sit well with me, but a good thing came out of the whole situation so that’s great, I was left wanting to read more about that.

The Devil and the Dark Water might not be a favorite thriller of mine, but I can see myself rereading it some time in the future and revisiting this journey of murder and deceit. Although I’m not going to lie to myself nor to you, the reason why I’d read this book again is Arent. Sorry not sorry.

I recommend this book to people that, like me, don’t read much mystery books, you’re going to have a great time navigating all the twists and turns. And if you’re a hopeless romantic like me, you’re going to have a great time rooting for the couple here as well.

Until the next post!

Happy reading 💙

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