Autumn is prime time for me to read crime fiction. I don’t know why, it may have something to do with the darker evenings and the mystery of ‘who-dunnit’.
I read Stuart Turton’s debut and absolutely loved it, so was super excited for his second foray into the crime fiction genre – and it did not disappoint!
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.
Star Rating – 4 Stars
I’d already read an example of this a little while ago and when it was released, I was excited to grab a copy. I knew that his second book would be unlike his first, but it was still in the same genre – so a mystery of sorts. This was filled with wickedness and magic and religion and madness. It was chaos.
So first off, the book is set in a completely different time and place to his first. This time readers are transported to the 1600s to an old ship setting sail across the ocean, filled with soldiers, mystery, crew and mysteries.
I like the fact that the mystery is contained to one area. The characters, nor the reader, ever leaves the ship. Everything happens on the ship, the answer is on the ship. The characters all have interesting backgrounds and possible motives and I loved the possibility of the supernatural, it added an interesting aspect to the book and kept me guessing right up to the end.
The ending wasn’t so straight cut for me. It definitely shows that not everything is black and white, but murky grey. Like life.
As always, let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book and what you thought of it. And if you haven’t, will you be adding it to your TBR pile?