CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES, DAILY MAIL, FINANCIAL TIMES, DAILY EXPRESS AND i PAPER
WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARD FOR FICTION
SELECTED FOR THE BBC TWO BOOK CLUB BETWEEN THE COVERS AND THE RADIO 2 JO WHILEY BOOK CLUB
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...
'A glorious mash-up of William Golding and Arthur Conan Doyle' Val McDermid
'A superb historical mystery: inventive, twisty, addictive and utterly beguiling ... A TRIUMPH' Will Dean
From the author of the dazzling The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, winner of the Costa Best First Novel Award, comes an audacious and original new high concept murder mystery.