Steven Laffoley allows readers to imagine so easily as his own imagination, inspired by true events, soars through the pages of The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. He reopens a cold case circa 1896 and questions whether a guilty verdict was based on truth or mass hysteria. Laffoley follows a gory crime scene upon the ship Herbert Fuller, the butchered corpses through downtown Halifax and the follow-up murder trial in Boston; he invites readers into jail cells, city streets and schooner cabins from over 100 years back. Perhaps his pace races too quickly when he switches from main story to contemporaneous scenes, like Harry Houdini’s debut and the Lizzie Borden murders, but these also make for intriguing context. Laffoley’s unique charm and attention to chilling detail make The Devil a non-stop read.