I could not put down Suanne Schafer’s new novel Hunting the Devil until I ran out of pages to read. You might recall that I wrote about her first novel, A Different Kind of Fire, and loved it. The new story is entirely different from the first one, but another literary success. Furthermore, Hunting the Devil seems a very important book.
Here is my review, which is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon.
Suanne Schafer demonstrates once again that she knows how to write novels that defy genre boundaries and engage on many levels. Hunting the Devil, her most recent publication, is a historical war story that takes place in Rwanda, but also holds elements of a medical thriller and an unconventional romance complete with love triangle. The cinematic experience of reading this important book is still with me weeks after reading the last page.
Dr. Jessica Hemings, an American medical doctor, is in Rwanda to establish a clinic to treat poor Rwandans when civil war breaks out. With her biracial American features, Hutu paramilitary identify her with the Tutsi population they are committing atrocities upon, so her life is in danger. After her twin babies are killed, Jessica escapes across the country while planning revenge upon the murderer of her children.
The short chapters with initial place names and dates make a complex book easy to follow. Schafer’s descriptions are apt and illuminating, but never drag down the pace of the story. An ex-physician, she knows how to write about medical issues in a way that is believable and comprehensible to the layperson. The interpersonal relationships and inner landscapes of the main characters are well drawn. Unlike a lot of writers, Schafer even writes sex scenes well.
I knew so little of the Rwandan Civil War when I began this book. Since finishing it, I’ve done some more reading. Schafer has cast this devastating and enthralling story upon a well-researched setting. In doing so, she introduces her readers to an event in history that needs a prominent place in our understanding of world history. She does this through an action-packed can’t-put-it-down storytelling style. I have been recommending the book to family and friends. When anyone asks me how I could read about the atrocities, I explain that as a reader one becomes so caught up in Jessica’s experience that one is compelled to keep going. There is no going back. And for that I am so grateful. The book changed me forever.
You can find the book at these links:
20 responses to “Go. Read. Hunting the Devil by Suanne Schafer”
It sounds like a book I would like to read. Thanks!
Happy New Year, Luanne! (Hope you’re feeling better.)
Merril, you would love this book. Suanne is a very talented novelist and the way she shaped the viewpoint on the Rwandan war works so well for the American reader IMO. I am finally starting to feel better. Thank you! Happy New Year!!!
This book sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the review, Luanne.
Yes, you would love it. It’s so exciting that it’s too difficult to put down!
This sounds like a fascinating read. Thanks for the review, Luanne. Happy New Year to you and your family! xo
It’s such a good book, Jill! Happy New Year to you and yours, as well. I hope you’ve had some lovely times with your folks for Christmas.
Happy New Year, Luanne.
You too, John!!!!
That’s a wonderful review, Luanne. Sounds like a good read. Happy New year to you.
Oh, it’s sooo good! I love reading a book I can REALLY get behind, you know? Happy New Year, Marlene!
Love the title – hunting the devil.
Marvelous – looks like a book I should read!
Happy New Year, Luanne!
Sheila, I really think you would love it. It’s one of the best novels. Happy New Year to you and T!
Thanks for the review. I hope you’re feeling better and were able to enjoy some of your holiday 🙂
I am getting better, thanks! How are you doing, Marie? My brother’s granddaughter got my mom sick with the crud now. She just called me and is going to the urgent care tomorrow. This stuff is really going around across the country. Stay well! And Happy New Year!
Oh, I hate the crud (as if anyone would like it). I’m well and Greg and I were just saying last night how we haven’t heard much about the flu this year. Maybe the crud is taking over. That would be worse since the crud stays around forever ;( Keep getting better, Luanne <3
So glad you’ve escaped! I still have a bit of it left!!! I’m supposed to not take the flu shot, but as I get older I feel that’s dangerous we will see. Happy January, Marie!
Luanne, your review captivated me and now I want to read this book! Glad you’re feeling better. <3
Carol, it’s really a fabulous book–important and yet as engaging as a romance or cozy, if that makes sense.
Sounds like the kind of book I like to read. Romance with substance. <3