Hello everyone and welcome to the online book tour of Obinna Udenwe’s novel Satans and Shaitans!
If you’ve never heard of the book before, don’t despair. Here’s a brief summary.
In Satans and Shaitans, Obinna Udenwe tells the story of Chief Donald Amechi and Chris Chuba, members of an international fraternity. Chuba is an evangelist and preacher of international acclaim who teams up with Amechi in order to seize control of the nation’s seat of power. Together they co-opt the indirect services of an Islamic terrorist organization. The Islamists believe they are helping the government of their ‘brother’ but are in reality serving the ambitions of these two men.
As it happens, in the midst of this conflict, love blooms between the children of these two Southern power brokers. The fraternity finds out and demands the life of the evangelist’s daughter, Adeline. He reluctantly yields. However, even though the assassins detailed to the dirty assignment die in a car crash before they can carry it out, Adeline Chuba goes missing, and eventually turns up dead. Now there is a big question haunting the Chief and the preacher. Someone has stuck their hands in this pie. Who is it?
In a tightly woven tale of conflicts, terrorism, ambition, suicide bombings, love, treachery and political maneuverings, Satans and Shaitans is a crime thriller with twists reminiscent of Agatha Christie. Choices must be made and people who make them must face the consequences.
Obinna has read portions of his book, click below to listen.
This is what you’ve just read:
The old priest began to talk about the origin of the prayers they said in mass. He wanted Donaldo’s mind to always be occupied with the things of God. But the young man’s mind wandered far away – it had always wandered. Before, he used to think deeply about his mother. He had not stopped missing her. But since he had met Adeline, he felt happier, he smiled to himself often, so as the priest talked about mass, Donaldo’s mind was elsewhere. He imagined kissing the lips of the beautiful girl.
‘Donaldo. Your mind is not here.’ ‘Oh, I am tired.’
‘You work hard. All the time. You should go home now and sleep. Okay?’
Donaldo straightened his hair. ‘I am fine.’
‘And how is your father? Still determined to make you the greatest artist ever?’
Donaldo groaned. ‘He is well, as always. Attending to some business.’
‘Your father…’ Father Simeon said in a whisper, his hand turning his glass of whisky around. ‘Your father is a complex man.’
Donaldo looked at him.
‘Donaldo, there is something that has been worrying me for some time now. Some rumours, not that I give much mind to such talk. But, they say your father is an occultist.’ Donaldo’s eyes widened in surprise. He stared at Father Simeon. For many years he had witnessed
his father’s odd behaviour, but he never thought other people had noticed.
‘You scare me with statements like that, Father.’ ‘Do not be scared, son. God watches over you.’ ‘God is in heaven, Father.’
‘Have faith, son. God is not just in heaven. He is here. Over you, beside you, behind you. He is in the space around us. Watching over us. The idea of heaven is to give you a sense that, up there where your eyes cannot reach and your hands cannot touch, there is where God is. But what is the definition of heaven? It is the vacuum. The void.’
‘It is a shame God was not here when Christiana needed Him.’
The priest was taken aback by this statement. Donaldo looked down, sorry for his outburst.
Father Simeon opened his mouth to speak but he couldn’t find the words.
‘And what of Satan, Father?’
‘Come to the sitting room. I need to relax my back.’ The priest stood and stretched. ‘My boy, the church teach-es you that Satan is beneath the earth. As a kid they ask you to march on the earth hard so you can stamp on his head. But son, he is not there. He is on earth, beside you, be-hind you. He is everywhere around us. He is even human!’
Interesting right? Here’s another excerpt from page 158, click to listen.
Here’s what you’ve just heard:
Alone near the river, Donaldo and Adeline held hands. He wanted to put his arm round her waist, but thought
better of it, in case his father should send someone or the Chubas came for their daughter. Fear still gripped him over his father’s words, but he tried to put it out of his head, focusing on Adeline, who looked so lovely.
To hell with my father, he thought and turned Adelineto face him. Then, looking round one more time to check that they were alone, he took out a small box from his pocket that he had been carrying around for some time.
‘Adeline,’ he said, ‘I am a mad man now… I am madly in love. I do not sleep at night. I can’t do anything without thinking of you. My heart pounds at the very thought of you. Sometimes I wonder if my heart will fail me.’ He went down on one knee.
‘Donaldo! What are you doing? Someone might see us…’ Her voice trembled.
‘I believe that this madness is a good one. I am in love. I am in love with the most beautiful girl in the world. And if that is madness then I want to be mad for the rest of my life.’ He took out a ring from the box. Adeline’s hands went to her mouth. ‘Please marry me, Adeline. Please.’
Adeline was so overwhelmed that she was left speech-less. He placed his mother’s ring on her finger. She kissed it before kissing him.
When they finally released each other, their eyes scanned the whole area for anyone watching them. There was no one around. They stood there for a while, hand in hand, until Adeline regained her composure, and said, ‘Let us hurry back. I don’t want our fathers to get suspicious.’
Who is Obinna Udenwe you might ask? He is the author of the conspiracy crime thriller, Satans & Shaitans, published in Nigeria by AMAB books and in the UK in 2014 by Jacaranda Books.
Satans & Shaitans was a joint winner of the ANA Prose Prize in 2015. His novel addresses very topical issues of terrorism, jihad and politics. He is one of the few African writers fearless enough to delve into controversial issues – in 2015 he eroticised the Nigerian church in fiction in a series titled Holy Sex, published to wide readership and criticism.
In 2015 he established the ‘Crossover Mexico-Nigeria’ writing project. His works have appeared in Fiction365, Ehanom Review, Brittle Paper, Tribe, Kalahari Review, Alariwo, African Writer, Outside In Magazine etc., and anthologised in African Roar, Dreams at Dawn, ANA Review, and the Short Story is Dead Long Live the Short Story. In 2014 he was honoured with the award of the ‘State Literary Icon’ by the Government of Ebonyi State. Obinna Udenwe is a farmer and a democracy enthusiast.
Read this interview below.
What do you think makes your novel different from others?
Satans and Shaitans is several stories in one. Several messages in one story. Several genres in one story. What makes it really different is the fact that there are multiple storylines, multiple characters and also the fact that it births the conspiracy crime fiction in Nigeria where none virtually existed in the past. So Nigerians are surprised to find this book making them feel on the pages of paper the reality they encounter every day. Bringing to discourse the political situation in the country, revealing classic, mind-boggling information on terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria, and indicting Christians and Muslims whereas in the past only Muslims were seen and perceived to be terrorists and sponsors of terrorism. So Satans and Shaitans is different in the nature of the complexity of the plotline, the genre, the voice and the reality it portrays.
What part of the novel was the most difficult to write?
The part about the investigation on the whereabouts of Adeline – it was very difficult trying to help the investigators look for her. You see there are lots of investigative stories out there that are not plausible. I didn’t want to write a story that readers would read and feel I had mocked their intelligence. I am delighted readers and reviewers love the plotline. Mostly, some readers see me or hook up with me on social media and get angry with me not for the plot but for killing a particular character (laughs!). And it is a good thing. A girlfriend who works in the bank bought the book, read it and saw me few days back and was openly annoyed with me, she nearly screamed, asking why I had to kill that character. Now we have a strained relationship (laughs!).
Are you working on another crime thriller?
Yes. The title is Viaticum and it is already with my publisher.
Do you have questions for Obinna Udenwe? Leave your questions in the comments section. Don’t forget to write your name at the end of the comment. There will be a draw at the end of all the tours. And free books will be given to tour participants. Want to increase your chances of winning an autographed copy? Don’t just ask questions. Place an order via the buy links. Mention @Amabbooks on twitter or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Book orders automatically give you three spots in the Rafflecopter draw.
I hope you had a great time. Don’t forget to share and attend the other tours on all six other websites. There will be more readings and more fun.