In Devil in the Countryside, we follow multiple perspectives. It sets in Bedburg, a village in Germany. The year is 1588, and it’s yet another eventful year in terms of religion in Germany. The Protestant and Christian religion collide. And that isn’t the only thing that is happening: The werewolf of Bedburg has returned, who took the life of a young woman. The oh-so-quiet village suddenly isn’t oh so quiet anymore.
The book starts with the perspective of Heinrich Franz, chief investigator of Bedburg. The story immediatly begins on the first page, and as a result, the book exciting from the start. The writing style of this book is great. It makes it for pretty much everyone quite easy to read. Wheter you’re native in English or not. Even though the book takes places in 1588, the writing style doesn’t tell you. If you didn’t know the year, you could easy imagine it taking place in the 20-century, which is a bit of a downside, but nevertheless does not take the fun away from the book.
Every chapter starts with a different perspective. In total there are four perspectives. Each perspective adds something new to the story. Every character that gets introduced in the book is actually relevant to the story. There are no useless characters we get to see for one page but never return the story after their one page fame. Every piece of information we get introduced to as readers, is useful fort he story and will return in the book.
The multiple characters and perspectives can be a bit confusing in the beginning, but thanks to Cory Barclay’s writing style it is limited to a minimum. It is also a matter of not knowing the characters very well, and just getting used to the story in general. Something Barclay does to reduce this confusion, is by introducing the new perspective in the chapter you’re currently reading, so you already know something about that person. I know this sounds a bit confusing, but I am trying to explain it the easiest way.
Usually I do not read historical fiction, but this book opened my eyes to this genre. I really enjoyed the book, and it was a good book to start with the genre. This book also contains enough other elements that makes this book a diverse read. It has something for every reader, from thriller to romance, and from romance to horror. Cory Barclay is great at writing gory horror stuff. He writes it the way you would see it if you are standing next to it. Which is great if you ask me.
I am also a big fan of the short chapters, the quote we all know as readers (“Only one more chapter”) really applies to this book. The chapters are short, so you feel like you haven’t read a lot, so you read one more chapter. And after that one, another one. And that just continues until you have read 5 chapters without realizing it. Which is great.
The only downside of this book, were the historical facts. They came rather suddenly and there wasn’t a story written around them. Just a bunch of history facts. You just had a page full of information, that you didn’t really need to understand the story. Fortunately the information-packed pages limited to a minimum,so if you aren’t a big fan of historical information, you can skip the pages and just focus on the story.
This book is definitly a book I would recommend, even if you have never read historical fiction. I was one of those people who never read historical fiction before and I really enjoyed this book!
And because I enjoyed it so much, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.