Reviewed by Ashley Denis for Front Street Reviews

I cannot put into the appropriate words how truly amazing this novel was.  I felt like my heart was being pulled in all different directions; wanting Larson and Paul to stay safe so they can raise their family, wanting Ben to find happiness and contentment in the few short months he has left to live, and for the Sudanese people who suffer so much everyday; you want nothing but peace for them. 

The mix of romance, action, and history, is a perfect concoction to tie everything together in this book.  DiAnn Mills allows you to become intimate with the characters and to feel as though you are right there with them suffering in the Sudan heat day after day as they fight to bring peace to the land.  

This book is based on real events that are going on in Sudan in 2005 between Southern Sudan and the Northern government in Khartoum.  The Northern government called a Jihad (holy war) on Southern Sudan.  Dr. Larson and her husband Paul are in Sudan working as a team, but doing two different things.  Dr. Larson is there to give as much medical attention to the local villagers as she can.  In Paul’s past, he was a Muslim who lived in the north and killed any Sudanese who did not follow Allah, but has converted to Christianity and now spends his life spreading the good word.  The two of them are befriended by Colonel Ben Alier, who is leading an army and fighting for peace in the south.  

When Larson discovers that she has a little one on the way, she debates whether she should stop putting herself in so much danger and go back to the states.  Before she can make that decision, she finds herself in a few tight spots.  DiAnn Mills does a great job at causing you to hold your breath as you scan the pages faster to see if Larson will make it out on top and have Paul or Ben come to her rescue.  

Ben finds out that there is a mole somewhere in his army who is giving out their phone numbers and Larson and Paul’s exact location, and every move they make.  He stops at nothing to find out who that mole is, but can’t find him soon enough.  Larson is abducted by the mole and realizes she was fooled by this person all along.  Now her life is in his hands, along with Paul and Ben, who later try and save her and end up being abducted as well.  Will they all survive? 

I highly recommend this novel.  You get to take a look into the current events in Sudan, see the love grow and flourish between Larson and Paul, and see the fate of Ben that will have you wipe a tear from your cheek.  This book is an emotional rollercoaster that is worth reading again and again.
 
Reviewed by Lacy J. Williams

Mills has created a masterpiece in the inspirational fiction, When the Nile Runs Red.
Paul Farid, wanted by his powerful family for rejecting the Islamic religion of his birth, believes it is his mission from God to deliver food and other aid to needy Africans across the continent. His wife Larson, a feisty American doctor, serves the people of Warkhou and other places by offering her medical services free of charge.

When Larson finds out she’s pregnant, fear that Paul will send her away keeps her silent. Meanwhile, Paul’s brother Nizam claims he wants to meet because he has questions about Christianity. Paul knows there is a chance it’s a trap, but isn’t it his duty to make sure his brother has a chance to know God?

Colonel Ben Alier leads a band of rebel fighters against those who kill innocent people for greed or genocide. When an injury forces him into the hospital, he finds out that his life will never be the same. He returns to Daruka, the woman he left alone and pregnant with his son David fifteen years ago. Will Daruka and David forgive Ben and accept him back into their lives? Will Ben find the meaning he is searching for?

When Paul, Larson and Ben must work together to survive the realities of Africa and those who want to destroy them and their faith, they face unimaginable tests. Will their trust in God be enough to protect them from the darkness that threatens their very lives?
Mills draws the reader in to a poignant picture of Africa and its people from the first page. Even readers unfamiliar with the conflicts in Africa, which the novel is based loosely upon, will be touched by the plight of the people portrayed so delicately by Mills.

Plenty of action scenes as well as twists and turns in the plot keep the reader engaged with the story. With real characters, real struggles, life-and-death situations and a present but not overwhelming inspirational theme, Mills has created a wonderful read.
Armchair Interviews says: Highly recommended.
 

Reviewed by Vicki Landes for Reader Views (6/07)

Best-selling author DiAnn Mills brings an international tragedy to life in her new book, When the Nile Runs Red. Her novel weaves the real-life humanitarian crisis in the Sudan with the plight of her characters who have dedicated their lives to making a difference. Although the book is a work of fiction, it breathes a reality that so many innocent people cannot escape from.

When the Nile Runs Red is a story of love, faith in God, and dedication to a people amid religious clashes, exploitation, bad politics, and ultimately survival. Mills’ main character, Paul, is a Muslim turned-Christian who is very much like the Biblical apostle of the same name. In addition to surviving in a war-torn country, he must also evade his family who is now committed to killing him for his religious conversion. With his doctor wife and a Southern Sudanese military officer, Paul endures circumstances that threaten his life, his unborn child, and his faith in God.

Mills immediately captivates with her beautifully descriptive style so the reader can really feel the tension, suspense, and impending danger. You vividly see the beauty of the land and her people while experiencing the horror which has intruded upon them. Mills actually traveled to the Sudan to experience the situation before developing this story so her writing exhibits a uniquely fresh, firsthand account of the atrocities and the population’s ache for peace. She also maintains a great deal of respect for this country’s crisis while creating her tale so the real-life tragedy is not lost in the fictional love story. The book is definitely hard to put down – I ended up reading it in one sitting because I couldn’t walk away!

Mills does an exquisite job bringing together her fictional story with a crisis that begs for more attention from the Western World. As someone who has been heavily involved in the U.S. government’s official involvement in humanitarian activities for Africa, I still walked away from this book with the question, ‘what more can I do?’ She ends her novel with website resources and information on organizations committed to helping the Sudanese people.

When the Nile Runs Red is targeted at Christian women who enjoy romantic fiction and also to those that have enjoyed the author’s previous releases. The book integrates a love story with a religious foundation so it’s appropriate for the entire family.

Beautiful, wholesome, and educational, When the Nile Runs Red is definitely an eye-opening read! DiAnn Mills excels at bringing a very worth cause to light while still maintaining her reputation as a best-selling author of fiction. Absolutely fantastic!
 
Reviewed by Evelyn Sears

It is July 2005. Sudan has endured more than twenty years of civil war, and every city, town and village across the country has suffered. But hope is alive now; the warring factions of the north and south have signed a peace treaty and a southern hero, John Garang, has agreed to be vice-president of the northern-based government.
Larson Farid, an American doctor, runs a clinic in the village of Warkou. The danger she faces is even more intense than the usual perils of warfare, for her husband, Paul, an Arab pilot for a charitable group called Feed the World, is a hunted man. He has rejected the religion of his youth, Islam, and converted to Christianity, a decision that has infuriated his powerful family. Colonel Ben Alier, who stills loves Larson despite her marriage to Paul, knows how urgently their skills are needed and he does everything he can to protect them.

Larson, Paul and Ben are also facing personal crises. Larson discovers that she is pregnant. She is unprepared for this and wonders how this will affect her medical ministry and her marriage. Paul’s brother, Nizam, is asking Paul questions about his Christian faith and wants to meet face-to-face with him. Paul is not certain whether Nizam’s queries are sincere, or an elaborate ploy to trap and capture him. And Ben, confronting his imminent death from cancer, seeks to reconnect with the family he deserted more than a decade earlier.

In addition to these political and personal dilemmas, Larson, Paul and Ben are struggling with spiritual questions. Larson and Paul’s questions center on identifying and obeying God’s will. Ben’s questions center on whether any religion offers him peace and hope for an uncertain future.

When the Nile Runs Red is full of action and its characters are unique and engaging. Paul and Larson flirt with each other, they argue with each other and they act like actual flesh and blood married couples. Larson is a doctor who has, of necessity, become a proficient marksman. Paul is an Arab Christian struggling to relinquish his past cultural biases. Ben is a hardened soldier who loves Larson and grudgingly respects Paul. He is fearless in military operations, yet apprehensive about how he will be received by his family. Even minor characters are carefully developed and Mills balances effectively description, back-story, action, dialogue and introspection. From its tense opening scene to its dramatic finish, the book’s plot is well constructed. The momentum never falters and the various political, personal and spiritual conflicts all meet and resolve at the conclusion.

This is DiAnn Mills’ third book about Sudan. She has spent time there and even “roughed it” in villages that lack running water and electricity to conduct her research. She has a deep knowledge of the lives and dreams of the Sudanese, and of the political and economic stresses with which they struggle. Her thorough knowledge of the Sudanese may be exceeded only by her compassion and respect for them.

Readers who enjoy Christian fiction and those who enjoy adventure stories will find plenty to like in this book and they will probably find it hard to put aside once they’ve begun reading.
 
Reviewed by:  Jeri Neal

This novel continues the story started in WHEN THE LION ROARS.  Set in Sudan, this rich complicated story returns to Paul Farid, once a member of the Islamic royal family, now a Christian married to American physician Larson.  Together they live in Sudan where the conflict between the northern government in Khartoum and the Southern Sudan is chronically chaotic and violent.  Set in 2005, this novel details the various rebel armies and local conflicts that mark this area of the world. 
 
While very entrenched in the political tensions of the region, the book is, at its center, a love story about the relationship between Paul and Larson.  With broadly divergent backgrounds they have come together around their Christian faith and their commitment to the people caught up in the unpredictable and violent conflicts surrounding Sudan. 
 
Secondary characters include Colonel Ben Alier, a rebel leader who has fought against government control of resources.  His relationship with David, his son, and David’s mother are also detailed in the book.  Other characters, including Paul’s brother, figure prominently.
 
The tender, loving relationship between Paul and Larson is marked by the harrowing violence that defines their existence.  This is complicated by Larson’s unexpected pregnancy. 
 
I can’t imagine how Paul managed to relinquish his family and culture to become a Christian.  The novel underscores the stress and conflict inherent in this decision.  At times this story becomes a little fanatical regarding Christianity.  Yet, it is well worth reading as it gives readers a glimpse into another life where the simple act of surviving is a challenge.  Reading the first book would give important background information but this novel is fine as a stand alone.  It has a terrific cover!