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Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith

Those in Peril (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Wilbur Smith

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3914827,416 (3.19)12
Title:Those in Peril
Authors:Wilbur Smith
Info:St. Martin's Paperbacks (2012), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages

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Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith (2011)

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    White Cargo by Stuart Woods (Hedgepeth)
    Hedgepeth: This is the book that Smith was trying to write.

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Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
So in reading the reviews for Those in Peril by the inimitable Wilbur Smith, I have had a distinct epiphany: I have the worst reading tastes on the planet. Shouldn’t be too surprising since my taste in music sucks, so…

But I was surprised to find that so many people absolutely loathed this book. Almost every review I came across couldn’t believe “this trash” had been written by the same author who had written such incredible works on Ancient Egypt; the novel was an absolute mess; the dialogue was ridiculous; and the characters were completely unbelievable. And let me say, I can see where all of these reviewers are coming from. I guess my take is: I thought it wasn’t *that* bad.

The novel centers on Hazel Bannock, the president and CEO of her late husband’s empire, Bannock Oil, and her chief security officer, Hector Cross. In the opening chapters, Hazel’s only daughter, 19-year-old Cayla, is abducted by pirates while she is en route (via private yacht) to meet her mom for the holidays. When Hazel’s attempts to enlist the assistance of the US military go nowhere, she turns to her last resort: the head of her own security team. Together, Hazel and Hector concoct a daring plan that will take them into the heart of jihadist Africa to save Cayla. Of course, obstacles await – one taking the form of a trusted confidante that turns out to be a double agent – but as Hazel and Hector come together to rescue Cayla, they also find their initial disdain of each other might be the seeds of a deeper attraction.

So yeah, it’s slightly predictable. And yeah, the dialogue is ridiculous – Hector is about as profound as a soup spoon with his self-ruminations – and, yes, I got a little tired of the step-by-step writing style. I mean there were passages that literally went as thus: “Hector stood up and stretched his arms over his head. He bent down and picked up his pack, slinging it over his left shoulder. He took three steps forward and when he came to the rock, he stopped. He turned to the left and took two steps. Then he stopped again, turned right, and took three more steps. The rock now to his right, he turned again, took a few more steps, and then stopped when the rock was directly below his right arm. He turned to the left one last time, and continued walking. He had skirted the rock entirely.” At first, I thought this was an attempt to build suspense – I kept waiting for some jihadist radical to jump out from behind that rock with an uzi – but after a while, I saw this was just Wilbur’s method of providing detail. And then I got bogged down in it.

But I kept going because I was committed to the story. I wanted to know what happened to these crazy characters. And I absolutely loved all the detail on modern-day African piracy. I also listened to this book on audio, and I’m sure part of my commitment came from Rupert Degas’ expert reading of the story. He was absolutely fabulous.

But even with Degas (who really was amazing), I didn’t think the novel was that bad. Not Smith’s best work, definitely, but still entertaining… at least to me. I do have the worst reading tastes, after all. ( )
  parhamj | Nov 16, 2014 |
An adventure set in the violent world of modern piracy and terrorism follows the kidnapping of an oil heiress's daughter for a multi-billion-dollar ransom and the efforts of Cross Bow Security head Hector Cross to secure her release.
  ingxangxosi | Oct 5, 2013 |
SUMMARY: Hazel Bannock is the heir to the Bannock Oil Corp, one of the major oil producers with global reach. While cruising in the Indian Ocean, Hazel's private yacht is hijacked by African pirates. Hazel is not on board at the time, but her nineteen year old daughter, Cayla, is kidnapped and held to ransom. The pirates demand a crippling twenty billion dollar ransom for her release. Complicated political and diplomatic considerations render the civilized major powers incapable of intervening. When Hazel is given evidence of the horrific torture which Cayla is being subjected to, she calls on Hector Cross to help her rescue her daughter. Hector is the owner and operator of Cross Bow Security, the company which is contracted to Bannock Oil to provide all their security. He is a formidable fighting man. Between them Hazel and Hector are determined to take the law into their own hands.
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
I used to really like Wilbur Smith but that was his early pre-1990 writing when he wrote his excellent Courtney series as well as his standalone novels. They were well researched novels with a strong male and female character in each book.

His characters have never really changed over the years though....hard as nails tough guy hero, sexy bitch who eventually shows her soft side....they are in almost every book. However until the 1990's he kept graphic sex out of his novels...lots of innuendo but the scene always changed when it got too hot leaving the rest to your fertile imagination.

In this book, you don't get more than 20-30 pages until you have a pornographic description of a teenager of the heroine lasting several pages....it was totally superfluous to the story...sex is in the book almost every 20 pages thereafter...sometimes reasonable...mostly not...THIS IS THE MAIN REASON for the lower rating from me. There was a token good Arab hero/heroine (she did not last long) but most Arabs were stereotypical bad guys...not much different from his other books with a good black warrior and his trusty bushman ... it seems Wilbur can think of any other characters.

Overall, skipping the sex scenes and most of that dialogue I did like the book. Though the characters are formula the story was reasonable.

This dirty-old-man writing style is the main reason I do not read him much anymore. ( )
  Lynxear | Sep 1, 2013 |
Exciting high seas and desert adventure with kidnapped heiresses, a blood feud, lots of guns and guts, and, of course, a gizzled hero. Hector Cross is the security head of a large oil-based company headed by the attractive widow, Hazel Bannock. When her luxury yacht, the Amorous Dolphin (!), is pirated with daughter, Cayla, aboard, Hazel seeks help from the U.S. and Royal Navy without results. It's up to Hector to save the girl from the brutal Arab pirates. Little does he know that he is up against the Sheikh who has already lost two sons to Heck and has engineered this kidnapping to draw Heck into his sights.

The rescue is one of two climaxes in this story. The first is carried out on land in a fictitious emirate named Abu Zara. The second on board the natural gas carrier called the Golden Goose which is used to lure the evil Arabs into Heck's sights.

Full of stereotypical Arabs, Smith doesn't paint the 'civilized' Americans much more civilized as they end the blood feud bloodily. Lots of action, this book is a real page turner. ( )
  mamzel | Feb 18, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilbur Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mutsaers, JasperTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312567251, Hardcover)


Hazel Bannock is heir to the Bannock Oil Corporation, one of the major global oil producers. While cruising the Indian Ocean, her yacht is hijacked by Somalian pirates and her nineteen-year-old daughter, Cayla, kidnapped. The pirates demand a crippling twenty-billion-dollar ransom for her release, and complicated political and diplomatic sensitivities render the major powers incapable of intervening. 
            With growing evidence of the horrific torture to which Cayla is being subjected, Hazel calls on Hector Cross to help her rescue her daughter. Hector is the man behind Cross Bow Security, the company contracted to Bannock Oil Corporation to provide all their protection. He is a formidable fighting man. Between them, Hazel and Hector are determined to take the law into their own hands.
            For nearly fifty years, internationally bestselling author Wilbur Smith has thrilled readers with novels set during the Egyptian era all the way up through the present day. Now, Those in Peril brings his matchless storytelling to bear on the violent, ruthless world of twenty-first-century piracy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

An adventure set in the violent world of modern piracy and terrorism follows the kidnapping of an oil heiress's daughter for a multi-billion-dollar ransom and the efforts of Cross Bow Security head Hector Cross to secure her release.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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