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 19-year-old daughter, Cayla, is kidnapped and held to ransom. The pirates demand a crippling 20-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.
©2011 Macmillan Publishers (P)2011 Macmillan Publishers
"I don't regret it"
This is not the best book in my ever-growing library, but it was good enough to get a respectable 4 stars. It will not blow anyone away, but it is a decently constructed thriller, with a unique style which splits the book into almost two even halves, with the kidnap in the first half, and the payback in the second half. The action within the book was split nicely between organised efficiency and chaos, but never reached the level of suspence that the auther may have wanted, but I was content with the story.
The narration was at first satisfactory, but as with most narrators, I began to like it by the time I reached the middle of the book. It is true that the best narrator is always the one you just listened to, as you become used to the speach patterns such that the next narrator seems to be speaking a different language.
Far from my best purchase, but a pleasent listen. A book I do not regret buying, but I would hesitate to tell my friends about it if they have not yet enjoyed the pleasure of the millenium series, or the trills of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books, which I regard with much greater praise.
As are all Wilbur Smith books...Really very good and the narrator tells the tale well..A good listen!!
This was a awesome listen, never a dull moment. I was on the edge of my seat. Highly recommended to everyone.
Unnecessarily unpleasant passages involving physical brutality don't improve a rather dull and formulaic piece of xenophobia.
"Vicious cartoon violence"
I’m ashamed to admit I rather enjoyed this. It’s typical Wilbur Smith: a ripping adventure yarn peppered with vicious racial stereotypes and a few superclean non-white characters thrown in to sweeten the non-political correctness. There’s even an Irish character called Paddy who says “Begorrah”.
Don’t listen if you’re vaguely sympathetic to sharia law because in one judicial scene (not necessary to the plot) Smith paints an Islamic society in the blackest shades possible, followed by a vaguely apologetic “the religion’s not all bad” bit of dialogue from its central character.
Also don’t listen to this if you’re appreciative of good dialogue. The interactions between the characters are fine when the plot’s steaming along, but are embarrassing during the more reflective moments, particularly where any of the speakers are female.
It’s astounding to think that Smith has ever met a woman other than his mum. The female characters are either ball-busting Alphas, brats or submissives. Come to think of it, these are tried-and-tested templates he’s stuck to before, particularly in the Courtney series.
There is one aspect of this reading which is bordering on the hysterical, and that’s the narration. Considering the macho nature of Wilbur Smith’s work, it’s somewhat disconcerting to have a gruff-voiced guy read the naughty bits, in all their squishy details. Imagine listening to your grandad reading a Jackie Collins novel out loud at bedtime – it’s that icky.
Best bits: evil pirates contemplating the tortures they’re going to inflict; inventive manifestations of nemesis from the goodies and the baddies; home-made daggers; sharks.
Worst bits: Mysterious things hiding in glass jars; rubbery arms; being a gay incidental character in a small town in Somalia; talkie bits.
Despite having read many Wilbur Smith books this is the first of his audiobooks that I have purchased.
This is a well paced story with the added bonus of the narrator having a voice to match the story. This is not always the case. I really cannot fault it. A cracking listen.
"Erm... its okay"
To tell you the truth this is kind of what I want from a basic Wilbur Smith a simple tale with basic characters and some guns and sand. I listen to audio books to distract myself until I fall asleep or when commuting and not music; having said that the dialogue is so stagnant that occasionally it made me snigger in bed and wake me up. Also weirdly the torture, killing again doesn't seem half as gut churning as Wilbur Smith's depictions of sex. I very much think he is a Last Tango in Paris kinda man the way be bangs on about the mertis of pubic hair but having said that I am vaguely working my way through it for a second time as going to sleep material this week.
"Good narration - awful story"
I used to enjoy Wilbur Smith - some years ago. This is really awful. Shallow stereo-typed characters, cringe worthy sex, unnecessary violence - cr*p story. The narrator does a good job with what he's got - but you can'y make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - and this really is a sow's ear.
"Not up to his usual standard"
Having read many of Wilbur Smiths novels, I was very disappointed with this one. It was more like the script for a Hollywood action movie complete with Super Heroes and a ridiculous plot. Two stars was probably generous.
"Plenty of action but very 2-dimensional"
I was disappointed with this story. All the characters were perfect or evil, though everyone's morals were very eye-for-an-eye. Except for the explicit sex and violence it felt very 1950's. Narration was good though.
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