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 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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Victor on 26-05-11

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.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 22-07-12

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.
Avoid!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Lia on 09-05-11

Not what I expected

The first half of this book showed so much promise with excellent narration and great story. However, the second half was just violence for the sake of violence. Some people who like blood curdling violence will like this book. For me the only thing that kept me listening was the narrator he was outstanding giving each charater their own believable voice.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Zachary on 12-07-11

The Worst.

I generally love Wilbur Smith. High adventure, excitement, and action.
This book is far from Wilbur's usual standards. It's boring, predictable, and at times, so inane it's laughable.
The start showed promise, and then it degenerated into this stupid farce of a story. I couldn't wait for it to end. The characters are idiotic, the dialogue is atrocious. The whole book stinks.
I'm annoyed I wasted my time and money on this. Not happy with you Wilbur Smith. You should have burned his manuscript.
The worst book I've downloaded at audible.com

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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