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Those in Peril (Hector Cross #1)

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  2,335 ratings  ·  350 reviews
In this nail-biting tale of adventure, bestselling author Wilbur Smith brings his matchless storytelling to bear on the violent, ruthless world of twenty-first-century piracy.

While cruising on the family yacht in the Indian Ocean, nineteen-year-old Cayla Bannock is attacked and taken hostage by Somalian pirates. Her kidnappers demand a staggering ransom: twenty billion dol
Paperback, 480 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2011)
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Just heard I won this from First Reads; can't wait to get it and read it. Thank you!

Well, I just finished this book. I have long been a fan of Wilbur Smith, having read all his books, starting with his Ballantyne novels and absolutely adoring his Egypt series. However, I have to admit to being disappointed by this book. Its sort of a cross between a Jack Higgins novel and a romance novel. The protagonist is pretty unbelievable, and his female counterpart goes from being strong woman heading a ma
Nick Brett
The great storyteller has, sadly, produced an absolute mess here.

Somalian pirates kidnap the daughter of mega rich oil company boss, Hazel Bannock and she turns to her ex SAS head of security to find and rescue her.

So far so good, and easy premise around which Wilbur Smith could weave his narrative skills but that is where it all goes wrong. It's difficult to know where to start, but long, unnecessary and detailed sex scenes, caricature bad guys, poor characterisations and stilted and painful di
First, thank-you to Goodreads for sending me this book for free! I wish I could write a good review of this, but I can not. While Wilbur Smith's characters generally are stereotypes (think rugged alpha male, and beautiful spirited female) that hasn't bothered me in the past and I've enjoyed the pacing and action sequences of his plots and his realistic portrayal of his settings. This time, I couldn't get past the flatness of the characters and the graphic sexual violence. This book is not as wel ...more
I have SO many mixed feelings on this book. At times it was over a 4 & then it dropped to a zero(if possible). The relationship between Hazel & Hector was unbelievable. The dialogue was beyond stupid. But then the story line for the first part was interesting & suspenseful.

Who wrote the middle rubbish of this book? It didn't even read like the first part. The story went into trivial areas...I mean hobknobbing with the Queen of England & Prince Philip??? Really, I find that doubtf
I couldn't even finish this. If I could score it less than one star, I would. The fact that I was willing to skim it even halfway through is only because Wilbur Smith is one of my favorite authors and has produced a few of the best novels I have ever read. It's hard to believe that the same man who wrote "The Angels Weep" and "The Burning Shore" (among other great novels) produced this book. His stereotypical characters are what finally did it in for me, especially his one-dimensional portrayal ...more
Worst book Wilbur Smith has written - what should have been a great plot line for him, felt more like a mills and boon - if his name had not been on the cover I would have thought it was ghost written by someone without any experience.
The characters were insipid and plastic with nothing believable about them - they related to each other in utterly inconvincing style and the dialogue should be renamed direlogue!
I feel really saddened that an author who could spin such great stories as the Court
This is the first book I read by Wilbur Smith and I'm not sure that's enough to give a judgment about the author. The pace is smooth, the story simple enough, the environment is mainly Africa, with a few locations in other parts of the world. What confuses is the change of pace and tone that you have in some points: after an early start, slow and aimed to delineate the characters and the background, the action speed up, then at some point become more like a romance novel and resume with the acti ...more
R.C. Bean
Although this is the first novel by Smith that I read, I was stunned with the fandom he seems to have created with his other novels. The web is full of rave reviews and recommendations for many of his works, including the Egyptian series.

“Those in Peril” is an Africa-based novel, and delves into the depths of a topic of burning contentions across the world – Piracy in Somalian waters. Given the absolute relevance of the subject Smith has chosen to handle, you would expect the author to go easy
I am a big Wilbur Smith fan but this is absolutely shocking. I am genuinely surprised that the publisher accepted this given the strength of his previous works. It is singularly the most cliched and poorly written book I've ever read. The dialogue is at best clumsy, at worst embarrassingly unrealistic. The narrative is identical in this respect - the ridiculous nature of Smith's plot devices was summed up for me when the lead characters come across another ship in the middle of the Indian ocean, ...more
Andrew Pascal
I am a long-time Wilbur Smith fan, having focused the bulk of my reading on the early Courtney series. I have only strayed from the wooden-ship and Egyptian eras once in an attempt at trying the Ballantyne series - but found the 1800s steam ships didn't fit nearly as well into Smith's beautifully detailed style of writing. I had stayed away from works based on more modern timelines until picking up Those in Peril, which I found new in hardcover (for a steal!) on Amazon.

I feel like I've been miss
I have been with Wilbur smith for many years. From When the Lion Feeds through the Courtney years. Always a fan of his big African vistas. Things started going downhill at the end of the Egyptian series particularly when Taita grew his bits back, oh Wilbur what were you thinking? This novel not only contains every literary cliche known to man, but everyone and everything is drawn in such an over the top way that I have trouble thinking this was actually written to be taken seriously. Yes I stuck ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Jemma rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Shelves: book-club, 2012, library
'Those in Peril' is the first book I have read by Wilbur Smith. I do not think I will be reading another by this author. This book was read for my book club, and that is the only reason I would ever have picked up this kind of book.

Hazel Bannock is a millionaire by marriage and recently widowed, and has a rather rebellious teenage daughter, Cayla. One day, Cayla is kidnapped by Somalian pirates who bring their 'prize' back to the leader of their tribe, the Sheikh. Desperation ensues, and Mrs Ban
Tempo de Ler
'A Lei do Deserto' é um daqueles livros que me deixa baralhada no final; sem saber bem para que lado a balança pende mais: se para o lado dos elementos de que gostei ou para o dos pontos que me desagradaram.

No fundo, penso que este livro sofre imenso pela falta de equilíbrio. Se por um lado temos um livro cheio de acção, que me agradou pelas cenas de planeamento e execução militar (colocando de lado a precisão das mesmas), pareceu-me que toda esta acção serviu de manobra de distracção para desvi
Niki Costantini
Imbarazzante. Pochissimo è rimasto del grande romanziere d’avventura incontrato da ragazzina e letto fedelmente per più di vent’anni, fino all’abbandono per noia una decina di anni fa.
Ho voluto riprovare con questo, forse attirata dal titolo, e ne sono rimasta sconcertata, più che delusa.
L’ho trovato imbarazzante per i dialoghi, ridicoli, del tutto fuori contesto e al limite del cattivo gusto, per i personaggi, miserabili parodie dei protagonisti dei romanzi che avevo amato di più, quando Smith
Marilyn Schoon
I'm a great Wilbur Smith fan, having read all of his books at least once and several more than once; and I always looks forward to his next book. Those in Peril won't be available in the U.S. until May, but I was able to buy and read it in London last week. One reason I enjoy his books is that I learn a lot about parts of the world that I've never had the opportunity or, in this case, the desire to visit. In that aspect, he didn't disappoint. Piracy off the coast of Somalia is certainly a timely ...more
I am pleased to be one of the first to comment on this book. I received it as a goodreads first reads giveaway, and wish to thank the publisher for their consideration. I would have actually given this book 4.5 stars, but I had a few major issues with it. I'll start with what I liked: Good developed characters, plot that actually allowed me to think and to get pulled into the suspense. It was also well written, and very engaging. My biggest complaint about the book was the sexual-overload that s ...more
I’ve always found it strange how, the older you get, time just seems to flyby uncontrollably! When you compare a full day in work and a day in school the two are incomparable – oh and don’t get me started on the holiday phenomenon! Why do two week holidays never feel like two weeks? With all this in mind – and there is a point to my ramble honest! – when I received Wilbur Smith’s latest African thriller “Those in Peril” from Pan Macmillan it made me sit back and think when I last read a Wilbur S ...more
Lakis Fourouklas
Wilbur Smith is one of my all time favorite authors. I’ve travelled time and again through his novels to central and southern Africa and to ancient Egypt. The Courtneys, the Ballantynes and the magus Taita are some of the most memorable literary heroes and I admit that I have spent many hours of agony and reading joy with them.
In this novel we don’t meet any of them though. The main protagonists are a couple of seemingly opposite characters that have nothing much in common: Hector Cross who run
Sep 18, 2011 Mackenzie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mackenzie by: Macmillan Publisher
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, who sent it as a sample. He had nothing but praises for this particular Wilbur Smith title and I decided to give it a try. I've been wanting to know what Wilbur Smith book is like (I was interested in his historical fiction series, the family sagas set in Africa) but never had the chance to pick one up until now. So when I got this book for free, I thought this could be a good entry point to the world of Wilbur Smith.

I read up to the halfway poi
Latest novel by Wilbur Smith came as a big surprise for several reasons,one of them being what a gripping read this turned out to be - something not expected from a writer in his late 70s. It is pure adventure escapism,with main character being all-knowing superhero (Hector Cross) with a military past,backed by his group of faithful warriors and fighting sea piracy in modern day Somalia. Unfortunately sea piracy is actually very current phenomenon and it is happening far more than people are awa ...more
Marianne Søiland
This one in Norwegian - sorry :-)
Først av alt - jeg er alvorlig skuffet!!! Jeg hadde aldri trodd jeg skulle bli skuffet av en Wilbur Smith bok, men det er jeg altså blitt denne gang. Og jeg har vært en livslang og trofast beundrer av denne forfatteren, gjennom hans mange bøker om Courtney og Ballantynes familiene i Sør-Afrika, den egyptiske serien og alle hans andre frittstående bøker - også i all hovedsak med handlingen lagt til Afrika.

Tilbake til boka "Those in Peril"...

Cayla, datteren til en
Pedro Sarmento
Estou no meu primeiro livro de Wilbur Smith... a forma como escreve.. a simplicidade com que cativa o leitor á história impressionou-me desde o inicio, estou a menos de meio e a gostar muito... o tema é para mimm cativante também... acho muito interessante a forma como não indo á exaustão dos pormenores, conseguimos "ver" o que está a acontecer.....
Anthony Fisher
Not one of the author's best books, in fact, probably his worst. Disappointing, with a very predictable plot especially in the first half of the book. There were few twists and those there were, were loudly marked! I still enjoyed the book to a degree, HOWEVER, I felt the author was just going through the motions and meeting his commitment to the publisher, with the reader more of an afterthought! I have always looked forward to a Wilbur Smith novel, as he is one of my favourite authors, but nex ...more
Razvan Banciu
Three stars asa a sign of great benevolence. The plot is not bad, characters are somehow passable, but I have some critics:
a. logical fractures
- Hazel is a smart lady, but she erases the message from Cayla
- some admiral talks about tsunami in deep waters
- Cross is a tough guy,who knows people well, but he is betrayed by one of his best friends
- islamists are stupid enough to let the girl guarded by only two men and their trucks are not in order
- Cross is shooting the tyres of the enemy car, but
Encruzilhadas Literárias
Sendo uma adepta de séries policiais e de thrillers e filmes de acção, não sei porque é que não leio livros deste género mais vezes. Ou melhor, sei: não posso fechar os olhos nas partes mais assustadoras/ nojentas/ violentas e fugir da estória. Wilbur Smith fez-me ver que se calhar tenho de voltar com mais frequência a este universo, e descobrir os segredos dos thrillers literários.
"A Lei do Deserto" surpreendeu-me e dei por mim a gostar bastante deste livro, e muito mais do que inicialmente esp
Unbelievable, one-dimensional and, at times, uninteresting.

I read this Wilbur Smith book after thoroughly enjoying 'Birds of Prey'. Sadly, the difference in quality cannot be overstated.

The plot is highly unrealistic. The driving events in the story are simplistic and stereotypical, classic (and unelaborated) betrayal; unconvincing and violent confrontations. These are interspersed with graphic sexual violence and acts of cruelty by ill-considered, worst-nightmare type Islamic fundamentalist en
Badriya  Bintuwaih
When I bought this book, I was excited because of the summary on the cover page. It made me want to find out what it is about. All I understand it is about Bannock oil and pirates. Which made me super excited because I thought it is about be like be like "Pirates of the Caribbean" Yes I was totally wrong because it is nothing about this.

Essential pages were something different. Then in the middle the writers start talking about Arabs and Muslims.
If I highlighted how many times the words " Arab.
Fairly disappointed in "Those In Peril", but I remained curious as to how it would all unfold, even though I thought it was predictable and gratuitous to a fault. As an adventure story, it is pretty good, though its resemblance to two real-life stories, in "Captain Phillips" and the excellent Jessican Buchanan book, "Impossible Odds", cannot be denied.

As with the aforementioned properties, Wilbur Smith sets up a high-stakes backdrop with a Bannock Oill heiress' daughter, extreme wealth, Somalia
good book, has a long timeline.
The romance part is a bit boring/distracting (can be skipped -has no relevance to the plot)
Unnecessary sex in the beginning and middle.
Sometimes I think the author is old school and thinks sex sells.
He forgets he is a master storyteller.
Overall a good read
-No need for the over the top detailed sex scenes.
-Some of the conversations were just pointless.
-Stereotypical terrorists.

I saw the advert for this novel and thought, "yeah I'm definitely getting this." Some parts were great, but some were a bore. The whole kidnapping thing, typical to any other kidnapping. I don't get why the enemy all of a sudden becomes dumb. It's like they were pretty smart for the kidnapping to take place on the boat, tricking the girl etc, but when Cross (overrated) is
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The Ultimate ABC ...: Those In Peril by Wilbur Smith 1 5 Mar 14, 2012 04:38AM  
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Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels, each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai, The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon. His other books include Those in Peril, River God, Warlock, The Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have so ...more
More about Wilbur Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Hector Cross (2 books)
  • Vicious Circle
River God (Ancient Egypt, #1) The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2) Warlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egypt, #3) When the Lion Feeds (Courtney, #1) Monsoon (Courtney #10)

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“When David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls he said, “Sights such as these must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight,”’ Hector told her softly.” 0 likes
“Duplicity thy name is woman!” 0 likes
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