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The Leopard Hunts in Darkness (The Ballantyne Novels, #4)
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The Leopard Hunts in Darkness (Ballantyne #4)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,290 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In Manhattan, Craig Mellow is the toast of the literary world, a young writer whose bestselling novels and larger-than-life adventures are fueled by natural-born charisma. But Craig lost a limb and a legacy in Africa. And his heart still clings to the land.

A representative of the World Bank recruits Craig to return to his war-torn homeland--to use his knowledge of Zimbawe'
Paperback, 576 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published July 1st 1984)
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River God by Wilbur SmithBirds of Prey by Wilbur SmithWhen the Lion Feeds by Wilbur SmithThe Burning Shore by Wilbur SmithMonsoon by Wilbur Smith
Best of Wilbur A. Smith
19th out of 34 books — 51 voters
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra FullerNervous Conditions by Tsitsi DangarembgaMukiwa by Peter GodwinWhen a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter GodwinThe Last Resort by Douglas Rogers
Books Set in Zimbabwe
41st out of 93 books — 73 voters

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Community Reviews

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A splendid, hard-knuckle African thriller from Wilbur Smith, and a fitting climax to his Ballantyne quadrilogy of novels. THE LEOPARD HUNTS IN DARKNESS dispenses with the historical background and instead delivers a gutsy, then modern (1980s setting) thriller loaded with blood and guts action.

The hero, Craig Mellow, is a man who's driven back to Zimbabwe in order to make a go of it. Once there, he ends up romancing a beautiful young photographer (surprise) and soon finds himself involved a high-
I really love Wilbur Smith books, they're so involved. This is #4 in a little series he had, and I am pretty sure I did not read the first three, but it was easy to read this as a stand-alone novel. His series are not usually very dependent on one another. This book took me a while to read because I was reading a few other books in the meantime. It's not a fast book to rush through. I didn't like it as much as some of his books, because I just really couldn't get into the characters, none of the ...more
Rishi Prakash
I am completely hooked to Smith now! He really knows Africa which makes his book special. This is another one in the series where we get to know how Zimbabwe started evolving post independence. The severe hatred among the various tribes which was not so visible in colonial days comes to the forefront here and shows how that can become a big hindrance in running the country. A sub plot involving a hidden treasure makes it so exciting that you almost feel like being in those dense forest yourself! ...more
Wow, this book was awesome. Way outside my usual reading preferences, but sometimes its good to stretch your mind. I think I collected this book while on one of our trips to Africa, as Wilbur Smith is South African resident.

A great combination of historical fiction, action, guerrilla warfare, African history and culture. How often does an action adventurer feature a man missing a leg?

The characters are interesting and well-developed. The plot is cohesive, but has some surprises. The morality is
Craig Mellow has become a very successful author but he begins to wonder if he only has one book in him. He decides to return to Africa and makes plans to regain his ancestral home, King's Lynn. He runs into the old racist system that has haunted Africa before the white man even came. He meets a photographer whose pictures stir memories in him and awaken him to life as it really is. This is the final book in the Ballantyne series and it is one of the most exciting stories racing to its conclusio ...more
I really didn't like the way Janine (from the previous novel) was just swept aside, referred to twice as some girl, and how tungata, who was a murdering rapist in same previous novel is all of a sudden a hero again, and Craig kept referring to him as such a friend and good man. I guess it slipped his mind that it was his good friend he was chasing when his leg was blown off and the woman he "loved" was being gang raped by a bunch of guerrilla warriors under tungatas orders, and both of them so p ...more
Cynthia Nichols
Okay, I was done with Wilbur Smith some time around reading this book - can't recall if it was this particular one that turned me off, but the graphic and nasty violence had begun to ascend to the truly pornographic level - almost as if the author were deliberately abusing readers to see how much they are willing to accept, or expressing some kind of passive/aggressive hostility. I live in the country, have had to kill animals, have probably seen as much real blood and guts as most readers would ...more
Raymond H Dunham
Can't get enough of Wilbur.

More edge of the chair action. Never thought books about Africa would interest me. A friend suggested Monsoon 20 years ago and I have been enjoying Wilbur in all his various singles and series ever since.
Mark Edlund
Historical fiction series
So I read 300 pages of this book while waiting in the recovery room for my bed on the floor. It is a quick read and a good continuation of Smith's Ballantyne series. The action is set in more current times but refers frequently back to the series' origins. One wonders if the story's character, Craig Mellow, an author who writes about and loves Africa, is any relation to Smith himself? Hmm.
One small Canadian reference - one of the hostages taken by the Matabele rebels is
Peter Thornton
It took me a while to determine whether I had read this one before (a common problem I find with Wilbur Smith books) as the opening chapter seemed very familiar. Generally the book was a bit of a disappointment, below WS's usual standard or am I beginning to tire of the format. It wasn't until the final few chapters that I was gripped by the story which was a direct lift fom Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines.
Wilbur Smith scrive in modo coinvolgente, ma questa storia non mi ha entusiasmato.
Smith riesce a trasmettere attraverso le sue parole l'amore per l'Africa, ricreando atmosfere e paesaggi in modo talmente reale che il lettore riesce ad assaporare il richiamo verso il continente africano, che provano gli stessi protagonisti. I personaggi del romanzo riescono ad essere al tempo stesso eroici e persone comuni e gli antagonisti sono caratterizzati da una tale ferocia e avidità che li farà odiare al lettore come propri nemici. Unica pecca: il romanzo è un po' lento nella prima metà ...more
Jul 27, 2011 Vera rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: africa
When I first started reading the book I was taken in by descriptions of the country and could in a way associate with the main character. I was a bit upset when I realised that the painful History of Zimbabwe was a mere excuse to sell a book. I am a bit tired of the descriptions of the noble Ndebele people and the cunning and deceiving Shona – how easy it is to separate the good guys from the bad guys! I have reached the middle and I am going to stop because I feel sick and disappointed…

विकास   नैनवाल
I really loved the book. I really like the way Wilbur Smith describes about Africa and it makes reading his book fun.
Craig Mellow is a struggling author. With a bestseller under his belt, he can't find a new book to live up the first, but then he is asked to return to Africa as a spy for the World Bank. Falling again for the landscape, people and animals, he starts to buy up his family's old estates whle staying afloat in a whirl of politics, poachers and treachery. I could't really get into this, although I'm really sad that I couldn't, as I love the way Smith describes Africa.
Ahhhh hat a journey.
This is the last of the Ballantyne novels, even though the main character, Craig is not a Ballantyne in name. I love the journey, and the story telling ability of Wilbur smith, BUT I must say that reading his books (especially the Ballantyne Novels) can turn you into a racist.

This one was the conclusion, and it does leave you with the need to know what happens in Kings Lynn, especially with recent Happenings in Zimbabwe.
Very well paced; read it in one go.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A Wilbur Smith book - one of my favourite authors.

Set in the new Zimbabwe, Mellor, a descendent of the Ballantynes returns to the Country were he was brought up.

This book has a bit of everything, History, danger, adventure, treasure and a love story.

Ivory poaching and treachery discovered by acclaimed author Craig Mellow and photographer Sally-Anne Jay (working together on a coffee table book about Zimbabwe). Antagonist is a rogue at the top of military authority. Enlightening regarding African culture and attitudes.
Leanne Rogerson
Typical early Wilbur Smith...jolly good romp through some African wilderness. Read it as a kid and rereading several titles after becoming a little more familiar with the geography the books are set in. Like the fiction with historical parallels this time round.
Found a copy in campground pb collection. Remembering reading other Wilbur Smith books long ago, so decided to give it a try. Enjoy his stories of Africa, diamonds and the struggles for freedom.
Thought it was going to be boring but read it anyway. Immediately changed my mind, it's full of violence.(I mean the first pages of the book already have elephants exploding to bits, oops spoilers)
Well written as usual but as it was set in Zimbabwe in 1970's and 1980's, I knew it could not turn out a happy ending today. Somehow I could not simply enjoy it as a piece of fiction.
Jen Stewart
Mar 04, 2009 Jen Stewart rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jen by: my hubby
Shelves: wibur-smith
My first Wilbur Smith....I thoroughly enjoyed it didnt think I would. First read when I pregnant with my first child maybe thats why I have got such a fondness for this one?!
Movie quality, I think it could be made into a very good movie. Maybe the scribe from A knights Tale could play Craig?(Hmm..I'll have to think more on that.)
Hmmm, just so-so. He gets much much better in later books. More adventure, more suspense, better characters. That's okay, it was a fun read while camping.
Un libro scritto solo per allungare il brodo di una saga molto fortunata, che però forse aveva già detto tutto quello che c'era da dire.
I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the rest of the series but all the same; a shame the series is over! onto the next one! :)-
One of my all time favorite books. Wilbur Smith draws you in on the first page and doesn't let you go until the very last page.
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Ballantyne (5 books)
  • A Falcon Flies (The Ballantyne Novels, #1)
  • Men of Men (The Ballantyne Novels, #2)
  • The Angels Weep (The Ballantyne Novels, #3)
  • The Triumph of the Sun
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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