Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Diamond Hunters” as Want to Read:
The Diamond Hunters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Diamond Hunters

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,627 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The Van Der Byl Diamond Company, willed by its founder to his son Benedict, daughter Tracey and estranged foster-child Johnny Lance, turns out to be a bequest not of love, but of hatred. For it is couched in such terms as to offer Benedict an instrument of destruction of his bitterest rival. 'Destroy Johnny' was the old man's implacable message to his son, and, obsessively ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1970)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Diamond Hunters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Diamond Hunters

River God by Wilbur SmithBirds of Prey by Wilbur SmithWhen the Lion Feeds by Wilbur SmithThe Burning Shore by Wilbur SmithPower of the Sword by Wilbur Smith
Best of Wilbur A. Smith
28th out of 34 books — 45 voters
Germinal by Émile ZolaHow Green Was My Valley by Richard LlewellynKing Solomon's Mines by H. Rider HaggardRoss Poldark by Winston GrahamFall of Giants by Ken Follett
37th out of 92 books — 46 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,298)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Barbara ★
WOW starts off with an asswipe of a guy, Jacobus Van Der Byl setting his two kids and stepkid against each other for control of the family diamond mine in South Africa. And morphs into back-stabbing, treachery with a side of betrayal and unfaithfulness. A rather suspenseful free-for-all ensues that is exciting enough to keep one rapidly turning pages to see who is going to prevail and who is going to go down in flames. Excellent!
The book is a trip, of one man from boyhood, through adolescence and early adulthood. Through mistakes in love, and final acknowledgement of love, and of the passions that drive us all.
A childhood rivalry, strongly encouraged by the father-figure of two men, eventually creates a disaster. The same interaction eventually leads to an admission of a somewhat unconventional love that has also endured since childhood.
An adopted son was pushed to excell as part of what he had to do to be accepted int
Orphan Johnny Lance grows up side-by-side with Benedict and Tracey van der Byl, the two children that he has always loved like brother and sister. That is, until one unfortunate night, his life changes forever. Johnny devotes his life to the family business – Van Der Byl Diamonds – in an unfathomable desire for approval and triumph.

The Diamond Hunters is the first book I have read of Wilbur Smith. The cover looks like something I would’ve found on my grandparents’ bookshelf and some of the Afrik
M. A. P.
My first Wilbur Smith book, which left me slightly unimpressed. It's possible this feeling is a direct result of having developed high expectations, after numerous recommendations for Wilbur Smith books. Or maybe The Diamond Hunters really isn't one of his best books to start the enthusiasm with. Yet, I did enjoy it while it lasted, though for reasons other than the action-packed adventure, or the characters (whom I found to be unfortunately one-dimensional, to be frank).

The story revolves aroun
One of the author's shortest efforts and perhaps his most simple tale. This one's a then-modern day thriller about the heirs of a diamond company battling over finances, but of course it's far more exciting than it sounds from that premise. Smuggling, murder, love, hate, jealousy and misunderstanding are all involved in a fine exploration of the human condition.

After the initial set up, things play out pretty quickly as Smith distils the situation into a 'protagonist vs. smugglers' showdown. It'
Cody Bell
Very exciting. Wilber Smith's early books are fantastic!
Summary: Silly man spends a life time desperately seeking the approval of his wicked foster father, competing against his wicked foster brother and saving the beautiful, but equally silly, princess.//

My first ever Wilbur Smith -- he's quite a popular writer, I'm told. This is one of the books read by R this year. He mostly liked it and was particularly pleased with the twist at the end. I, huh, thought it was dull. Tedious and dull. Oh, and predictable and not at all redeemed by the twist at the
Not read anything by this author before, picked the book when i was shopping as it was cheap and blurb sounded interesting. Well, I'm so pleased i did, it was very quick to get into story, fabulous characters, you will soon have a favourite, very fast paced, no matter what you think will happen you can guarantee it will be even more unexpected than you thought possible, but remaining so true to life. Cant say much more without spoilers, but i will certainly be looking for other books by him.
The entire story is written with the background of Diamond prospecting and recovery in South Africa. The story ends with a minor diamond company purchasing a special ship that can recover diamonds from under sea beds. The narrative is gripping and it is the insights into the diamond industry that gives the story its charm. Plenty of intrigues, deceits and other aberrations of human behavior. I managed to read the book in just one one day! A real adventure story, I would say.
Think I have read every Smith novel before Sun King. A really different kind of treat are Smith's books. You get high adventure and beautiful descriptions of wild Africa. Makes you want to go there.

Highly recommend Wilbur Smith works. The Burning Shore, A Sparrow Falls, The Sound of Thunder,Eagle in the Sky,Hungry as the Sea,Sunbird, Eye of the Tiger,Shout at the Devil. You cannot go wrong with any of these.
This was such a daft premise for a book - Wilbur Smith often uses the themes of sibling rivalry, but usually to much better effect. However, it is fast-paced, full of action - and if you like his style of writing, he tends to be pretty consistent. As always, the muscle-bound hero wins and gets the girl. Oh, and the diamonds too. Hope I didn't give anything away there.
Not bad for light reading, don't expect much out of it. Was a story about hate, love and sex in the diamond mines of Africa. Had a few nuggets of information about diamond classifications that were interesting. Was a first book for me of this author, am going to try one of his series to see if I like any better.
I only read this to see if my son could read it, as he picked it off the shelf. Verdict- not right for a young child even if he is an advanced reader, and not my kind of book either. Too flashy, dramatic, and some creepy fighting off animals in the desert. But hey, maybe the diamond business is really like that.

This is an adventure that evolves around sibling rivalry and a task set by the will of the patriarch; may the best son win. Although, in fact the hero / good guy in this plot is not actually a blood relative. There are diamonds, affairs, murder, adventure and more. Loved this book.
Erin Berry
Fairly interesting about other ways of diamond mining (such as dredging the ocean floor)in South Africa. This book was written in the 70's and seems to reflect those times. The characters are a bit obnoxious for me although this may be how those diamond tycoons behave.
"A pretty twisted South African diamond family plays out a tragic tale, but the adopted son and good daughter win out in the end. Many interesting aspects about diamonds are shared along the way. Dated now in fun ways, but Wilbur Smith is simply a cut above average."
I didn't think that I would like this book but I was wrong. The book kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page. I really enjoyed the authors style and the way he set up the book. If you are looking for a good read then this is the author for you.
Satyabrat Mishra
Set in the picturesque beaches of South Africa, this thriller is of my type; encompassing psychological elements with envy on the border of destruction in the background. Wilbur Smith's narration is as always very powerful and driving. 3 and a half
Is this an action movie? I can see today's Hollywood stars playing all these roles with the amazing African back drop. I hadn't read any other Wilbur Smith before, but I think I might start working my way through his extensive collection.
Maria Grazia
Il mio unico Wilbur Smith, classico regalo di Natale della serie "regaliamole un libro che tanto le piace leggere".
Non mi è dispiaciuto del tutto, come letteratura di evasione è andato anche bene, ma non intendo ripetere l'esperienza.
Ok- indeed quite interesting finding out about diamonds. But not the same class as his later books. Written in 1971 and only 230 pages long, this was a one-off story about intrigue within a diamond company in South africa.
Ismaa Khan
Adventure and thrills, the usual Wilber Smith forte. Gave a good glimpse into the world of diamonds. It was entertaining, short, and as usual kept me hooked till the very end. Not one of his best but still a good read.
Smith sa fare di meglio. La trama e le avventure dei protagonisti risultano essere un po' forzate e descritte meno spontaneamente del solito. Li ho letti tutti di Smith, e questo mi pare uno dei peggiori.
Great adventure book! Easy and exciting read! The story is about the diamond industry in modern times, and takes place in Southern Africa. I loved the story line, how it progressed.
Liz Proulx
Another great book! I wish this book had been longer.
Wilbur Smith could have expanded more on the principal characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it as I have read 19 other of his books.
Fan Francis
After the long saga of Power of the Sword, I went to this short story by Wilbur, quite predictable at the end... enjoyable though..
A good read, South Africa, Skeleton Coast, Diamonds, romance and thriller and the usual Wilbur Smith forte. a good read but not his best.
Feb 14, 2013 Sheellah rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Sheellah by: Independent bookseller
This book had the potential to be good; however, it was poorly written. I will not read any other books by this author.
Katie Grainger
Another great WS book this is not part of a series so can be read and enjoyed by all.
It was ok but not one of my favourites,have read much better books by wilbur smith
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 76 77 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Charon's Landing (Philip Mercer, #2)
  • Victory (Kydd Sea Adventures, #11)
  • Stormchild
  • After The Rain (Phil Broker, #5)
  • Blackbird Fly (Bennett Sisters #1)
  • Anarchy in the Ashes (Ashes, #3)
  • Guns
  • Whitethorn
  • Yellow Medicine (Billy Lafitte, #1)
  • Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd, #7)
  • The Academy (Steel Trapp, #2)
  • Dark Zone (Deep Black, #3)
  • The Golden Rendezvous
  • The Dead of Winter (John Madden, #3)
  • Every Street is Paved with Gold: The Road to Real Success
  • Eternal Journey (Rogue Angel #17)
  • The Seventh Stone
  • Hitler's Peace
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...
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)

Share This Book