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Killing for Profit

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A terrifying true story of greed, corruption, depravity and ruthless criminal enterprise...

On the black markets of Southeast Asia, rhino horn is worth more than gold, cocaine and heroin. This is the chilling story of a two-year-long investigation into a dangerous criminal underworld and the merciless syndicates that will stop at nothing to obtain their prize. It is a tale
Paperback, 332 pages
Published November 2012 by Random House Struik
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a hard slog for me. At no point did I want to give up on reading it but I wasn't super compelled to read it. I think the problem was I didn't know it was going to be purely investigative piece of journalism that lasted an entire book. I would have been more impressed if a narrative was woven into the facts and an opinion was taken.I instead found it a little dry and it often introduced a new cast of people in each chapter so you couldn't develop a proper opinion yourself. It also left o ...more
Cintain 昆遊龍
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Blood curdling, yet impossible to put down. The depths of human depravity and greed know no limits... hard not to agree with the views expressed by some of the author's interviewees, namely that legalising rhino horn trade and farming for it are ultimately the only way humans stand a chance to slow down the complete disappearance of rhinos. The kind of book that leaves one with a sense of loss of faith in humanity. Important read. ...more
Becky Dale
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This book has loads of good anecdotes and raw information about the rhino horn trade, but I did struggle to keep track of the chronology and was routinely distracted by the shifting tense structure. If written a bit tighter, it could be brilliant. Still a very worthwhile read.
Sibel Hodge
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a thorough and devastating read into research about the illegal trafficking of rhino and its consequences. It's a hard-hitting, gritty book that will make you cry in places, but if we don't cry about this, then we're inhuman.

More than 1 rhino is killed in Africa every day. Rhinos are being butchered while they're was still alive, horns brutally hacked off and left to die painfully. And for what? Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same substance that’s found in your hair and fingerna
David L.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book as research for my new work. i also spent a solid month in S. Africa researching the rhino poaching debacle and horn trade. This book nails it, in cogent language and intense, adventure-riddled research. Kudos, and a must read for anyone wanting to be up to speed on the world of poaching driven by organized crime.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An incredible accomplishment in investigative journalism. The author delves deep into the shocking levels of greed and corruption that have made life hell for these unfortunate creatures in the last 50 years. Impeccably researched and very well written. Well done Mr Rademeyer!
David Cornwall
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary piece of investigative journalism. A must read for anyone interested in the criminal world and organised crime. The writer has gone to great lengths and taken great risks to produce this book.
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. Few books have delved into the underworld of illegal wildlife trafficking like this one has done. Get it.
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jacques Pauw
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant but harrowing. Reads like a thriller.
Killing for Profit is not an easy read for a number of reasons. For many, the topic of dead animals is a difficult one to bear and the thought of rampant greed and corruption creates a feeling of fury and helplessness. While author Julian Rademeyer leads the reader through these true crimes and events from the start of the modern African rhino horn trade, he does so without prejudice and inspires the reader to draw conclusions or to take steps on their own to seek out solutions to the illega ...more
May 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
This is an exceptional piece of investigative journalism. I was impressed at the depth of the investigation and the manner in which the author chose to approach this topic. From Southern Africa to Southeast Asia, Rademeyer sought to explore every end of the supply chain for rhino horn and did so quite well. His examination of poachers, vendors, kingpins, and intermediaries was fascinating. It really shows how corruption, loopholes, and greed perpetuate the destruction of a magnificent species. I ...more
Gaurav Pandey
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best quote of the book I feel - “In Vietnam, it(Rhino Horn) has become a party drug for the wealthy and a panacea for the rich. And yet, it offers no real scientific benefits. Its value is artificial, founded on myth and propagated by greed” – Julian Rademeyer

Heart wrenching, anguishing and gritty book that made by cry like anything.
A read of in-depth investigation which let you know about the shocking heights of corruption and greed which causing an increase cases of rhino poaching every year a
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book, not a moment was boring. Overall a bit sad to read, you realise as an individual there's little you can do, but it's good that this book exists to try to educate people about the scale of the problem.

Some of the chapters didn't flow as a unit and had bits of irrelevant details, perhaps the author was trying to pad each chapter out to an even 20 pages, I'm not sure.
Denise Huxham
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sad indightment of how SA troops stripped Angola of wildlife
Joyce Meijs
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
An opener concerning the black market around rhino horns. With shocking revelations this is one of the books one should read in regards to illegal trade.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book on a bad subject.

Impeccably researched, this is a depressing historical account of how the South African Army, its (Apartheid-era government), unprincipled South African land-owners, corrupt cops, hungry Mozambican and Zimbabwean poachers, Vietnamese diplomats, Thai thugs and prostitutes, a Laotian mafia boss protected by his country's government, and many other sordid characters have conspired one way or another over the past 3 decades to all but wipe out Southern Africa's rhino po
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
This books is very detailed and includes a lot of background information but is still easy to follow and digest all of the data. it really opened my eyes to the severity of rhino poaching and how deep and widespread the issue is. It really hit home for me as I read it during my stay in rural South Africa and was able to see first hand how devastating the poaching is and how depleted populations are. This book is a must read, it is a great starting point if you are interested in becoming more inf ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: conservation - An accurate take on the book... It's not necessarily an easy read as it confronts you with the hard reality of a criminal business that involves so many layers of the society from the participating countries (and ours is not left out...). Knowing the details is crucial in order to make any progress in fighting their preservation and the preservation of any other big and small game species... ...more
Sally Seymore
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a must read! A warning though - it's not a pleasant read and at times it made my stomach turn. I can't believe the cruelty inflicted on these animals, but then one only has to look around to see what man is doing to his fellow species and it becomes believable. The killing of rhinos can only be put down to greed and there are so many levels of society involved in this. ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
a well-written, engaging, and solid book. the non-linear narrative resolves into a story built of concentric circles of greed and corruption (both pre and post apartheid), collusion at all levels and across nations (and races), and the blatant arrogance of humans towards animals. the concentric circles of narrative show us the circles of hell humanity has become in the face of money.
Nick Tredger
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
A must-read for anyone involved with or concerned about the plight of the world's rhino populations. As a species humans should hang their heads in shame - we don't deserve to share this planet. ...more
Fiona Southwood
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Traffic of the rhino horn trade
Wayne Bisset
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The only book on the market about rhino poaching worth reading at present. Some surprising facts about people involved.
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
The terrible background to the war against rhino poaching. Made me despair.
Andrew Pallett
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2021
rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2014
rated it really liked it
Dec 24, 2018
Samantha Woods
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Nov 14, 2016
Matt Bradway
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Jan 02, 2015
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Julian Rademeyer is an award-winning investigative journalist and editor of fact-checking and news website He has written and worked for many of South Africa’s major newspapers including City Press, the Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, Beeld, Pretoria News and The Herald. He has also freelanced for international publications and news agencies including Reuters, the Sydney Morning He ...more

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