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The Diamond Hunters

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,049 ratings  ·  72 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)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,049 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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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!
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this very much. Lots of action. A good insight into the diamond business in South Africa. And a great adventure story. Wilbur Smith does it again Highly recommended.
Aug 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
Drama involving a diamond-mining family. One of the 2 sons is told he is adopted but his "father" is very cold and mean. Adopted son is attracted to his "sister." Brother is awful person. A lot of spelling and grammatical errors. This is just not the kind of book I like. Almost all soap-opera and not much action. Familiar tale with man spending whole life trying to earn the love and respect of father figure. I only skimmed through this in one day.
Copyright 1971 and 2005
Baz MW
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A high 3 stars. This is so far from my usual genres and I've never read a Wilbur Smith before but this won't be my last.
I learnt loads throughout this book and gained a great appreciation for the Saffa diamond trade.
This book definitely ages well and when you pass the halfway mark, all hell breaks loose and the action begins. Storms and bloodshed ensue!
Thomas Strömquist
A bit simple and formulaic adventure/thriller with an uncomplicated hero character fighting bad guys with no redeeming character traits. Straightforward story and a quick read.
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very easy Wilbur Smith - I think a one off story. A good blokes book.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an intense and gripping read that follows the Van Der Byl children, including the foster child Johnny Lance, as they deal with their father's death and the legacy of the diamond company he has left them. Unfortunately, the rivalry between Johnny and Benedict that began when they were children has joined them in adulthood and has even been encouraged by their father as he sets all three up with the ultimate temptation, to destroy each other. And so begins a story of conspiracy, jealousy ...more
Zoe McKain
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, fiction, crime
3 and a half stars. This would have been really good if the ending didn't just.. End.. I like to be told what happened next not just assume. Plus now I miss out on retribution and justice. Not fair. ...more
spike marlin
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another rip roaring read by Wilbur Smith. Basically the same stock characters, where the down trodden good guy gets girl the money and the bad guy is vanquished into the unknown. I guess that is why I read them. Good summer reads and the reader doesn’t have to think much. A good read.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not one of his best but then it was one of his early offerings.
Mary Ann Stankovsky
As good as ever

I had to go get a drink of water after I finished this. You'll find out why. I'm always sorry to finish his books.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
not the best Wilbur Smith I have read. it is a quick easy read, story is OK, characters are a bit simplistic.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, thriller
I really enjoyed this one its a fast paced adventure that makes you want to find out what happens next
David Foster
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed again after many years. Didn't remember the story until the dredging ship was described. Great read.
P Cleallsmith
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Harris
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A typical Wilbur, all the usual features that make up one of his books. Not his best but as usual, I couldn’t put it down.
Tether Campbell
I made myself finish this book even though it took me four months in bits and pieces to do so. I get why some people would enjoy this author, he's just not for me.
Barbara Bengston
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Action-packed adventure.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
An entertaining, tightly written novel by one of the master story tellers of the last four decades.

"The Diamond Hunters" is not complicated and is a really short tale. However, Smith holds the readers attention by moving swiftly to develop the characters and plot. During the development process, he also does not leave much to chance when it comes to who you the reader will likely be rooting for. Moreover, the pace of his story is very fast, with almost no slow or sluggish parts.

Despite the
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
May 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, thriller
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.
M. A. P.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novel-novella
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
Jan 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kyosuke Torihara
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
2. 80min.
3. Jacobus, rich, plentiful, diamonds, ship, explode,Johnny
4. a) Johnny...I love you.
b) I can understand Tracey's feeling. She couldn't help Johnny. She could just stare him from the helicopter. It is a lonely thing.
5. It was difficult for me to understand situation especially last part. I think people want to be rich. But there is a problem. If they take an action, the bad things happen not only story but also around us.
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
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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 ...more