Jemma's Reviews > Those in Peril

Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith
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's review
Mar 06, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: book-club, 2012, library
Recommended for: Nobody

'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 Bannock has a troupe of burly Arabic men ready to risk life and limb to blend into the Puntland scenery to retrieve Cayla. The leader of the muscle-brigade, Hector Cross, namesake of the Cross Bow security company, undertakes the mission as his personal favour to the distraught Hazel.

Initially, I thought, "I've never read a book about kidnapping or Arabs, so here goes!". As the book went on, I concluded that I no longer wanted to read about Arabs, and probably not kidnapping ever again.

The first sex-scene of the book was so very obviously written by a man, practically worshipping the man's prowess. I found this passage very uncomfortable and awkward, and the only reason I could see for it being written was to portray the naivete of the young girl.

I found the passages containing brutal rape, torture, and drawn-out murder to be increasingly uncomfortable and disturbing. It somewhat made me question the necessity of such gruesome storytelling. The monstrosity of the Sharia law, taken to extremes, was portrayed in shocking intensity.

On the other hand, the parts of the novel concerned with courting and romance were sickening and clichéd. It was disappointingly cheesy and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I think the last line of the novel was something like "And they pranced down the hill together with jollity as if nothing had happened".

I will give Wilbur Smith one credit - he knows how to write a convincing Arab/Somalian kidnapping, but he really needs to work on male/female relationships and creating realistic pairings.

I will not recommend this book to anyone I know.
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Reading Progress

March 6, 2012 – Started Reading
March 6, 2012 – Shelved
March 6, 2012 – Shelved as: book-club
March 18, 2012 –
page 174
45.08% "Not overly thrilling so far. A simple plot with cheesy cliches. I will continue and finish it for the sake of the book club!"
March 23, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012
March 23, 2012 – Finished Reading
January 27, 2013 – Shelved as: library

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Sebastian (new) - added it

Sebastian read When the lion feeds
you will not be dissapointed

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