Hazel Bannock is heir to the Bannock Oil Corporation, one of the major global oil producers. While cruising the Indian Ocean, her yacht is hijacked by Somalian pirates and her 19-year-old daughter, Cayla, kidnapped. The pirates demand a crippling 20-billion-dollar ransom for her release, and complicated political and diplomatic sensitivities render the major powers incapable of intervening.
With growing evidence of the horrific torture to which Cayla is being subjected, Hazel calls on Hector Cross to help her rescue her daughter. Hector is the man behind Cross Bow Security, the company contracted to Bannock Oil Corporation to provide all their protection. He is a formidable fighting man. Between them, Hazel and Hector are determined to take the law into their own hands.
For nearly 50 years, internationally best-selling author Wilbur Smith has thrilled readers with novels set during the Egyptian era all the way up through the present day. Now, Those in Peril brings his matchless storytelling to bear on the violent, ruthless world of 21st-century piracy.
©2011 Wilbur Smith (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
I am a big fan of Wilbur Smith's books, and have all of his published works. This by far is the most disappointing book I have listened too. Characters are ridiculous and unbelievable, the story line while interesting is predictable and I have had to fast forward through all the sex scenes, which are far too graphical as far as I am concerned.
I had to keep listening despite the horrid sound of the womens' voices. I just could not believe how lame and insipid the characters and plot were. At least I got some satisfaction when the most irritating character (and voice) was killed off. At best this is a comic book. Not sure what the effusive reviewers were smoking while listening. The chapter that was available as a free preview was far better than anything that followed.
Rupert Degas was nothing short of amazing. Best performance of an audio book I've ever heard. His acting skills are unmatched, his dialects flawless and his gender distinctions totally believable. Really stunning.
I've read everything from this author and can recommend him without reserve. Don't however, start with Those in Peril. It may give the impression Smith novels are given to liberal portions of sex and violence, which they are not. A little, yes, but not to this degree.
Smith is a master of dialog and characterization. Everyone has their own voice and personality and are helped along in no small part by Degas' talent. But Smith tends to kill some of his best people off, which is kind of distressing, so I try not to get too attached to any one character if i can help it. I thought the shark fin soup was a bit over the top and was a little put-off by the African aristocracy. But, as always, Smith's vision of the world along with his ability to paint the picture in my imagination are wonderful.
The 'erotic' parts (when questioned in an interview about the pornographic elements of the novel, Smith preferred to use this word to describe the sexual encounters) of the novel were a little weird knowing that they came from the fertile mind of a man nearing 80. I wouldn't want my kids reading this until they were about 40. Intensely graphic and surprising.
It was fortunate that Degas was chosen to animate this story. IMO it is the weakest story Smith has ever turned out. When added to some of the questionable content (sex and violence that at times seemed gratuitous), had it not been so beautifully narrated, i would have been disappointed.
Wow - I felt like I was 15 again - sex so fast I didn't get a chance to enjoy it... Don't get me wrong, I like the added sexual tension Smith typically provides. It has a place. But so early in the book, no real build-up to the event, just raw, very descriptive sex. Smith's descriptions of the acts are very real, making it difficult to drive and listen. As for the main character, a supposed strong women who men fear. But a down right wimp, whiny, flacid personality when it comes to here daughter. She crys and whines like a teenager when she should be even stronger. Maybe later in the book she'll improve. I'm only a few hours into the book and plan to continue listening. Got to hope ol' Wilber pulls this one off in the end.
I love Wilbur Smith. I have been reading him for years. This offering has more ugly sex than I care for but I still enjoyed the story and characters. My biggest complaint is against Rupert Degas' attempt at a young woman's voice. It almost made me give up on the audio. Mr. Degas, make sure any future books you narrate have only male characters.
Cliched offering with very descriptive sexual situations. The narrator does well with all voices except one and I was relieved when the character made her exit. Listen and you will know right away who it is. The ruggedly handsome, arrogant hero kills an arab warlord's sons and because of that the warlord plans to destroy the family of hero's rich, savvy, athletic, and beautiful employer. She's not too savvy, because she never puts it together... Kind of like an Iris Johanson story written by a man. Iris does it better and has a tighter storyline.
Don't think so
Story was good, until the sex scene -
Extremely graphic sex scene near the beginning. Decided not to listen to the rest. Enjoyed the book up to that point. Disappointed and wish there was some kind of "heads up" for potential listeners.
Hector Cross is a winner and hopefully there will be many more books of this ilk to follow Vicious Circle.
Now if we could just get Audible to carry A Sparrow Falls the last of the original Sean Courtney series, many more listeners could experience the joy of a Wilbur Smith novel.
I wanted to love it but there are several things hard (impossible) to overlook the first being the horrific female voices by narrator Rupert Degas. Nail on a chalk board doesn't come close to describing it. Second, Wilbur's misogyny continues full bore. On the one hand he wants you to love and admire the women in his stories but then he unleashes such unspeakable, graphic violence on them you really have to wonder. The violence, physical and emotional, to women in this book is astounding. What kept me listening, oddly enough, was the narration. When Rupert Degas wasn't doing female voices he was brilliant.
I have enjoyed many of Wilbur Smith's books. This one is a long way from his best.
The writing it just good enough to keep you listening but the characters, dialog and events fail to come together in a compelling way. Some of the content is horrific and the sex scenes are way too detailed. I think most I found most frustrating was the bizarre reactions of the characters to horrific life events.
One of the characters is kidnapped and attacked by a gang of men, an event that would destroy the lives of many and has to lead to abrupt personality changes, but a few chapters later she is acting as if nothing happened. The attack has about the same impact on her as an unpleasant trip to the dentist.
I couldn't help but think that the first draft of this book accidentally got published. All the Wilbur Smith elements are there, and some of the scenes are great but it just doesn't come together as a cohesive whole.
Rupert Degas' narration is very very good - he does an excellent job with characterization and in building suspense as the hours go by.
Not worth a credit - there are many better things to listen to from Audible.
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