Having read all of his books I feel I can say with some confidence that this is one of his best. Like all of his stories the captures the reader’s imagination rapidly, then holds it throughout. This particular tale is so gripping in my view because of it’s relevance to life today.
Hazel Bannock is beautiful, supremely fit and the heiress to the Bannock Oil Corporation. She travels around the globe the way normal folk would go out to do the shopping. With barely imaginable resources it’s hard to believe that anything could faze this ex-professional tennis player.
Hector Cross is larger than life, handsome, fit, good with people, weapons and difficult situations. He is also the owner and head of operations of Cross Bow Security, which not surprisingly provides for the requirements of the Bannock Oil empire.
Hazel and Hector on first meeting would not seem destined to ever be on decent terms. They both hold a grudging admiration of the other’s ability in a chosen field but are hardly likely to become bosom buddies. Personal differences are forgotten when Cayla, Hazel’s thrill seeking young daughter is kidnapped on the high seas by African pirates and held to ransom. The Indian Ocean is in the news often and it’s this that for me brought a fresh realism to Wilbur Smith’s tale.
Muslim beliefs, torture, international relations, sex, violence and good old fashioned heroism are all mixed throughout this magical story with a cast of believable characters. You’ll feel the loss when certain people die and you’ll feel the elation when others succeed.