Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith (Macmillan)
Hazel Bannock is the heir to the Bannock Oil Corp, one of the major oil producers with global reach. While cruising in the Indian Ocean, Hazel's private yacht is hijacked by African pirates. Hazel is not on board at the time, but her nineteen year old daughter, Cayla, is kidnapped and held to ransom. The pirates demand a crippling twenty billion dollar ransom for her release. Complicated political and diplomatic considerations render the civilized major powers incapable of intervening.

When Hazel is given evidence of the horrific torture which Cayla is being subjected to, she calls on Hector Cross to help her rescue her daughter.

Hector is the owner and operator of Cross Bow Security, the company which is contracted to Bannock Oil to provide all their security. He is a formidable fighting man. Between them Hazel and Hector are determined to take the law into their own hands.

What a read!  What an exhausting, breath-taking, gripping read!  A glorious 2 week read that kept me fastened to my chair with a mug of tea halfway to my mouth.

The story opens with Hector Cross, owner and operator of Crossbow Security, a very rugged, arrogant male lead.  Hazel Bannock, the heir to Bannock Oil; a global oil producer, is our sultry female lead. 

While cruising the depths of the Indian Ocean, Hazel’s private yacht is hijacked by Somalian Pirates but Hazel isn’t on board; her daughter Cayla is.  Cayla is kidnapped and ransomed.  Hazel has no one of power to help her and so she calls on Hector Cross to help her get Cayla to safety.  It wouldn’t be Wilbur without the romance, lust and fast-paced action.

I have only ever read one Wilbur Smith, When the Lion Feeds, and I promptly placed it in my Top 10 books you have to read before you die. I had such high expectations for his other adventures so I refused to pick another one up thinking I would be sorely disappointed.

What convinced me to read this one? My Dad, an avid collector of Wilbur since the age of 16, said about Those in Peril (Exact Quote): “Finally, Wilbur is Back Baby!”

The cover of the book says “Taken, Tortured, Ransomed” what it doesn’t say is that “The Reader is Taken, Tortured (in a good way) with cliff hangers and plot twists, and Ransomed from any sort of social life when this books cross their path”.  

An incredibly gasp worthy, action-packed, wide-eyed staring, up till all hours, a un-put-down-able read.  I made a total of 21 cups of tea and neither of them were finished warm; I was too distracted with sweeping rogues and bombs going off before my eyes.

I love the way Wilbur Smith writes like he is writing a movie, maybe not on purpose, but it sure plays like a fast paced action movie; blaring guns and grenades, catchy one liners and steamy love scenes that left me blushing at the page.  

Scene setting is Wilbur’s strong point; the reader is left feeling and smelling the desert sands and harsh conditions Hazel and Hector (and their small force of an army) have to endure.  

Those in Peril doesn’t leave behind a fun and kooky cast of characters that hold you to your seat and with each interaction you love or hate them more and more.  

My Favourite Quote:
“She took her mobile phone from her pocket of her handbag and switched it on.  The legend on the screen read ‘You have 2 missed calls & 1 message’. ‘Do you wish to view your messages?’
She pressed ‘show’
I wonder what my little monkey wants now, she asked herself fondly, and the text appeared.
It was chillingly short and simple:

You think you know Wilbur, think again... Welcome to Hell on Water.

What more can I say but... Buy it. Read it. Love it.

Keen on reading this book? Click here to either review the book or purchase your own copy.

Fan of Wilbur Smith? Was this his best work yet? Tell us what you think?

Sign up for women24's book club newsletter and stand a chance to win our top ten books from