Gift Guide

Those in Peril

( 60 )


In this nail-biting tale of adventure, bestselling author Wilbur Smith brings his matchless storytelling to bear on the violent, ruthless world of twenty-first-century piracy.


While cruising on the family yacht in the Indian Ocean, nineteen-year-old Cayla Bannock is attacked and taken hostage by Somalian pirates. Her kidnappers demand a staggering ransom: twenty billion dollars. And ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback)
$9.99 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (116) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $5.50   
  • Used (107) from $1.99   
Those in Peril

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99 price


In this nail-biting tale of adventure, bestselling author Wilbur Smith brings his matchless storytelling to bear on the violent, ruthless world of twenty-first-century piracy.


While cruising on the family yacht in the Indian Ocean, nineteen-year-old Cayla Bannock is attacked and taken hostage by Somalian pirates. Her kidnappers demand a staggering ransom: twenty billion dollars. And Cayla’s not just anyone—she’s the daughter of Hazel Bannock, heiress to the Bannock Oil Corporation, one of the world’s foremost oil producers.


The sensitive global political climate means not even the most powerful groups in the world can intervene. Left to handle the problem on her own, Hazel calls on Hector Cross, head of the security agency that protects Bannock Oil. As threats increase and evidence arises of horrific torture, the need to take action becomes more urgent than ever—and soon Hazel and Hector will have no choice but to take the law into their own hands…

“One of the world’s most popular adventure writers.”The Washington Post Book World

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The hijacked yacht is lavish, but for the Somalian pirates, the real prize was the young woman aboard. Nineteen-year-old Cayla Bannock is the daughter of oil heiress Hazel Bannock. Stoking their greed, the kidnappers demand a dizzying twenty billion dollar ransom for her release. Worse yet, world powers seem disinclined to provide any substantive help. Increasingly anxious (for apparently good reason) and with no other options, the mother enlists the help of security company operative Hector Cross to rescue Cayla from the lawless, lascivious monsters. Wilbur Smith (Dark of the Sun; The Sound of Thunder) delivers a high seas, high-risk adventure story.

Tim Flannigan

From the Publisher
Praise for Those in Peril

"Those in Peril is the thriller of the year."—Daily Express (UK)

"Gun-blazing action."—Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Another outstanding adventure from this popular author."—The French Paper (UK)

"As with most of Smith’s books, this one is a cracker of a read."—The Citizen (New Zealand)



“One thrilling package that will be eagerly devoured by fans.”—Publishers Weekly

“There is a reason Smith is a hugely popular writer of historical novels: his remarkable talent for re-creating historical periods and crafting characters we care about is virtually unmatched in the genre. Smith [has] been entertaining readers for nearly five decades, and if this novel is any indication, he is showing no signs of slowing down.”—Booklist


“Everything [Smith’s] fans have come to expect: masterful storytelling and breathtaking adventure…chalk up another winner.”—Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX)

“Espionage, disguise, stabbings in the dark…a story that is—like the Nile itself—swift and powerful.” —Booklist

“Wildly entertaining, compulsively readable.”—Sunday Telegraph (UK)


“The eleventh volume in Smith’s saga of the Courtney clan is every bit as riveting as its predecessors. Brimming with bravado, greed, and romance.”—Booklist

“Really big retro-fun.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A swashbuckling, brawling, sprawling historical epic. Rich, exciting, and fascinating.”—Library Journal

“Adventure and danger at every turn.”—New York Daily News

“Gripping. The writer’s fans will enjoy the ride.”—Publishers Weekly

“Master storyteller Smith takes his story into another generation of adventurers battling on the sea and on land in the settling of South Africa.”—Tulsa World

“Everything Smith’s fans have come to expect from his epic adventure novels. His consummate skill at crafting vast battle scenes, passionate and wildly romantic characters, cruel and bloodthirsty villains, and larger-than-life heroes make Blue Horizon irresistible.”—Journal (Flint, MI)


“When it comes to historical fiction, Smith is without rival. He is a warlock of writers.”—Tulsa World

“Filled with enough action, adventure, battles, betrayals, and actual cliffhangers to satisfy Indiana Jones…rousing.”—The Plain Dealer

“Seamlessly composed, this epic historical drama by veteran author Smith tracks a power struggle in ancient Egypt …evoking the cruel glories and terrible torments of the era. Those willing to brave the blood and gore will be carried away by the sweep and pace of Smith’s tale.” —Publishers Weekly

“Each time I read a new Wilbur Smith I say it is the best book I have ever read—until the next one. It’s the same with Warlock. Brilliant…irresistible and impossible to put down.”—Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX)

“Pulse-pounding…adventure and excitement, with more blood and guts than a slaughterhouse.”—Tampa Tribune Times

“This summer’s most entertaining read…another full-blown tale of war, intrigue, murder, lust, and true love set in ancient Egypt.”—Flint Journal

“Smith is at the top of his game in weaving exotic adventures in this work. Very highly recommended.”—Library Journal

“Smith...returns to the genre with this epic action tale of intrigue, suspense, and adventure set in ancient Egypt. His many fans will be clamoring for copies of this one.”—Booklist

“A stirring tale, full of chariot battles...Smith has whipped up a heady brew...and undoubtedly deserves his immense popularity far more than most of his rivals.”—Evening Standard (UK)

“You can almost feel the heat and taste the dust as the narrative builds to a cracking pace...[Warlock] is a ripping yarn and a classic adventure story.”—Irish News


“A grand tale of intrigue, deception, true love and exile.”—The Denver Post

“Vivid and fascinating...packed with passion, war, intrigue and revenge...sprawling and absorbing...gripping.…A racy rampage through ancient Egypt that puts the reader right there with details that are intimate, inspiring, horrifying….The author makes you see it, hear it—even smell it...Fans will be happy to know Smith hasn’t lost his touch for the dramatic, exotic adventure story.”—The Orlando Sentinel

“A page-turner...few novelists can write action scenes that all but leap off the page the way Smith can...his detailed portrait of ancient Egypt is fascinating.”—Anniston Star (TX)

“A full-blooded epic.”—The London Times

“Like a good action movie, the book ends with a show-down…well-written and entertaining.”—Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)

“Compulsively readable...contains intrigue, romance, greed, cruelty, and furious action...rewarding and satisfying.”—El Paso Herald-Post (TX)

“An epic novel of ancient Egypt, a great adventure with all the right ingredients: victories and defeats, secrets and revelations, life and death, reverence and godlessness, hate and love.”—The Des Moines Register

“[River God] gallops swiftly through the action and flying blood his fans have come to relish...Brightly colored, sweeping escapism.”—Kirkus Reviews


“[A] non-stop thriller that takes readers on a magical tour…this is what makes a Smith book worth reading.” —Midwest Book Review

“Only a handful of 20th century writers tantalize our senses as well as Smith…a rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship.” —Tulsa World

“A wild adventure…brought flawlessly to life through realistic sword fights and sea battles, vivid stories of pirates…breathtaking.” —Times Record News

“A masterful tale of action and suspense....adventure and romance, the novel is an atmospheric trip through the fierce mysteries of the Dark Continent and the Arabian seas.”—Publishers Weekly

“Smith offers plenty of battles and harrowing escapes for adventure fans.”—Library Journal


“A fascinating account...Smith deftly evokes not only the horrific but also the beautiful, particularly the lush landscape of Africa.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Unforgettable...swashbuckling and sensuous, Birds of Prey transcends the average action-adventure yarn.”—The Orlando Sentinel

“A wonderful novel filled with excitement, pirates, and vivid sea battles...vintage Wilbur Smith.”—Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX)

Publishers Weekly
Hot sex, ultra violence, rich beautiful women, brave handsome men—Smith (The Quest) delivers it all in this over-the-top thriller set largely on the high seas. Hector Cross, security chief for Hazel Bannock, owner and CEO of Bannock Oil, battles Somali pirates led by Adam Tipoo Tip and his grandfather, Sheik Mohammed Khan Tipoo Tip, who have kidnapped Cayla Bannock, Hazel's adored 19-year-old daughter. The Tipoo Tips also plan to capture Hazel and ransom her for several billion dollars as well as torture and murder Cross, with whom they have a longstanding blood feud. Cross isn't going to allow the bad guys to carry out their depredations on the Bannock women, especially after he and Hazel become lovers. The author's vast legions of fans should embrace the lurid action, the larger-than-life characters, and the heated prose with their usual enthusiasm. (May)
Library Journal
When Cayla, the spoiled and promiscuous daughter of oil tycoon Hazel Bannock, is kidnapped from her yacht by Islamic fundamentalist pirates off the African coast, Hazel is frustrated by the reluctance of the world's powers to intervene. As her daughter's torture becomes public, Hazel turns to Hector Cross, owner of a private security firm that also protects Hazel's oil fields, to rescue the girl and destroy the pirates. VERDICT Smith's (Assegai; Warlock) many fans will enjoy a tale that includes nonstop action, multiple treacheries, vengeance, extreme violence, and explicit sex. The novel, however, is marred by an implausible plot and sometimes ridiculous dialog. The issue of modern piracy is a tale that needs to be told, and someone like a Tom Clancy or a Frederick Forsyth could have done a much better job. [Library marketing.]—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Kirkus Reviews

Smith tackles modern-day pirates in this adventure novel set in Africa.

Hector Cross has a problem. As the head of Cross Bow Security, he is tasked with protecting the assets of Bannock Oil in Abu Zara. When Somalian pirates kidnap heiress Cayla Bannock, her mother, Hazel, insists on accompanying Hector on the rescue mission. Complicating matters is Adam Tippoo Tip, sheikh of Puntland, a ragtag fiefdom of pirates, who has sworn vengeance against Hector for killing both his father and grandfather. Although Hector and Hazel start off loathing one another, their animosity inevitably gives way to passion. There's quite a bit of sex in the book, and it's typically gratuitous or grisly, including a horrifying gang-rape scene. Smith's action sequences are first-rate, but he's not a reflective writer and the story is marked by flat prose and wooden dialogue. (Cayla, for instance, doesn't come remotely close to sounding like a young American girl from Houston.) Vengeance plays a major role here; it's the chief motivating force for both sides. Curiously, those who have been wronged by the pirate king's schemes embrace their tormenter's notion of what constitutes just punishment: a life for a life. The characters mete out revenge with ruthless savagery, engage in torture and carry out executions, making them no better than the enemy. Hector and Hazel ultimately win the day, but at a price so steep only a cynic would call it a victory.

An uneven, ripped-from-the-headlines swashbuckler whose heroes dodge their enemies' bullets and the implications of their own actions, with mixed results.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250003232
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 333,925
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa. He became a full-time writer in 1964 after the successful publication of When the Lion Feeds, and has since written more than thirty novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have sold more than 100 million copies. Please visit

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Cayla was not certain what had awakened her. She thought she must have heard something. She sat up sleepily on the rumpled bed and listened with her head on one side. The sound was not repeated but something else had changed. Sleep slowed her mind so it took another few seconds for her to realize that the ship’s engines had stopped, and she was rolling ponderously to the surge of the sea.

‘That’s strange.’ She was unconcerned. ‘We cannot possibly have reached port yet.’ Then she realized that her bladder was uncomfortably full. She threw her legs over the side of the bed and stood up. She braced herself to the unusual motion of the yacht and then staggered to the bathroom. She perched on the toilet and sighed with relief as she emptied her bladder. She stood up and started back towards the bed. Moonlight was pouring in through the porthole that looked out over the owner’s private deck and swimming pool.

She was awake now and she paused at the porthole to look out at the starry sky and the dark sea. There was no wake pouring back behind the stern and she realized that her first impression was correct. The Dolphin had stopped. She thought that she would telephone the bridge and find out from the officer of the watch what was happening, but at that moment a shadow passed the porthole, and she realized that there was somebody out there on the private deck.

Immediately she was angry. That area was strictly out of bounds to the crew. She and her mother used it for nude sunbathing and swimming. Now she would certainly call the bridge and have the trespasser castigated. But before she turned away another figure came into her line of sight. He was dressed in dark clothing and had a black Arab shawl wound around his head to cover his face, leaving only his eyes showing. They glinted as he turned towards her. He paused in front of the porthole and peered in. She shrank back in alarm. The man put his face against the glass and raised one hand to shade his eyes, and she realized that the moonlight was insufficient to enable him to see into the darkened cabin. His demeanour was furtive but at the same time menacing. She held her breath and stood frozen with terror. He seemed to be staring into her eyes, but after a few seconds he stepped back from the porthole. With another pang of fear she saw that he had an automatic rifle slung over his shoulder. He vanished from her view but immediately three more dark figures filed swiftly and silently past the porthole. All of them carried automatic weapons.

Now she realized that it must have been the sound of rifle fire that had woken her. She had to get help. She was terrified and shaking. She ran back into her cabin and snatched the satellite telephone from the bedside table. Frantically she dialled the bridge. There was no reply but she let it ring while she tried to think what to do next. There was only one other person she could appeal to. She dialled her mother’s private line. Hazel’s recorded voice instructed her to leave a message. She rang off and immediately dialled again with the same result.

‘Oh, Mummy! Mummy! Please help me.’ She whimpered and began to compose a text message on her mobile phone, her thumbs flying over the keys as she typed.

Terrible things happening. Strange men with guns . . .

She stopped in mid-sentence. There was somebody at the door of her cabin. Somebody was opening the lock with a pass key. She punched the send button on her mobile phone and threw the device into the drawer of her beside table and slammed it shut. In almost the same movement she sprang from the bed. She rushed to the door and threw her weight against it as it began to open.

From Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith. Copyright © 2011 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good action, bad characters

    I received this book through an early reviewer program. Those in Peril deals with a very topical subject, modern-day piracy. The private yacht of a rich oil baroness, Hazel Bannock, is hijacked by pirates and her daughter held for ransom. When legal means of recovering her daughter prove fruitless, she turns to the ex-military head of her private security; a man she doesn't trust or respect, but who will take actions that governments can't or won't. The action sequences in this book are very well written and enjoyable. Those sequences and the leadup to them cover about two-thirds of the book. The other third of the book, dealing with character development and "romance" was simply not credible. The graphicness of the sex scenes didn't bother me, though they may some, but the unbelievability of them did. They seemed straight out a teenage boy's dreams, or a late-night Cinemax movie. Worse though, was the character development. I found myself rooting for one of the "good" characters to get roughed up because she was so thoroughly unlikeable. The two main characters, Hector and Hazel, while likeable enough, had lapses in judgement that were painful to read. The author also felt the need to explain what the characters had done in "thinking to themselves" passages rather than let the action and the dialogue speak for itself. Most of the characters, both "good guys" and "bad guys", made awful and inexplicable decisions seemingly because the plot had nowhere to go if they had just been a little smarter. The pace of the book was generally good, except for a puzzling lull in the middle, and the setting and action of the story was very entertaining. Don't expect to see this book on any list of award nominees, but if you like action and can overlook the lack of believable characters, this book is worth the read.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exhilarating fast-paced thriller

    Adam Tipoo Tip and his grandfather Sheik Mohammed Khan Tipoo Tip set in motion a diabolical scheme to obtain blood money. Off of Africa, they send Somali pirates to kidnap nineteen year old Cayla Bannock who is leisurely sailing on her yacht. When her mother Bannock Oil CEO Hazel learns of her daughter's abduction, though powerful she fails to motivate world leaders to intervene.

    The Tipoo Tip pair torture Cayla so that the world can see even as they demand ransom for her release. Hazel sends her private security chief Hector Cross to rescue her daughter. The Tipoo Tips expected this move as part two of their plan is to abduct Hazel and demand billions and will torture her to get at Cross as they owe him in a long running family blood feud.

    This is an exhilarating fast-paced thriller that is over the top of Mt. Shimbiris with the insane decisions made by the Tipoo Tip duo, the Bannock pair and Cross as logic is a nasty L word. Still the action is non-stop and the locale ideal for a confrontation as fans expect High Noon in Africa.

    Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2011

    not his best

    I have been a Wilbur Smith fan for years and looked forward to this book. The beginning of the book was good until about 150 pages into the middle then either Mr. Smiths' feminine voice came into play or he had a ditzy female writing the thoughts of the two main characters. I was about to give up when the male Smith started writing and the book got exciting again..though not really cretible...not one of the best books he has written..

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Good book wish it was longer

    One of my favorite authors.Read all his books.A little slow in the middle but you know the Somalies aren't finished with Hector.Not as good as his earlier novels but anything by Mr.Smith is highly recommended.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Wilbur finally getting old and loosing it

    This is certainly the worst novel Mr Smith has dreamed up. Not worth your time or finances

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2011

    Contrived; waste of time

    The characters and the dialogue are contrived. I'm finally giving up on Wilbur Smith.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

    Wilbur needs to retire

    Compared to his early books of the pioneer days in Africa, this was horrible. He has replaced colorful narrative and prose with a pornographic attempt to get a made-for-tv contract. Was a waste of money unless you want some graphic sexual content and blood/guts.

    Too bad - I have great memories of his books from years back.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    highly recommended suspenseful historic novel

    I have read most of Wilbur Smith's books as they first came out and have been re-reading the m every 10 yrs. or so. Well conceived and deeply immersed in African, especially southern part history.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Those in Peril

    Very good book...Highly Recommended

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    I this storey ls one of Mr Smith s better stand alone tales.

    I have read all of Mr. Smith s books, some many times. His stand alone stories are complete by thier selves and this is no exception. As always he leaves you wanting more.
    I hope Mr. Smith is in good and will be around for along time. We have lot to many great arthors and he is one of a kind.
    All his tales are loaded with facts and history that I would not know, he makes knowledge easy.
    Thank you Mr. Smith for the hours of enjoyment.
    AEM horswhip

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Filthy, disgusting, and vulgar. Don't waste your time. This coul

    Filthy, disgusting, and vulgar. Don't waste your time. This could be a great book, but is pulled down to the depths of the gutter by the author's obsession with male genitalia. Terrible.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Wow! One of his best!

    a fast paced, page turner that grabs you and won't let you go.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)