Vicious Circle (Hector Cross Series #2) by Wilbur Smith, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Vicious Circle (Hector Cross Series #2)
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Vicious Circle (Hector Cross Series #2)

3.3 22
by Wilbur Smith

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
London security expert Hector Cross, now married to Hazel Bannock (“seventh on Forbes magazine’s list of the richest women in the world”), continues his battle with Somali warlord Tippoo Tip in bestseller Smith’s lurid sequel to 2011’s Those in Peril. Early on, a Mercedes van driven by a man wearing a Richard Nixon mask deliberately broadsides the red Ferrari that Hazel is driving on her way home to Brandon Hall, the couple’s 18th-century estate outside Winchester. After extensive sleuthing and a long backstory set in a prison, Hector tracks down the perpetrators of the attack to a hilltop fortress in tiny Kazundu, “the poorest country on the African continent.” Readers, especially new ones, should be prepared for descriptions of death in all its many gory possibilities, as well as scenes of rape (both hetero- and homosexual), child molestation, sexual slavery, and torture. The exciting action scenes and larger-than-life characters, though, will appeal to a broad range of thriller fans. Agent: Kevin Conroy Scott, Tibor Jones & Associates. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Smith (Those in Peril, 2011, etc.) continues the saga of Hector Cross, warrior, rich man. Hector ran Crossbow Security, until he attempted the rescue of Cayla Bannock. Cayla died, but Cross married Cayla's mother, Hazel, widowed Bannock Oil heiress. Now, Hazel's pregnant. After a gynecologist visit, the pair set out in separate vehicles for their English estate. There's an ambush. Hazel is mortally wounded, but baby Catherine Cayla is saved by cesarean. Cross believes the ambush is the "blood feud" work of the "survivors of the family of Hadji Sheikh Mohammed Khan Tippoo Tip," engineers of Cayla's kidnapping. Clan leader Aazim Muktar is in Mecca. Cross secures Catherine in a fortress atop a skyscraper in Abu Zara, fount of Bannock wealth. Cross then slips into Mecca to confront Muktar, only to learn he's a peaceful holy man. Smith simplifies narrative action with a moneyed protagonist able to afford cutting-edge weaponry and technology, and he pads the tale with a hard left turn in midstory to present a novel within a novel about the villain, Carl Peter Bannock, born Karl Pieter Kurtmeyer, spawn of a Gestapo officer adopted by Bannock Oil's founder. Carl's imprisoned for incestuous rape but is still a Bannock Trust beneficiary. He wants the final heir, Catherine, eliminated. In a Texas prison, Carl befriends Johnny Congo, aka King John Tembo Kikuu of Kazundu--refugee African royalty gone bad. Carl's released, engineers Johnny's escape, and the two psychopaths restore Johnny to his African throne. Cross learns this from a former trust lawyer. Smith's narrative is bloated, sometimes fact deficient, reliant on implausibilities, and laced with gratuitous, gut-churning violence inflicted upon innocents. The dialogue is often affectedly old world; action regularly stops to order the right wine or exotic foodstuff or summon obsequious staff. Characters are either flat or over-the-top superhumans and impervious to harm, although a bad guy does survive to populate a sequel. Not for the faint of heart, or stomach.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Hector Cross Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

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Vicious Circle 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was probably the most poorly written book I've read in the past 10 years or so. The fact that it has Wilbur Smith's name on it makes it infinitely more depressing. It's so bad that I question whether Mr Smith actually wrote it. The plot takes so many pointless turns that it does help to distract from the glaring holes and factual errors. The characters are laughably unbelievable and cartoonish. (Think Barbara Cartland writing a Tom Clancy novel.) The dialogue is stilted and dated. (Do all South Africans shun contractions?) The descriptions of Africa are spot on as always, but the scenes set in London seemed mainly designed to produce an income from all of the luxury product placements. What is most jarring are the incredibly graphic scenes (and there are a lot) of depraved sex and violence. I'm a jaded New Yorker, and this stuff is just plain gross. And way beyond gratuitous. If you're a Wilbur Smith fan, do yourself a favor and remember him for his earlier books. If you aren't, you really should read any and all of his books EXCEPT this one. And if you're Wilbur Smith and reading this, I personally think it's time to retire if this is all you've got left in you.
HeyRon More than 1 year ago
A story you can't stop and put down. I've read everything by Wilbur Smith, which describe life, animal, plant, and the depiction of the vivid color, smell and sight of Africa. At times very violent. This was exceedingly violent. I sense a lot of anger in the author. I will continue to read Wilbur Smith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are a group of readers from Israel who loved Wilbur Smith and read all he published as soon as it was available It is with great dissapointment that we say: This book should never have been written and certainly published Sir: This isthe worst you ever wrote, if it was you who wrote it If this was a financial necesity I am sure your faithful readers would have sent you the money not to publish this under your name Yitzchakmor@gmail,com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many pages wasted to describe designer clothes and gourmet dishes. Feels like fillers. Disappointing.
meadowhouse More than 1 year ago
If there was an option to give this book zero stars, that would be my rating. For anyone with over a third grade vocabulary this book will be difficult to read. It reminds me of a Dick and Jane book. The dialogue is trite and frequently condescending and always unrealistic. Seriously, can you imagine the following dialogue during a life and death battle with two psychopaths: "Jo...are you copying?" :Affirmative...But goodness gracious me, what is all that din?" ..." They have done a runner." I couldn't bear for anyone else to waste their time reading this book so instead of recycling it to the library or yard sale, I threw it in the trash.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wilbur Smith has done it again. He captivates the reader from the beginning, then you just can't turn the pages fast enough. Terrific novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
trouse More than 1 year ago
Many well done sections BUT too many manufactured twists that are- to say the least-not up to his usual great running story lines. While still a pretty good read not his best effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is no doubt, a phenomenal sequel. It is a page turner in the truest sense. Wilbur is a master story teller, painting a vivid picture that really drops you into each locale. He paints an accurate description of Africa and his meticulous research of all locations he writes about really shows. As usual, this story is full of heart-stopping moments. His stories are difficult to put down and a few times, before I knew it, it was the middle of the night. It is cleverly written and offers the right amount of intrigue and passion. The book pulls you in and it is difficult to put it down. The way the book ends, it really makes you yearn for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wilbur does it again.
jobar More than 1 year ago
First of all, I hate to rehash books. If you enjoy reading Wilbur Smith, you will enjoy his latest book. I could hardly put it down and read the last chapter twice. Now for the sequel..... I'm impatiently waiting!!!! I read Vicious Circle on my Nook and have all his books except the Seventh Scroll Egyptian series on my Nook. Why can't we get ALL his books in electronic format here in the USA? It's very frustrating to start a series and then find that a book or two has been left out. I understand they are all available in the UK, but not here. WHY? Will someone please do something about that and give us the rest of his stories in electronic format?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of his 35 books,he is my favorite story teller,,this is a good story but not as exciting or smooth as as his other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Smith's prior books. This story just didn't ring true. Hector falling in love so soon?  Not finishing off a murderer of a family member?  Taking orders from an armature ?  Not what I had been waiting for. Looking forward to the next book though I hope we can give Mr. Cross a break for awhile Skip this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
texas_rangy More than 1 year ago
Jack Higgins may have written himself out. Nothing left. I am glad I got it from the library rather than paying good money for it that could be used for something better. One requirement for a novel is the willing suspension of disbelief. In Vicious Circle there is only disbelief. If locations are a key there should be a modicum of accuracy in describing them. I have usually felt Higgins portrayed Africa fairly accurate ( I have lived in several African countries) but there is no place there that is remotely like his imaginary nation. I think he is still mentally living in 1960.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time I've read anything by this author and I couldn't put it down So rivoting, it left me on the edge of my seat. I have also ordered one of his other books.
Divco More than 1 year ago
I read as much of Wilbur Smith as I can. I have never been to Africa but, Mr Smith has shown me much of it's majesty. Vicious Circle is another great read.