Hazel Bannock is the owner of the Bannock Oil Corporation, one of the major global oil producers. While cruising in the Indian Ocean, her yacht is hijacked by Somalian pirates and her 19-year-old daughter Cayla is kidnapped.
Honestly, I think this is one of the worst books I have ever read. I finished the book because the plot was interesting to me (kidnapped daughter, mum teaming up with head of security and wild card teaming up to help save her) but then it completely derailed with the death of the daughter. I found the first chapters interesting and then Hector and Hazel suddenly said ‘I love you’ on Pg 124 (yes, I checked). Look, if I wanted to read about unrealistic romances I would read Mills and Boon, alright?
I’m not sure which detail was the most off-putting – the terrible, fast romance which seemed out of character for both Hector and Hazel, the plot driving straight off the cliff in the second half, how ‘revenge killings’ was fine for Hazel and Hector but when it’s the bad guys doing it, suddenly it’s the worst thing ever, the denial of Hector being racist as if the author thinks they get a get out of jail free card for the later racism because of that, or maybe it was the rape and sex scenes, none of which I found interesting at all.
It felt like the author made sure the characters said all the right things and proceeded to show exactly the opposite (Hector talking about Islam being a religion just like any other and then showing the worst stereotypes of Islam with none of the good parts – the scene with the woman being stoned was not needed, especially for over five pages). It doesn’t make anything automatically better.
I see a lot of the reviews for this book are from people already fans of Wilbur Smith and are now horrified in the quality of this books compared to his other ones, but I’m not one of them. This is the first time I’ve read anything by Wilbur Smith and it was not a good introduction.
One star it is!