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Vicious Circle Hardcover – October 8, 2013

3.2 out of 5 stars 640 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Hector Cross Series

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Editorial Reviews

From 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.)

From Booklist

Following closely on the heels of 2011’s Those in Peril, this oddly paced thriller finds Hector Cross, former soldier turned wealthy landowner and businessman, grief-stricken after a devastating attack on his wife and their unborn child. He vows to find the people responsible and to make them pay for what they’ve done. Sounds like the makings of a really good thriller, but Smith’s stately pacing and his frequently overwrought writing (“Scream as much as you like. No one will hear you. No one will come to help you. No one will believe you”) makes the book a bit of a slog for readers accustomed to speedy storytelling in their action-driven thrillers. Some of Smith’s prose might rub some readers the wrong way, too, when they encounter lines that seem distinctly out of place in a modern novel (“An hour dragged by like a cripple”). Recommended mainly for veteran best-seller Smith’s devoted fan base; others will be disappointed. --David Pitt
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st Us Edition edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250000319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250000316
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (640 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found my first Wilbur Smith book 30+ years ago at a school library when my family and I were living just outside Nairobi, Kenya. His books were a great find for a young teenager, new to living in Africa and thoroughly enjoying the adventure. As a result, I and my brothers have kept pace with Mr. Smith since then, eagerly awaiting new installments and adventures for his various fictional dynasties.

It's with real regret that I have to pan Mr. Smith's latest novel. In fact, if I had to do it over again, I would have stopped reading his books after Monsoon in 1999. A "Vicious Circle" is a story full of characters acting in unbelievable (as in not credible and ridiculous) ways, a plethora of unerotic and painfuly detailed sex scenes, and unreal action scenes.

While I highly recommend readers turn to his earliest books for some engaging yarns, please do yourselves a favor and skip this one.
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I have read all of WS's books.
Vicious Circle is the worst book he has written, and left me totally disappointed and disgusted.
The whole book centers around graphic, sick sexual depravity and violence which is repeated constantly throughout the whole book.
Detailed graphic child incest, repeated rape, people being fed to pigs and crocodiles..........

Sorry - this is not the Wilbur Smith who has given me so much entertainment over many decades.
I dont think I will buy another of his books
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Format: Hardcover
I've only read half a dozen of Wilbur Smith's books, and generally I enjoy them. His knowledge apropos the great African Continent is exceptional. However this book together with his previous 'Hector Cross' book, in my opinion are particularly poor. Why he thought it necessary to introduce so much violence, and licentious sex in his books, is totally beyond me ? I was always of the view he was a far better author then that ? Still, at the end of the day, I suppose he writes books to make money. And in order to do so, you must attract a buying market.

Still, it's sad to see an author of Wilbur Smith's reputation, who apparently now finds it necessary to write material that seemingly appeals to only one specific demographic? A group who relishes in reading tawdry and salacious books. Books of a kind that can only be described as degenerate and debauched. Surely Mr Wilbur Smith, with your enormous intellect and literary mastery, you can do far better than this 'Hector Cross' series ?
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I have enjoyed Mr. Smith's prior novels including the first one in this series. However, I concur with the other 1 star reviews [and that's a generous rating as it should be a <-3>] that this is simply not worth reading and I have returned it for a full refund. I am over 60 and not considered sensative in any respect. Nonetheless, this book offended me as I really did not need the lurid descriptions of everything from incest, to gay relationships, to whatever. I wanted to find some story and did not. What I got was a purported novel allegely written by a professional novelist that failed to do anything other than convince me that buying it was mistake, reading it proof of my willingness to endure, and returning it proof of my common sense. I will not waste time with specifics other than to note that whomever wrote this garbage is in need of serious professional help and a review of his prior works to find his balance. I am simply not able to believe that Mr. Smith actually wrote this alleged book. If he did, he wins and I am never going to waste time with another one. It is proof that pre-ordering books based upon the author is not a good idea some of the time. Perhaps with counseling and appropriate medication, Mr. Smith can return to the land of the normal and start writing something not akin to pornography. I truly hope that occurs.
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By cindy mace on October 23, 2013
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Quite possibly the worst book I have read in years. I started out liking it but by the point where the author began to describe in sado- masochistic/ snuff film detail the torture and killing of the family it had gone too far. Torture and murder are nothing new or shocking in the genres I normally read, but this man is writing through some sick fantasies all his own. No I certainly would not recommend it to anyone who is at least not a little damaged already!
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I have read everything Wilbur Smith. He is the most powerfully graphic writer I know. Most of his books are wonderful,enlightening and entertaining. Some plots are a little weird but still his stories flow with vivid descriptive language. His stories have taken me to the dark continent of Africa with rich historical and cultural detail from vastly different periods of history. His use of violence has usually been intense and brief and only a small and necessary part of his story, until now.

In this newest book his story seems a weak premise, like an excuse for, extreme prolonged violence and vulgar sexual perversion that goes on and on, to the point of boredom. I'm unlikely to make it to the end of this one. No more Hector Cross series for me.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I love the work of Wilbur Smith, no one can deny his use with words is phenomenal. However I stumbled across an article that would explain the recent book releases which weren't quite the Smith's way of writing. He was given a large amount of money to come up with book plots with which he doesn't have to write and is taking more of a backseat view with his works. To me this is quite disappointing, I have not come across another author that has his flare.
You can read the article here : [...]
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