VICIOUS CIRCLE by WILBUR SMITH.
When Hector Cross's life is overturned, he immediately recognizes the ruthless hand of an enemy he has faced many times before. A terrorist group has re-emerged - like a deadly scorpion from beneath its rock.
Determined to fight back, Hector draws together a team of his most loyal friends from his former life in Cross Bow Security, a company originally contracted to protect his beloved wife, Hazel Bannock, and her company, the Bannock Oil Corp. Together they travel to the remotest parts of the Middle East, to hunt down those who pursue him and his loved ones.
- Inner Front Cover Blurb, abridged to avoid spoilers
He came fully awake before he moved or opened his eyes.
- First Sentence, Page 1
She on the other hand, was unarmed, barefooted and dressed in restricted clothing. The tiny bedroom was made even smaller by the bed in the centre. For her particular fighting style she needed space in which to manoeuvre, to retreat and feint.
- Memorable Moment
SOURCE ... Ex-library stock.
READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... Yes.
- What's In A Name?: 'A Shape In The Title' category.
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge: 3 of 12 books.
MY THOUGHTS ... Where to begin?
Perhaps the best place is with main character, Hector Cross.
Now as those who are regulars to my blog know I have long since come to the conclusion that I don't have to like a character in order to, well, enjoy them. However, I do need to be able to believe in them and ideally (a) find them at least vaguely interesting and/or (b) be able to relate to them/understand them in some shape or form. None of which particularly applied to Hector Cross.
Sexist, a misogynist, I didn't like the character but on some level I could at least relate to him. Heck, I could even believe in him ... up to a point.
What I found hard, nay, impossible to believe was his relationship with his highly resourceful wife, Hazel, and, even more so, that with his friend and fellow killer, 'kick-ass', Nastiya/Nazzy. Why these women loved him one thing but to hold him in such high esteem? No, alas, I just didn't believe it.
Cross aside ...
Nothing to do with this being part two in a series. Perfectly readable in its own right, the back story more than adequately covered.
A thriller, I'd expect some violence. What I wasn't expecting (or enjoyed) was the level of nauseating, horrifically gratuitous violence. The sexual violence both perverted and yet at times, with descriptions of the male sexual organ that were so hugely exaggerated, somehow oddly laughable.
Highly implausible. A small fortune spent on relocating to an apartment in another country that is to all intents and purposes kitted out as a small fortress only to go jogging on a deserted beach with your baby daughter in a sling and only a body guard in tow? Yeah, right.
An author I admit to having a love/hate liking for, this certainly isn't one of his better books and is, quite possibly, one of his worst.