Wednesday 10 April 2019

Book Review: Predator by Wilbur Smith

Last Updated: 12 September 2021

Predator by Wilbur Smith book cover


Two men are responsible for the death of Hector Cross’ wife and only one is left alive: Johnny Congo – psychopath, extortionist, murderer, and the bane of Cross’s life. He caught him before and let him go. Now, Hector wants him dead. So does the US government.

Congo is locked up on Death Row in the most secure prison in the free world, counting down the days until his execution. He’s got two weeks. He wants out. He’s escaped before and knows he can again, and with whizz kid D’Shonn Brown enlisted, he might just have a chance.

Cross, still licking his wounds from his last bruising encounter with Congo, is back and ready for work. In the middle of the rough Atlantic stands oil supertanker Bannock A. Terrorist activity in the area has triggered panic and there’s only one person they can trust to protect her.

What is promised as a cakewalk turns out to be much more, a mission that will test Cross to his emotional and physical limits. But a life spent in the SAS and private security has left Cross hard-wired for pain and as he is thrown into the bull pit once more, he will not stop until he has snared his prey.

Hector Cross is Predator.

Before reading this book, I had heard a lot of good things about Wilbur Smith, but Predator is the first of his books that I have read.

Predator is the third book in the Hector Cross series (yes, I know - breaking my rule of not reading books in a series out of order!) but I feel it gives sufficient background to be read as a standalone too.

Fast-paced, high-drama thrillers like these are often a bit of a marmite genre for me - I seem to either love them or hate them. While I definitely didn't hate Predator, sadly, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would either.

I struggled to find myself invested in the storyline and didn't really form any personal attachments to any of the characters, which left a big disconnect. This isn't to say that the characters were not fully formed - because they were - I just couldn't connect to any of them on an emotional level, which is important to me when reading.

Of course, the stakes were high and the plot hurtled along at a breakneck pace, but for all the action and adventure, actual engagement with the story was low. I struggled to get through the book and had to make myself pick it up to keep on reading more than once - definitely not a good sign.

Predator covers a lot of ground and in my opinion, could have benefitted from being simplified in order to allow more time to focus on various parts of the story. As a result, I felt the beginning was too drawn out and the ending was too rushed, making it feel a little anticlimactic. 

Rating: 2 stars

Predator is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Have you read the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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