Wilbur Smith is a well established author with actions generally centered in Africa. His protagonists are always men and women of action involved in stories of events that are never sedate or ordinary. He has also penned a series of novels involving ancient Egypt and people living at that time. Predator, written in conjunction with Tom Cain, adds events set in Texas and the maximum security prison located at Huntsville into a scenario that also takes in a section of the African continent.
Former SAS major Hector Cross has been introduced in previous books. He had his own security company which he had sold to Bannock Oil after marrying Hazel Bannock the daughter of Bannock’s founder. In a previous novel Cross runs into the arch villain, Johnny Cane. Cross defeated Cane, but did not kill him as he wanted to due to Hazel’s request not to do so. In return Cane killed Hazel making Cross his enemy like never before. Cane is sent to Huntsville to await his execution that had been previously sentenced but on the day that he was to die escapes and manages to leave the US and set up in Africa.
Hector Cross has the contract for security for Bannock Oil, and after a costly mishap to that company in Alaska brings his company to Africa. Bannock is involved in opening a new oil field offshore of Cabinda, a small, but emerging prosperous African nation due to the oil found. CrossBow, Cross’ company, finds itself up to it’s eyeballs in alligators when terrorists organized and financed by Johnny Cane attack and destroy a Bannock oil rig. It is obvious that they intend to cause further harm and the reason why becomes apparent when a woman working for a law firm with Bannock as it’s client finds incriminating evidence involving the lawyer’s actions. She reports her suspicions to Cross, but is killed when the legal firm’s backers realize what she has done.
With Smith’s predilection for continued action the reader is caught up in Cross’ actions to get rid of Johnny Cane, protect Bannock and exact revenge for the killing of both his wife Hazel and the woman contacting him about her suspicions of her firm. Along the way, Hector finds new love with both a lady, as well as the daughter he had with Hazel before she was killed. There will most assuredly be further adventures involving Hector Cross and his security firm CrossBow. With Wilbur Smith’s ability to mesmerize his readers these novels will certainly be sought after.
3/16 Paul Lane
PREDATOR by Wilbur Smith & Tom Cain. William Morrow (March 22, 2016). ISBN 978-0062276476. 416p.