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on February 20, 2004
This book is an adventure through the Congo with a band of mercenaries.Merceneries with nothing to lose. This was a really good read. The characters are well developed. It was hard to put this one down. This book gives you a glimpse as to why some peolple turn to the merc life. Characters have tragic lives that can you can relate to. This book shows you what goes on in Africa. You get a good perspective of the logic a killer could have. How a killer would rationalize a massacre. A good peice you'll pick up again. And it'll put some hair on your chest.5 stars bucko.
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on January 24, 2013
The book is a action adventure story that takes place during the Congo Independence war in 1960. A company of gendarmes under the command of mercenaries are tasked to rescue some civilians and diamonds from a secluded town.

The story has a redemption drama as the four mercenaries all have personal histories that need redemption. All find their deliverance, except the one who finds justice. The redemption drama is a story within a story; as the soldiers execute the rescue they are rescued from their own socio-spiritual conditions. The writing might be pre-modern in philosophy because of the references to god and the idea that some are rescued in contrast to those who die.

In my opinion the book is case study in bad leadership. The commander decides not to travel at night and wastes about 12 or more hours and that sets the stage for 4 gun fights and the loss of life. In another scenario the commander decides to rebuild the burnt out bridge, when he could have used the dredger barges in the town to get across the river. Another bad decision was the failure to handcuff the bad mercenary after he murdered the two children; he later rapes the girl and steals the diamonds. The last bad decision was to decide to fight hand to hand with the bad mercenary, instead of going back to where the dead tracker's gun was abandoned.

Despite all that the hero wins in the end. Yes, it is just fiction and a good read at that. The story could be used in leadership studies, but its good enough to sit back and read a good book.
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on August 25, 2013
I have been reading Wilbur Smith books since the 70's, the African ones being my favourites.
I am starting to read all of them again and love them all. If you are looking for an author
to capture the true essence of African life in those years, Wilbur is the man.
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on October 29, 2013
I ordered two books yesterday october 28th,and have not had them put on my kindle yet......Have invoices that I should have them.please look after this.......

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on May 12, 2016
I have yet to read a Wilber Smith novel, that I have not enjoy
Thank you
Gunner ( military nickname )
Jonathan W Hall CD3
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on March 20, 2014
Lightweight book not as good as the later ones. Easy quick read, weak character development. Guys book, simplistic plot and obvious.
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