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The Leopard Hunts in Darkness St. Martin’s Paperbacks Wilbur Smith


10th March 2013 Literature & Fiction 24 Comments

In Manhattan, Craig Mellow is the toast of the literary world, a young writer whose bestselling novels and larger-than-life adventures are fueled by natural-born charisma. But Craig lost a limb and a legacy in Africa. And his heart still clings to the land.

A representative of the World Bank recruits Craig to return to his war-torn homeland–to use his knowledge of Zimbawe’s people, languages, and wildlife to stabilize its future. But once he sets foot on the continent, Craig cannot resist what runs in his blood

Soon, this scion of a legendary family is caught in a new era of massive ivory poaching, of tribal warfare waged with modern killing tools, and international politics hardwired directly to Washington and Moscow. With a woman by his side and a traitor behind his back, Craig is about to learn a lesson of a brutal new age–if he can survive Africa one more time.

Wild Justice, nicely read by Steven Pacey, involves Col. Peter Stride, who leads an elite force in an assault on a hijacked airliner in an attempt to free endangered hostages. Though the raid succeeds, Stride is fired for not fully following orders. Free from his military connection, he is then in a position to fight terrorism and conspiracy independently. A good story with lots of twists and treacheries. Together or separately, these three books are fine short adventures; each tale is about one-sixth the length of its original novel and loses an awful lot in the abridging. A recommendation: get these audios if you must for patrons in a hurry, but point them to an unabridged version if you can. – Cliff Glaviano, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Smith deftly evokes not only the horrific but also the beautiful, particularly the lush landscape of Africa.”The Washington Post Book World”Wilbur Smith’s written another page-turner.”–Daily Mail

Praise for Wilbur Smith

Smith is a master. Publishers Weekly

One of the worlds most popular adventure writers. The Washington Post Book World

A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship. Tulsa World

Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared. The Times (UK)
“Best Historical Novelist–I say Wilbur Smith, with his swashbuckling novels of Africa. The bodices of rip and the blood flows. You can get lost in Wilbur Smith and misplace all of August.”–Stephen King

“Action is Wilur Smith’s game, and he is a master.”–The Washington Post Book World

The worlds leading adventure writer. Daily Express (UK)

“Wilbur Smith rarely misses a trick.”–Sunday Times

Smith is a captivating storyteller. The Orlando Sentinel

No one does adventure quite like Smith. Daily Mirror (UK)

“A thundering good read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smiths books. The Irish Times

Smith deftly evokes not only the horrific but also the beautiful, particularly the lush landscape of Africa.”The Washington Post Book World”Wilbur Smith’s written another page-turner.”–Daily Mail

Praise for Wilbur Smith

Smith is a master. Publishers Weekly

One of the worlds most popular adventure writers. The Washington Post Book World

A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship. Tulsa World

Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared. The Times
“Best Historical Novelist–I say Wilbur Smith, with his swashbuckling novels of Africa. The bodices of rip and the blood flows. You can get lost in Wilbur Smith and misplace all of August.”–Stephen King

“Action is Wilur Smith’s game, and he is a master.”–The Washington Post Book World

The worlds leading adventure writer. Daily Express

“Wilbur Smith rarely misses a trick.”–Sunday Times

Smith is a captivating storyteller. The Orlando Sentinel

No one does adventure quite like Smith. Daily Mirror

“A thundering good read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smiths books. The Irish Times

The Leopard Hunts in Darkness










  • 24 responses to "The Leopard Hunts in Darkness St. Martin’s Paperbacks Wilbur Smith"

  • NYCorey
    2:42 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Wilbur Smith is an outstanding author…..I have ordered all of his 31 books, and love them all. I usually read true crime books, but I’ve gotten hooked on his books. He writes amazing story lines and keeps you hanging on every one. Two of my friends have also become addicted and we can’t wait for his next one.

  • Doug White
    3:35 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    The place is southern Africa and the time is the late 1800s. Diamonds have been found and the scramble is on to become rich. Among those headed to the diamond fields is the adventurer, Zouga Ballantyne. He is a capable man and knows Africa. He was born there and has made and lost fortunes there. He heads to the diamond fields with hope, not of becoming a diamond magnate, but of financing his real dream. He has a grand concession from the king of the Matabeles but has had no luck in raising capital. So it is that he turns to the diamond mines.

    With him he takes his wife and two sons. His wife is a frail thing and has been disillusioned too many times. She does not last very long before succumbing to the filthy conditions of the boom town. That leaves Zouga with his sons and his dreams.

    Mining is not easy. Labor is scarce and prices are inflated beyond belief. Still, he makes a go of it through hard work and honorable treatments of his peers. His sons develop, each with great skills and talents. Each make new relationships with the natives of Matabeleland. Eventually, though, the dream proves too elusive and each of the men, the boys are grown now, goes his own way.

    They are reunited under the leadership of Cecil Rhodes, the famous, or infamous Robber Baron of the Victorian age. Rhodes has dreams not only of personal wealth but of empire. The three Ballantyne men are an instrumental part of his plans to seize and hold Matabeleland.

    This story is well written and enjoyable to read. The characters are larger than life but believable and, the historically base ones seem true to form. It is a story of men with personal honor and men without any honor at all. This includes not only the Europeans but the native Africans as well.

    It is sad to see how some of the friendships developed early on are damaged or even destroyed by the later conflicts of world views and cultures. One cannot help but feel some sadness at the passing of the Matabeles and the Zulus before them.

  • Boo Radley
    5:23 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    This has been one of the closest accounts as to how life was in Zimbabwe. It says alot more to the reader if you read between the lines, especially if you have lived there. It is such a pity that the book was banned in our country, obviously too close to the truth on certain issues.

    Once again, Wilbur Smith shows his amazing gift.

  • CheeseBoy
    7:49 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    I have read.in the processing of reading W. Smith’s books and love them. Actually have purchased all his books but have not read all of them as yest.

  • White Board
    10:32 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    First off, don’t read this before its predecessor, “A Falcon Flies.” All characters here are introduced in that book, the first of a four-book series on the Ballantynes. The first book is about the African slave trade, thickly larded with much sex and violence. This one’s a bit better– it follows lead character Zouga Ballantyne to the diamond fields of Kimberly, where he swears to make his fortune. We meet his sons and follow their adventures as well– the book is best when it looks at the African tribes that must deal with white encroachment in the latter part of the 19th century. Smith writes gritty adventures/soap operas that entertain and inform, and while this one is good, it’s not quite up to the standards of the Courtney novels, beginning with “Birds of Prey.” Read that one first; if it piques your interest, you’ll want to read the next 11 books in that series, then come back to try the Ballantynes….

  • Red Envelope
    15:30 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    BOOK WAS IN ACCEPTABLE SHAPE. COVER O.K. PAGES O.K. BUT QUITE MUSTY SMELLING. IT HAD TO BE IN A BASEMENT FOR QUITE ALONG TIME. I BOUGHT THIS USED SO I AM O.K. WITH PURCHASE. I GOT IT FAST.

  • Cecil Cerceo
    15:55 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Wilbur Smith, whom I’m sure in his later years has fond memories of his Homeland, relevant to his writings.
    His series of books inflect the hard times of personal tragedy of his characters, and invokes an expression of reality;
    in spite of a fictional writing, there is a hidden truth that prevails, a sense of real history.

    Quite emotive, with a sense of reality. It’s easily imaginable to place the integrity of forethought into the readings he offers.

    It will be a very sad day when Wilbur Smith writes, no more. He has an excellent fortitude of reality in past times.
    Related to the Africikana’s personified, life. A Country that roiled under oppression and few hero’s prevailed.

    Men of Men, is part of a trilogy and a most entertaining book. I also find that for buying this series, Bagabook is the most reliable & fast service provider, along with a reasonable price & a new book; kudos, for a well delivered experience on Amazon.

  • gttyildexbx
    16:35 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Incredible!!!! I loved the book. It has great suspences and it keeps you reading at all times.

  • andrew hessen
    17:15 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    This is the very firts Smith novel I read and it has made me look for more of his writings.

    This book starts in America and ends in a war turn country Zimbabwe. In my thought it teaches the lesson of long lasting friendships which are forged by steel bonds. It tells of betrayal and what the human spirit is able to achive when faced with life and dealth situations. It has a fast pace from start to finish with all the neccesary pause for breath calculated to the last degree. Immegine you have go overseas to study and on your return to find the land (your home), changed by the conflict of men and his politics, place your self in that point and think about it real hard.

  • Schlicks
    19:00 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    This is a good example of a wonderful story-teller using actual and contrived history to produce a superb tale. Is it exciting, sophisticated, challenging, and charming? Yes!!. Is it accurate? The people who know Africa would say “No”. I am moderately familiar with the land. Would I read his writings? Yes??

  • Don Nathan
    19:52 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    I never thought about Africa being a fun place to visit until I traveled there on a merchant ship in 2008. We went completely around Africa twice stopping in Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Cameroon. I had so much fun there I went back to Kenya on a holiday when my time on the ship was over. A friend told me about Wilbur Smith and in 2009 I read all 32 books he has written on Africa and surrounding areas. I highly recommend all his books especially the ones on the Courtney family!

  • Amiee Kobza
    22:57 on March 10th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    I never thought about Africa being a fun place to visit until I traveled there on a merchant ship in 2008. We went completely around Africa twice stopping in Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Cameroon. I had so much fun there I went back to Kenya on a holiday when my time on the ship was over. A friend told me about Wilbur Smith and in 2009 I read all 32 books he has written on Africa and surrounding areas. I highly recommend all his books especially the ones on the Courtney family!

  • Juliane Dowse
    3:27 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    The steep scar was called The Devil’s Own. It set within the African wilderness. Native tribesmen became miners. They spilt their sweat and blood in their quests for diamonds. As with all mining ventures, there are thieves and the constant danger of murder.

    Readers follow Zouga Ballantyne. He is an African-born Englishman, determined to make his fortune in Kimberly. But no one said it would be easy…and no one promised that the outside world would not interfere.

    **** This is book two of four in the Ballantyne series. More time is given to the story plot since most character introductions were done in the first book, “A Falcon Flies”. You do not have to read the first book before this one; however, you may find yourself lost if you do not. All-in-all, better than the first book, but still too long-winded in sections. ****

    Reviewed by Scott for Huntress Reviews.

  • Chrisbay
    5:41 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    As if Wilbur Smith needs help from me selling his books! Great story, great read. As all of his books, awesome!

  • Jack Reynolds
    6:38 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Wilbur Smith is the kind of writer that makes every other writer want to break their own fingers and take up goat herding. He’s that good and Men of Men clearly demonstrates that talent with its unique storyline, remarkable history, and great adventure.
    Does he measure up to every reader? Probably not because he tells epic adventures with hardships, battles, love, sex and violence that’s not for everyone’s palate. But with millions of books sold and a fan base that spans the world a few times around, he apparently reaches a lot of readers who keep coming back for yet one more adventure…readers like me.

  • Jeff Shattuck
    7:27 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Men Of Men is a great book, especially if you read the Ballantyne novels in order. After reading A Falcon Flies the reader really starts to feel for the characters, and what happens to them. I loved this book, but not as much as the Courtneys novels. make sure you dont miss When The Lion Feeds.

  • Mostly.d
    12:59 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    This is the last in the ballyntine series and I am sorry that it is over….Wilbur Smith is awesome….Read them in order and they just get better and better….

  • Petra Quilitz
    14:09 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Even for those who were not born in Africa could smell the scent of it in the air, feel the deep passion Wilbur has toward his homeland, and the wildlife that he always loved. This book and another masterpiece of Smith’s work: Elephant Song, are both among my favorites.

  • Jolene Batter
    15:36 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    I remember reading this book right through the night and realized it was the next day only when it was finished. Wilbur Smith not only has a way with words but he also includes a solid storyline, great plot, realism and very very believable characters.

  • Flor Edmonds
    19:13 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Author, Wilbur Smith really shows his love for Africa through his character, Craig Mellows. In this story he shows it’s rich history; sometimes sad, but always exciting. This story is full of twists and turns and a lot of action which is only interrupted by the author’s rich explanation of the area’s history. The harshness of some of it’s people are still seen in the headlines today and these battles still continue and brings this story very strongly to the present. I just ordered the first three books in this Ballantyne Series and look forward to reading them, fore Wilbur Smith is a great historical novelist.

  • BigLawPartner
    22:19 on March 11th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    I’ve read every one of Wilbur Smiths’ books and loved them all. Some more than others but there are few writers who know how to bring characters to life like Wilbur does.

    This book would have received 5 stars if written by a different author but notice most readers are like me, Smith fanatics, comparing this to his other books. You really can’t. I celebrate the fact that Wilbur is so prolific and engaging. I hope he lives forever and has many more books left in him.

  • Reed Hastings
    2:34 on March 12th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    wilbur smith’s books are excellent reading. i’ve recently discovered this author and can’t get enough of his writing. i would reccomend this book highly and any other wilbur smith books as i have read several.

  • Marco Illuint
    6:05 on March 12th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    This book was not quite as engrossing as its predecessor, A Falcon Flies, but it obviously is quality writing, and as always with Wilbur Smith, you feel strongly drawn into the story.

    As a new twist on the Ballantyne series, you see more of the next generation in Men of Men, and it offers interesting conflicts throughout the book that keep the reader on edge and allow for multiple viewpoints on the same events.

    In order to understand this book better, you will have had to read the aforementioned book, but given the level of depth that Smith always goes to in his books, it does not feel like incredible amounts of reading.

    Smith writes the most exciting, enthralling books I have ever read, and I could not imagine another writer who draws readers into his books so easily that it makes them feel as if they are watching the story in front of their eyes as they read. Absolutely incredible writer, Smith is, and I would recommend this, along with every other of his books.

  • Sylvia Nilan
    7:15 on March 12th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Another good “Historical” Novel by Wilbur Smith. The more of his books I read the more I understand why Africa is so screwed up. Good action and Smith does his usual great job of getting you involved with each of the characters.

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