Let me start by saying that I have all of the Wilbur Smith books and treasure every one. If I ever had to choose just one author to take to a desert island, it would be him. I eagerly anticipated his latest Vicious Circle and, despite all the negative reviews, I ordered it and started reading as soon as it arrived. I was on page 30 before I reluctantly admitted the reviews were correct. There are glaring mistakes - a van loaded with pallets of concrete blocks -later referred to as brick - each one "several tons" being pushed out of a van by one man. A man with a Leatherman tool removing a vehicle's spark plugs. hard enough with a proper plug spanner and ratchet. And, his language has gone so coarse and uncalled for. I always admired Smith's fine command of language and the fact that there were very few real swear words or coarse sexual references. Not any more. the prose has gone gutter-wards and, for no specific reason. The plot would work just as well without being so cringe worthy. And no, I am not a prude or have any real objection towards the kind of language you hear all over these days. It is nice sometimes to withdraw into a book that doesn't need to be "beefed up". You have to wonder just what has happened to change an author's style so completely and for the worse.
I know he is getting old but that is even more reason why he would be expected to stay true to his previous books.
Much as I hate to say it - and I never thought I would - I was disappointed with this book. It was badly written, lacked any real substance, had unbelievable characters and I felt really cheated.
Maybe this should be his last book or he should get better advisors and stronger editors.