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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An edgy, intense, atmospheric thriller set in West Africa
Robert Wilson's Bruce Medway series begins with this book. Medway is a freelance go-between who is hired while delivering the payment on previous deal to find a missing Englishman in West AFrica. Wilson maintains suspense on several levels as the action methodically unfolds. The slow development of relationships among the main characters successfully creates an...
Published on 9 Nov. 2000

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3.0 out of 5 stars West Africa thriller
Wilson writes in an assured style that is strong on description and insight, and Instruments of Darkness captures the complex social and political relations of West Africa and how a white trader and fixer operates within such conditions. Indeed, the book does a good job of evoking a strong sense of place and people. The characterisation is for the most part good,...
Published on 14 July 2012 by Rob Kitchin


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An edgy, intense, atmospheric thriller set in West Africa, 9 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
Robert Wilson's Bruce Medway series begins with this book. Medway is a freelance go-between who is hired while delivering the payment on previous deal to find a missing Englishman in West AFrica. Wilson maintains suspense on several levels as the action methodically unfolds. The slow development of relationships among the main characters successfully creates an atmosphere of edgy foreshadowing, enahanced by the gradual unravelling of the political situation. Medway carefully navigates through the political and social realities of modern day Africa, all the while operating on the edges of safety. This book is an outstanding read in the Raymond Chandler genre.
I came to this book straight from reading Wilson's later thriller, A Small Death in Lisbon. I was expecting to be slightly disappointed because I am not at all interested in Africa, however this book captured my interest from the first paragraph and never let up on the excitement.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellen thriller, 7 Dec. 2003
By 
M. Chataway - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book works on three levels. First, it is a good thriller with an unexpected set of plot twists. Second, it is a very god book about West Africa and sounds a lot like the places I have visited. Third, it is a good novel: the reader begins to understand the characters and to see why they do what they do. It is also very well written (if you like short, brusing sentences and odd descriptions). For me, the violence was a bit too graphic but then I'm squeamish. Otherwise, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the Way Back, 15 Aug. 2003
By 
taking a rest - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Most readers will be familiar with Robert Wilson from his newer works including, “A Small Death in Lisbon”, “The Company of Strangers” and, “The Blind Man of Seville”. Happily his publishers are releasing this series of four early works that begin with, “Instruments of Darkness”. The adjective of darkness is appropriate for this quartet of books. I have read all four and there are many manners that may be used to describe the works however dark is easily the most fitting. These books are very violent, liberal with gore and extremely graphic, so for readers who prefer that more detail is left to their imaginations this book and its counterparts may not be for you.
This series is set in West Africa on the Gulf Of Guinea and in countries stretching from Ivory Coast to New Guinea. Mr. Wilson writes both with authority and with great authenticity as he has traveled and worked in this region just as he has in the countries that populate his newer works. Here there are common characters and while it is not critical I would recommend reading the works in the order they were issued. They all can stand alone but benefit from being read as a cycle.
It took some time for me to get comfortable with the prose and cadence of these books as they are written in a very different style from the others I have read. They may remind you too of those movies where a woman wanders in to the office of a private eye and tells her sad tale while a voice narrates the story you are watching. The prose is saturated with elaborate and lush metaphor that initially seems a bit strident but eventually becomes comfortable to read once a bit of time has been invested.
These are very different from Mr. Wilson’s other novels but if you are interested in the early work of this very talented author, I recommend these books without reservation with the exceptions I noted at the beginning of these comments.
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3.0 out of 5 stars West Africa thriller, 14 July 2012
By 
Rob Kitchin - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Instruments of Darkness (Paperback)
Wilson writes in an assured style that is strong on description and insight, and Instruments of Darkness captures the complex social and political relations of West Africa and how a white trader and fixer operates within such conditions. Indeed, the book does a good job of evoking a strong sense of place and people. The characterisation is for the most part good, although sometimes there was a sense of caricature. I suspect that is because there are no weak characters, in the sense that they all have strong personalities. The story is probably best described as a thriller and there is a good pace and page turning quality to the narrative. However, as the book progressed the plot got increasingly convoluted and less believable, and parts made little sense, such as why the main character was not just killed by his enemies as with the other troublesome characters. Regardless of this shortcoming, overall, an enjoyable thriller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner for Robert Wilson, 25 Jun. 2014
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Robert Wilson is one of my favourite writers he portrays situations which are believable and sets them
in a landscape which is always interesting. He has a grip on how people function and in paricular
he gets inside the heads of his characters and the environment they are exposed to each day
and is aware of the ongoing geopolitcal situation. In this particular work the focus on parent/child relationships is getting a lot of media attention at this time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller, 12 Aug. 2013
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This again is a wonderful book. I do love all his books and have now read every one of them and am hoping he keeps on writing them
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4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Wilson - highly recommended., 18 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Instruments of Darkness (Paperback)
Great read. Chandleresque in a good way. Robert Wilson is a fab writer, exciting, clever and a brilliant story teller.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 27 May 2015
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Not as good as Small death in Lisbon maybe because it was his first - more I think for a man to read, rather boring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 7 April 2015
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Intriguing world of West Africa draw you into a compelling drama
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Robert Wilson, 5 Jun. 2013
One of my favourite authors but I found this one a bit disturbing. Not one to read before trying to sleep I think!
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Instruments of Darkness
Instruments of Darkness by Robert Wilson (Paperback - 4 July 2011)
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