'Vicious Circle' sees a return to form for Wilbur Smith after being disappointed by his last novel. He's back to what he does best and that's a grand style adventure novel, filled with gunfire, love, loss and, of course, Africa. From the onset you are made to care about Hector Cross's plight and one particularly brilliant moment moved me almost to the point of tears.
The plotting is strong if a little predictable (I guessed the major plot shifts long before they were told) although this didn't detract any enjoyment for me, as I always like to pit my wits against the author. As ever with Smith's characters nothing is quite as it initially appears although there are clear demarcations between good and evil. Cross is a strong hero in the mould of a modern day Sean Courtney, while Carl is an evil psychotic.
The novel steps away from its main story for at least a hundred pages as Smith introduces a fascinating back story by way of an explanation. Throughout I found 'Vicious Circle' to be an enthralling romp which by turn moved, invigorated and demanded my attention.