Those in Peril : Wilbur Smith

Literary Muster – Those in Peril

Those in Peril

Despite its predictability, characters of cardboard and silly dialog, Those in Peril is a rousing thriller.College student Cayla Bannock is cruising in the Indian Ocean aboard the family yacht. She should be studying, but she’s too busy with her boy toy – the cabin boy (Rogier) – being heals over head in love, she is blind to the harsh reality that she is merely a pawn in Rogier’s grand scheme…Soon enough Cayla is held captive by Rogier and his band of pirates and is being held for a $20 billion dollar ransom.

Will this be a simple matter of Cayla’s mother, Hazel, heir to Bannock Oil Corp, paying up? Of course not, or we wouldn’t have much of a story…

Security chief Hector (Heck) Cross to the reduce! Heck organizes a crack team of mercenaries and sets out on a daring rescue mission. And of course along the way Hazel and Heck fall in love (you knew it didn’t you?).

Wilbur Smith keeps the pages turning though his non-stop excitement. Smith handles action better than most any modern author. The story may be predictable, but Smith keeps it interesting and you will find yourself turning page after page as the plot unfolds…

For the war gamer: Plenty of modern mercenary vs. pirate/ action for numerous skirmish scenarios.

Those in Peril – by Wilbur Smith
480 pages, St. Martin’s Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 31, 2012)

Also available for Kindle:
669 KB, Thomas Dunne Books; Reprint edition (May 10, 2011)


Arctic Wargame

Literary Muster – Arctic Wargame

Arctic Wargame

Arctic Wargame is the first book in the Justin Hall series of Spy Thrillers. Justin Hall is an agent of the Canadian Intelligence Service…


Foreign icebreakers appear in Canadian Arctic waters, Justin along with his team are dispatched on a reconnaissance mission. Unaware of the spy who has infiltrated the Department of National Defense, the team discovers a foreign weapons cache deep in the Arctic…


As they untangle the plan against Canada they fall under attack from one of their own! Disarmed and stripped of survival gear, the team is stranded in a remote location (did I mention the sub zero tempuratures)…

It is a race against time; not only to save themselves, but their country.

This is a quick read. It is well written and fast paced. Not an edge of your seat thriller, but a page turner none-the-less. Sure, there are times the action is light, but the story, as unbelievable as it may be keeps you hooked.

For the war gamer; there is plenty of material for skirmish level actions. I can see using something like Ganesha Games – Flying Lead rules to play out scenarios similar to the book’s battle scenes.

Arctic Wargame – By Ethan Jones
$0.00 (yep, free! At least as of this writing)

eBook Publication January 2014
834 KB, approximately 330 pages

Also available in paperback @ $12.39

1913: The Eve of War

Literary Muster – 1913: The Eve of War

1913: The Eve of War

Was European / Global war in 1914 inevitable? This is the question author/historian Paul Ham addressees in this provocative, perhaps even controversial short (~83 pages) essay.

1913: The Eve of War is a  look at the state of Europe immediately prior the commencement of war in 1914. Little time is wasted and the essay gets straight to the point and gives understandable and believable reasons for why global war broke out in 1914.

I found this re-examination of the causes of the First World War to be both a short introduction to a complex historical subject as well as a, thought-provoking, contribution to the ongoing debate over the origins of this massive global conflict.

If you are looking for an in-depth study, this essay will not be your answer. If, however, you are looking for a good, short and thought provoking read this essay will fit the bill nicely.

Writing history is hard. In my opinion, Paul Ham has done an excellent job of writing history. He tires to write and observe from the point of those who lived through the time period without adding the distortions of the benefits (such as they are) of our hindsight and view of the past.

1913: The Eve of War – by Paul Ham
publisheD: 5 November 2013, Endeavour Press Ltd.
A $2.99 Kindle Single – 1,100KB, approximately 83 pages

Literary Muster

  Long time Scruby customers may remember the Literary Muster column authored by Newell Chamberlin in Table Top Talk and Miniature Parade; while I’ve written the occasional book review, we have not had a regular literature review feature here on TTT. In re-reading several of the old TTT issues I find myself drawn to Mr. Chamberlin’s mini reviews. They have proven to be a good source for finding those older, hidden gems. Books I might never have read or known about if not for the Literary Muster. If I find benefit in these old reviews, perhaps many of you will find them of interest as well. Our thought is to post not only the original review, but to add an updated look at the titles. Lets see how they have weathered the march of time, and lets discover how best to go about finding these books, some out of print, some with new publishers. Our Literary Muster feature will be somewhat irregular, but it is something we will continue to work on and will publish the reviews as they are completed. If you would like to help with this project (read a book and write a mini-review for TTT) let us know and we will share our living review document, you can pick a title and run with it. Our format will be: The ‘new’ review, followed by the original.

And now without further delay, the premier of our new Literary Muster feature:

Born at Reveille

Born at Reveille

Is the autobiography of Colonel Red Reeder, who was, in fact, born at reveille, just as the saluting gun boomed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, March 4, 1902. His memories come alive and include many colourful characters from his youth (as an army brat, growing up on various military bases) and of the peacetime army. Of his preference for sports over textbooks as well as his struggles at West Point, his military/wartime service and his later career as Assistant Director of Athletics at West Point.

The best quote, I’ve seen, relating to this book comes from Omar N Bradley:

“… a fascinating story of the life of one of our outstanding leaders. Colonel Red Reeder’s frank and unfailing good-humored autobiography tells what it was like to grow up on Army posts from Hawaii to Maine. Born at Reveille above all shows how a man learns to lead and what forces shape the talent for command. I recommend his book to the attention of Americans young and old.”

A very readable style, with plenty of humor. I look forward to reading more of Colonel Red Reeder’s books. Most titles are now available for the Kindle and are priced at a very reasonable $2.99 each.

Born at Reveille – By Colonel Red Reeder
Kindle Edition, July 2011, $2.99

The original review from: TTT May 1966, by Newell Chamberlin
Colonel Red Reeder who has written many interesting books on early American military history, chiefly concerning Indian campaigns of the post Civil War era, has written his autobiography, Born at Reveille (NY, Duall, Sloan and Pearce, $5.95) which is an interesting and affectionate account by an ‘army brat’ of his early life, life at West Point and in the regular army between the wars, and his service in the Pacific and European theaters during WWII. Reeder commanded the 12th US Infantry in France until he lost a leg. He is now Assistant Director of Athletics at West Point. The book is written with style and humor and contains a great deal of information on the often neglected side of Regular Army life.