Shortlist Announcement: The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

16 May 2017

The winner of this prestigious prize for talented adventure writers will receive a whopping 10,000 pounds. Find out more about the prize below and discover the brilliant books competing for it this year...

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The Prize

The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation is a charitable organisation which aims to empower young writers, advance the adventure writing genre and promote literacy. Their Adventure Writing Prize is an annual award, designed to celebrate the exciting genre of adventure writing and its talented authors. The winner of 2017's Adventure Writing Prize, due to be announced in September 2017, will receive 10,000 pounds. Here's a round-up of the shortlisted books competing for the top spot...

1. Crisis

  • £7.89

Frank Gardner

Introducing Luke Carlton: ex-Special Boat Service commando, now under contract to MI6. Whilst investigating the murder of a British intelligence officer in the steaming Colombian jungle, Luke finds himself entangled in a plot with terrifying international dimensions. Hunted, captured and tortured, he finds himself on the run from one of South America's most powerful and pitiless drugs cartels. He faces a perilous race against time to prevent a disaster on a horrifying scale: London is the target, the weapon massively destructive, the means of delivery ingenious. Combining insider knowledge and up-to-the-minute hardware, Frank Gardner has produced an adrenaline-fuelled novel packed with thrills, twists and turns, and an irresistibly authentic feel. Smart, fast-paced and engrossing, readers will be gripped from first page to last.

 

2. The Last Horseman

  • £6.39

David Gilman

Dublin, 1899. Lawyer Joseph Radcliffe watches the execution of a young Irish rebel. Together with his black American comrade Benjamin Pierce, he's made a living defending the toughest cases in Dublin, but is haunted by the ghost of his defeats, the loss of his wife and child and his troubled relationship with his surviving son, Edward. As Ireland smoulders with rebellion, war breaks out in South Africa, and Edward defiantly runs away to join the Irish forces there. Radcliffe and Pierce embark on a daring quest to find him and bring him home. Both of them have seen war, but 800 miles north of Cape Town, they experience the bloody brutality of a conflict that the British are losing. Distrusted by the British forces, the two former soldiers must rediscover their survival skills in their mission to find the runaway boy. This is an epic tale of heroism, treachery, sacrifice and love.

 

3. Finisterre

  • £16.89

Graham Hurley

Germany, September 1944. Dozens of cities lie in ruins. Enemy armies are at the gates. Time is running out for the Thousand Year Reich. Desperate to avoid the humiliation of unconditional surrender, Operation Finisterre is launched: a last-minute plan to enable Hitler to deny the savage logic of a war on two fronts and bluff his way to the negotiating table. Success depends on two individuals: Stefan Protisch, a German naval officer washed ashore on the coast of Spain, and Hector Gomez, an ex-FBI detective, planted at the heart of the most secretive place on Earth: the American atomic bomb complex. Both men will have to fight for survival as Operation Finisterre unravels...

 

4. Under a Pole Star

  • £16.09

Stef Penney

It is 1889, and Flora - a whaler's daughter from Dundee, dubbed by the press 'The Snow Queen' - sets out to become a scientist and explorer. Determined to be taken seriously, ambition and chance lead her back to northern Greenland at the head of a British expedition, despite the belief of many that a young woman has no place in this ruthless world of men. Yearning for wider horizons, geologist Jakob de Beyn joins a rival expedition, led by the ruthlessly determined Lester Armitage. When Jakob and Flora's paths cross, it is a fateful meeting. Flora, Jakob and Lester all become obsessed with the north, a place where violent extremes exist side-by-side: perpetual night and endless day; frozen seas and coastal meadows; heroism and treachery.

 

5. On Starlit Seas

  • £8.39

Sara Sheridan

1824. Charged with a mission by the Empress of Brazil, celebrated writer Maria Graham sets off for England as the Brazilian civil war rages. Newly widowed, she accepts an offer of passage from roguish smuggler Captain James Henderson. Henderson is on a journey of his own, back to his childhood home in Covent Garden. On-board his ship, Maria discovers not only a dangerous secret concealed in a chocolate bar, but an electrifying attraction to the mysterious captain. It would be unthinkable for someone of her social standing to fall in love with a smuggler, though. Henderson is determined to forge a new identity as a London gentleman, but finds himself embroiled in a perilous tangle with a deadly smuggling ring. If he is ever going to prove himself worthy of Maria, he must unmask the gang and break free from their clutches - but will this be enough? This sumptuous tale is riddled with adventure, romance and chocolate.

 

6. Nomad

  • £10.39

James Swallow

This heart-pounding terrorist thriller follows Marc Dane, an MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when Marc is the only survivor of a brutal attack on his team - and with the shocking realisation that there are traitors within MI6 - he's forced onto the front line. Accused of betraying his country, he is determined to clear his name before it's too late. With nowhere to turn to for help, he has no choice but to rely on the elusive Rubicon group and their operative, Lucy Keyes, who knows what it's like to be an outsider, having spent years in the US Army. She's got the skills Luke is sorely lacking, but it will be up to both of them to prevent the impending terrorist attack, planned to be bigger and more deadly than anything attempted before...