67 books like The Dark of the Sun

By Wilbur Smith,

Here are 67 books that The Dark of the Sun fans have personally recommended if you like The Dark of the Sun. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide

Tony Park Author Of Blood Trail

From my list on to read on an African safari.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian who fell in love with Africa in my 30s. I've now written 20 thrillers set in Africa and several non-fiction biographies. My wife and I have travelled extensively on the continent and now spend at least half our lives in Africa, and the remainder in Australia. I'm passionate about Africa's people, wildlife, and fragile natural environment. While my books focus on some of the continent's problems – especially the illegal trade in wildlife – I'm a sucker for a happy ending and find no shortage of positive, inspirational people on my travels who serve as the inspiration for the good guys and girls in my stories. 

Tony's book list on to read on an African safari

Tony Park Why did Tony love this book?

I know Peter – we josh each other and trade funny insults on social media. I hate to say it, but he is a very funny guy. Safari guide memoirs are a dime a dozen in Africa, but this one stands out from the pack because it is both humorous and moving. Peter has a wonderful self-deprecating style and tells, hilariously, of some of his epic failures as a young Australian finding his way in the African bush. Peter loves Botswana, and his passion shines through in this book.

By Peter Allison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Whatever You Do, Don't Run as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hilarious, highly original collection of essays based on the Botswana truism: "only food runs!" With a new introduction and new material from the authorIn the tradition of Bill Bryson, a new writer brings us the lively adventures and biting wit of an African safari guide. Peter Allison gives us the guide's-eye view of living in the bush, confronting the world's fiercest terrain of wild animals and, most challenging of all, managing herds of gaping tourists. Passionate for the animals of the Kalahari, Allison works as a top safari guide in the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta. As he serves the whims…


Book cover of Dissolution

Maurice Holloway Author Of Steal a Diamond

From my list on detective books with the most memorable protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for writing, and whenever I can, I try to help new writers improve their expertise so that one day they’ll complete their first book. My first book, born from a few-hundred-word short story at my writing group, turned into a three-book thriller series called FAVOURS. Since then, I’ve branched out by publishing a rom/com, a humorous ghost story as well as a standalone thriller. Agatha Christie published her first book as the result of a dare, which proves you can do it if you really want to.

Maurice's book list on detective books with the most memorable protagonist

Maurice Holloway Why did Maurice love this book?

CJ Sansom, a renowned historian, released this first fiction novel to huge acclaim. I was fascinated to find the investigator was a London lawyer during the reign of Henry VIII. It ticked all the boxes: history, a juicy murder, crime, and mystery. I was not disappointed. In my own writing, I endeavour to make my characters individual and memorable and, therefore, look for that in books I read.

The protagonist, lawyer Matthew Shardlake, has the brain, persistence, and vision of a Holmes or Poirot in uncovering the clues and is admired by all for his ability to win cases. Despite this, one thing continually erodes his confidence: he is a hunchback. Not restricted by twenty-first-century political correctness, his enemies take delight in reminding him of this. I loved the way the author handled that.

I enjoyed the detective story in an entirely different setting. It is a magnificent first book;…

By C.J. Sansom,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Dissolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger - the highest honor in British crime writing

From the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion comes the exciting and elegantly written first novel in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series

Dissolution is an utterly riveting portrayal of Tudor England. The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is brutally murdered in a monastery on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general, summons…


Book cover of The Lost Wisdom of the Magi: the memoirs of Sophia Zealotes

Brendan Gerad O'Brien Author Of Dark September

From my list on gripping historical thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for historical thrillers comes from the excitement I felt as a lad when I immersed myself in the classics like Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Robinson Crusoe. Then a book on WW2 shocked me with the images of the brutality inflicted on the innocent caught up in the madness. On exercise with the Royal Navy in the Brecon Beacons, the gem of a story planted itself in my imagination. What if the Germans did invade Britain? What if the people chasing me over this bleak countryside were intent on killing me? What if I was desperately trying to get my family to safety? Dark September was born…

Brendan's book list on gripping historical thrillers

Brendan Gerad O'Brien Why did Brendan love this book?

This is a really well-told story and deserves praise for the detail and the observations throughout the book. Sophia, an elderly Babylonian Jew, is telling her account of her years in Palestine to the Sisters of Alexandria. As a little girl she studied the ancient languages because her father was a keeper of the royal archives of the Parthians. When she turned fifteen, her mother tried to commit her to an arranged marriage. Sophia runs away and joins a Nabataean caravan. Helme’s forensic research captures the atmosphere of Sophie’s travels brilliantly. The detail is amazing and her description of the everyday struggles brings the story vividly to life.

At 521 pages, it’s a long story, but like any journey, if it’s enjoyable and exciting, it ends all too soon.

By Susie Helme,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Wisdom of the Magi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This engaging, meticulously researched novel tells the story of Sophia, a first-century Babylonian Jew who learns ancient languages at the royal archives of the Parthians and secretly studies the magic on cuneiform tablets.
Sophia runs away from home, joining a Nabataean incense caravan, studies with the Essenes on the Dead Sea and joins with the militants of Qumran. As the Zealots battle to defend revolutionary Jerusalem against Titus, she falls in love with a Greek freedman, Athanasios, a comrade in arms. Jews and Christians briefly unite with Samaritans and the People of the Land. But messiahs can prove false.


Book cover of The Ashes of London

Flora Johnston Author Of The Paris Peacemakers

From my list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by stories from the past. I worked for many years in museums and heritage, telling Scotland’s stories through exhibitions and nonfiction publications, but I was always drawn to the question best answered through historical fiction – what did that feel like? Well-researched historical fiction can take us right into the lives of people who lived through the dramatic events we read about in academic books. I found that each of the novels on my list transported me to a different time and place, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Flora's book list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event

Flora Johnston Why did Flora love this book?

I love a bit of historical crime, and this novel, the first in a series about Cat Lovett and James Marwood, has everything. It’s a brilliantly plotted mystery but it is also so much more. Set in 1666, it opens with the Great Fire of London, as the chaos of fire sweeping through the city is used to cover up murder.

I found the story and the characters compelling, so much so that I’ve gone on to read the rest of the series, each of which intertwines the personal lives of Cat and James with the political events of the day.

By Andrew Taylor,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Ashes of London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in the No. 1 Times bestselling series

'This is terrific stuff' Daily Telegraph

'A breathtakingly ambitious picture of an era' Financial Times

'A masterclass in how to weave a well-researched history into a complex plot' The Times

A CITY IN FLAMES
London, 1666. As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral - stabbed in the neck, thumbs tied behind his back.

A WOMAN ON THE RUN
The son of a traitor, James Marwood is forced to hunt the killer through the city's…


Book cover of Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq

Tim Pritchard Author Of Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War

From my list on battles that go wrong.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2003 I was travelling through Baghdad with US forces to report on the Iraq war. Suddenly an ear-shattering explosion cracked through our Humvee and a rush of hot debris swept past my face. The heavily armoured door warped inwards, and the vehicle lifted off the ground. Soldiers were screaming in terror and anger, clutching at bloody faces, arms, and legs. We’d been attacked by unknown members of the Iraqi resistance. The sheer terror of that moment gave me a new understanding of war  the sight, smells, sounds, and touch of combat – and a desire to tell the stories of the young soldiers who get caught up in it.  

Tim's book list on battles that go wrong

Tim Pritchard Why did Tim love this book?

This is a detailed account of a secret military mission behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War and how a series of minor setbacks can quickly escalate into a full-blown disaster. I first read it years before I'd had any knowledge of a battlefield. I read it again after I'd been caught up in my own terrifying experience of combat and took away a new appreciation of the realities of war – how stress on the battlefield narrows the field of vision to minute details which distort what is really going on. It's a lesson about war, but also about life – even with all the planning and the training, it's almost impossible to control what happens in the heat of battle. 

By Andy McNab,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bravo Two Zero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sergeant Andy McNab recounts the story of the top secret mission that would reveal the secrets of the SAS to the world for the first time.

Their location: Iraq
Their mission: to sever a vital enemy underground communication link, to find and destroy mobile Scud launchers
Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero

When eight members of the elite SAS regiment embark on a highly covert operation, they are each laden with 15 stones of equipment, needing to tab 20km across the desert to reach their objective. But within days, their location is compromised. They engage in a fierce battle. They…


Book cover of Hold My Hand I'm Dying

Tony Park Author Of Blood Trail

From my list on to read on an African safari.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian who fell in love with Africa in my 30s. I've now written 20 thrillers set in Africa and several non-fiction biographies. My wife and I have travelled extensively on the continent and now spend at least half our lives in Africa, and the remainder in Australia. I'm passionate about Africa's people, wildlife, and fragile natural environment. While my books focus on some of the continent's problems – especially the illegal trade in wildlife – I'm a sucker for a happy ending and find no shortage of positive, inspirational people on my travels who serve as the inspiration for the good guys and girls in my stories. 

Tony's book list on to read on an African safari

Tony Park Why did Tony love this book?

This was the first novel I read about Africa and one of the first 'grown-up' books I was allowed to read as a young teen. It had a huge impact on me. At the time, growing up in Australia, I didn't know I'd end up living in Africa and writing about the continent, but this book moved me. Set in the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), it's a thriller and love story told against the background of a tumultuous struggle for a country. When I first visited Zimbabwe for real it was like I'd been there already – I had, through the pages of this moving story.

By John Gordon Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hold My Hand I'm Dying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A stirring and compelling story, full of adventure, set against the background of the move to freedom in Africa. In the face of opposition, hatred, violence and death, the gentler human feelings of friendship and love are nonetheless maintained. Joseph Mahoney is the last Colonial Commissioner in the Kariba Gorge, faced with easing the transition to new rule. To complicate matters, his servant Samson has been accused of murder, and he is drifting apart from Suzie, whom he loves very deeply. Yet personal matters apart, he must deal with the simmering undercurrent of violence and revenge that might envelope the…


Book cover of Fever

Tony Park Author Of Blood Trail

From my list on to read on an African safari.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian who fell in love with Africa in my 30s. I've now written 20 thrillers set in Africa and several non-fiction biographies. My wife and I have travelled extensively on the continent and now spend at least half our lives in Africa, and the remainder in Australia. I'm passionate about Africa's people, wildlife, and fragile natural environment. While my books focus on some of the continent's problems – especially the illegal trade in wildlife – I'm a sucker for a happy ending and find no shortage of positive, inspirational people on my travels who serve as the inspiration for the good guys and girls in my stories. 

Tony's book list on to read on an African safari

Tony Park Why did Tony love this book?

South African author Deon Meyer is, in my opinion, the best crime writer in the world. Most of his books are detective stories set in Cape Town, but Fever was a radical departure for him. As an author, I know how important it is for me to keep myself engaged and interested in my writing and not become stale. Deon shook up his readership with this tale of a fictional pandemic (written before Covid 19) and its impact on South Africa. Brilliant and scary and top marks to Deon for leaping out of his comfort zone.

By Deon Meyer, K.L. Seefers (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'UK readers, you have a nice surprise coming. No, not Brexit, FEVER, by Deon Meyer. Reminiscent of THE STAND and THE PASSAGE. Great stuff' STEPHEN KING

'An epic read that
has a dystopian feel and makes
you ask the question: What if?' SUN

I want to tell you about my Father's murder.

I want to tell you who killed him and why.

This is the story of my life.

And the story of your life and your world too, as you will see.

Nico Storm and his father drive across a desolate South Africa, constantly alert for feral dogs, motorcycle…


Book cover of The Last Resort: A Memoir of Mischief and Mayhem on a Family Farm in Africa

Tony Park Author Of Blood Trail

From my list on to read on an African safari.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian who fell in love with Africa in my 30s. I've now written 20 thrillers set in Africa and several non-fiction biographies. My wife and I have travelled extensively on the continent and now spend at least half our lives in Africa, and the remainder in Australia. I'm passionate about Africa's people, wildlife, and fragile natural environment. While my books focus on some of the continent's problems – especially the illegal trade in wildlife – I'm a sucker for a happy ending and find no shortage of positive, inspirational people on my travels who serve as the inspiration for the good guys and girls in my stories. 

Tony's book list on to read on an African safari

Tony Park Why did Tony love this book?

Douglas Rogers, a Zimbabwean journalist living in the US, tells the true story of how his elderly parents survived a harrowing period in the African country's history when former President Robert Mugabe's supporters were invading and claiming white-owned farms. Rather than fleeing, Rogers' parents transformed their backpackers' lodge into a have for a wildlife disparate group of hookers, spies, soldiers, and refugees. It's hilarious and harrowing and proof that in Africa, truth is stranger than fiction! By the way, Zimbabwe is now a beautiful, peaceful country to visit and an excellent safari destination.

By Douglas Rogers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Resort as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thrilling, heartbreaking, and, at times, absurdly funny, The Last Resort is a remarkable true story about one family in a country under siege and a testament to the love, perseverance, and resilience of the human spirit.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Douglas Rogers is the son of white farmers living through that country’s long and tense transition from postcolonial rule. He escaped the dull future mapped out for him by his parents for one of adventure and excitement in Europe and the United States. But when Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe launched his violent program to reclaim white-owned land and Rogers’s…


Book cover of Pandora in the Congo

Chris Turnbull Author Of The Planting of the Penny Hedge

From my list on fiction with an historical twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Yorkshire writer with a passion for historical fiction. My love of history came as a surprise to me in my late teens, as I had originally thought history was not my thing. However, I soon discovered the incredible stories throughout history, and how many authors carve fictional stories around these time periods or historical events. I love researching for my own historical writing, whether it be to find out what kind of jobs people did, or what they ate for breakfast. I love reading and writing historical fiction in multiple eras, such as WW2, Victorian times, and further back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. 

Chris' book list on fiction with an historical twist

Chris Turnbull Why did Chris love this book?

Pandora in the Congo was recommended to me by a friend, and although initially unsure due to its quirkiness (especially the further through you read), I ended up loving it. Set in 1914, this story is again set in a prison cell, with the main character re-telling the horrors he endured in the Congo on a mining expedition, which he alone became the sole survivor of. 

By Albert Sánchez Piñol, Mara Faye Lethem (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pandora in the Congo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is 1914. In the heart of the Belgian Congo, Garvey, a bedraggled British manservant, emerges from the jungle. He is the lone survivor of a mining expedition in which both his masters have died, and all of the party's African porters have fled. With him, he carries two huge diamonds.

From his prison cell in London, Garvey recounts his horrific and thrilling ordeal. Young Tommy Thomson is assigned to transcribe Garvey's story and only he can untangle the extraordinary mysteries of the Garvey case.


Book cover of The Word for World Is Forest

Michael Newton Author Of The Origins of Science Fiction

From my list on science fiction books about visiting alien worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a cultural historian, film critic, literary critic, editor, and essayist–and a frustrated fiction writer–fascinated by ‘the fantastic’ in art or in life. Answering that fascination, I wrote Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children (2002), and I’ve written two books for the BFI Film Classics series on two great movies of the fantastic, Rosemary’s Baby (2020) and It’s A Wonderful Life (2023). I also edited three anthologies of Victorian and Edwardian fantasy, The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories: From Elizabeth Gaskell to Ambrose Bierce (2010) and Victorian Fairy Tales (2015), and now an anthology, Origins of Science Fiction (2022) for Oxford World’s Classics. 

Michael's book list on science fiction books about visiting alien worlds

Michael Newton Why did Michael love this book?

Though I admire her classic work, The Left Hand of Darkness, it’s The Word For World Is Forest that most lingers in the mind.

Ursula Le Guin worried that the book was too simple and that its portrait of the mad colonialist soldier, Captain Davidson, was too unshaded a vision of militarist evil. Well, perhaps. However, men like Davidson can be found in equally brutal forms in accounts of the European invasion of the Americas or in Roger Casement’s report on the Belgians in the Congo.

But it is the otherworldly Selver who possesses my imagination, that archetypal ‘little green man,’ that strange new god of a person, poised between the innocent world he seeks to protect and the violence he must unleash to ensure its survival.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Word for World Is Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the inhabitants of a peaceful world are conquered by the bloodthirsty yumens, their existence is irrevocably altered. Forced into servitude, the Athsheans find themselves at the mercy of their brutal masters.

Desperation causes the Athsheans, led by Selver, to retaliate against their captors, abandoning their strictures against violence. But in defending their lives, they have endangered the very foundations of their society. For every blow against the invaders is a blow to the humanity of the Athsheans. And once the killing starts, there is no turning back.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Belgian Congo, mercenaries, and Belgium?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Belgian Congo, mercenaries, and Belgium.

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