Review: To the Lions

by Holly Watt (Penguin Random House, 2019)

This is a slow-burn thriller with a gutsy female lead, Casey Benedict, who is an investigative journalist. Chasing down the next breaking story, she crisscrosses the world from her London home base. Casey fabricates ambitious schemes and stories to pull information from her sources. Casey's superpower is manipulation; her many lies spring from her reluctance to face the truth about her own past. One night she overhears a "too strange to be true" rumor about a secret fraternity of rich, famous, and powerful men who do illegal and horrific things for "fun". Determined to find the truth and bust the reputations of the bad boys, she engages some allies and follows clues leading from elite European parties to a refugee settlement in North Africa. The prose here is staccato sharp, sometimes fragmented, almost like reading from a reporter's notebook. Debut novelist Holly Watt is a journalist covering contemporary international news. Highly recommended for readers who like contemporary issues mixed in with their fiction.

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Karen Lewis