Chris Bohjalian

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The Lioness

book | Fiction | 2022
US & Canada → Doubleday (Ed. Jenny Jackson)

A luxurious African safari turns deadly for a Hollywood starlet and her entourage in this riveting historical thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

Tanzania, 1964. When Katie Barstow, A-list actress, and her new husband, David Hill, decide to bring their Hollywood friends to the Serengeti for their honeymoon, they envision giraffes gently eating leaves from the tall acacia trees, great swarms of wildebeests crossing the Mara River, and herds of zebras storming the sandy plains. Their glamorous guests—including Katie’s best friend, Carmen Tedesco, and Terrance Dutton, the celebrated Black actor who stars alongside Katie in the highly controversial film Tender Madness—will spend their days taking photos, and their evenings drinking chilled gin and tonics back at camp, as the local Tanzanian guides warm water for their baths. The wealthy Americans expect civilized adventure: fresh ice from the kerosene-powered ice maker, dinners of cooked gazelle meat, and plenty of stories to tell over lunch back on Rodeo Drive.

What Katie and her glittering entourage do not expect is this: a kidnapping gone wrong, their guides bleeding out in the dirt, and a team of Russian mercenaries herding their hostages into Land Rovers, guns to their heads. As the powerful sun gives way to night, the gunmen shove them into abandoned huts and Katie Barstow, Hollywood royalty, prays for a simple thing: to see the sun rise one more time. A blistering story of fame, race, love, and death set in a world on the cusp of great change, The Lioness is a vibrant masterpiece from one of our finest storytellers.

Reviews

A masterful tapestry of heart-pounding suspense and deeply moving drama, The Lioness explores what it takes to survive the siren songs of old Hollywood glitter and the Serengeti’s majestic expanse. I cannot recommend this book highly enough

Angie Kim

From its first dazzling pages, Chris Bohjalian’s The Lioness enraptured me. You’ll want to sink into its velvety glamour at the same time as you’ll be swept up in its sharp-eyed exploration of power and predation.

Megan Abbott

Revelatory [and] expertly woven. . . A bloody sprint of a read. . . Lesser writers could not tackle 10 narrators, the complexities of racism in America, African politics, violence both foreign and domestic (as in inside a New York apartment) and make the pieces fit seamlessly together.

The Washington Post
Full Review

Throughout his bloody, often shocking jumble of twists and turns, he weaves life stories with such deftness, it’s impossible not to care how they end

The New York Times
Full Review

Representation
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Jane Gelfman

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Claire Nozieres
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