Tuesday, September 29, 2020

To the Lions by Holly Watt

To the Lions
by Holly Watt
Published September 3rd 2019 by Dutton Books

An international thriller featuring a female journalist who stumbles upon a dark conspiracy, and her determination to follow the clues, no matter how far that takes her.

Casey Benedict, star reporter at the Post, has infiltrated the lives and exposed the lies of countless politicians and power players. Using her network of contacts, and her ability to slip into whatever identity suits the situation, Casey is always on the search for the next big story, no matter how much danger this might place her in, or what the cost might be, emotionally.

Tipped off by an overheard conversation at an exclusive London nightclub, she begins to investigate the apparent suicide of a wealthy young British man whose death has left his fiance and family devastated. The young man's death, however, is only the tipping point of a much more sinister and dangerous scandal involving the world's most powerful leaders and magnates--men who are gathering in northern Africa for an extreme and secret hunt. With fellow reporter Miranda and combat veteran Ed by her side, Casey's determined hunt for the truth will take her from the glitz of St. Tropez to the deserts of Libya and on to the very darkest corners of the human mind.

4 Stars

I don't know where to start with this gripping political thriller, it was such an incredible read, but I fear my review will just fall short in describing the talent Holly Watt presents in the pages. Told from the perspective of journalist Casey Benedict, To the Lions follows Casey and her investigative journalist crew as they dive into a story about the influx of migrants, wealthy hedge fund and political leaders, and the depraved desires these men seek to fulfill. A secret hunt, one man's apparent suicide, and a beautiful journalist who knows how to slip into any character for the scoop. To the Lions is a fast-paced read with one horrifying plot and yet I couldn't put it down.

I could feel the power rolling of the wealthy magnates in waves, I could understand how their cracks appeared, how the corruption leaked in like black gas turning them into blood hungry monsters. The public doesn't see it, they don't want to, but Casey wants to get to the bottom of whatever the hunt is. I loved Casey as a character, though she certainly has some holes in her background that would have made the story a 5 star read for me. She's imaginative, driven to a fault, and truly has the best interest of the world at heart. She's an authentic journalist and I so appreciated her perspective. She felt authentic and that lent itself to every character and every situation encountered in this novel. It made the far off lands of Libya and Africa come to life, the desperation of the migrant families was palpable, and the terrifying events felt as though I'd read them in a newspaper and not a novel.

Thought-provoking, intriguing, and far more horrifying than I can put to words, To the Lions is one of those reads that takes current political issues just one step further, to the point of making you question if you can even imagine it. Holly Watt makes it so you can.

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