The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian @doubledaybooks #historicalfiction #bookreview


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.

“The best possible combination of Hemingway and Agatha Christie — a gorgeously written story about the landscape and risks of Africa, whose edge-of-your-seat plot makes it impossible to put down.”
—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here

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.


Katie Barstow is a superstar actress. She has just recently wed her new husband, David Hill. Instead of a normal honeymoon, they decide to spend their honeymoon with many of their friends on a safari in the Serengeti. The trip begins with some unique experiences but then it turns deadly!

I love the setting and the time period of this novel. This tale encompasses many issues of race and sexuality. I also found Carmen, Kate’s best friend, to be one of the best characters in the whole book. Talk about the unexpected…she is not a woman whom I expected to be the strength of the whole safari.

However, I enjoyed this story but I did not like the format. First off, there are tons of characters and a lot of these characters tell their own point of view. So, you have quite a few different narrators. But the thing I hated most was the time jumping. There are tons of flashbacks per person. Some of these flashbacks start before the safari and some are early life. It just seems a bit scattered and hard to follow.

I am a huge fan of this author and while I found this story to not be one of my favorites, it is still one that has stayed with me. I can see this making a wonderful movie.

Need a good story with a an unusual setting…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

Book bub


About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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2 Responses to The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian @doubledaybooks #historicalfiction #bookreview

  1. I like this author too, but sounds confusing.

    Thanks for sharing.

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