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....Read More
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.
CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-three books, including Hour of the Witch, The Red Lotus, Midwives, and The Flight Attendant, which has been made into an HBO Max limited series starring Kaley Cuoco. His other books include The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; and The Double Bind. His novels Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers were made into movies, and his work has been translated into more than thirty-five languages. He is also a playwright (Wingspan and Midwives). He lives in Vermont and can be found at chrisbohjalian.com or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Litsy, and Goodreads, @chrisbohjalian
“If you’re getting on a long flight and have no idea what book to bring, Bohjalian’s novels are always a safe bet. If you’re going on a safari, you may want to approach his latest with caution: It’s the story of a lavish expedition in Tanzania in 1964 gone very wrong. The travelers are Hollywood A-listers; wildebeest and zebras abound; and Bohjalian steers this runaway Land Rover of a story into some wildly entertaining territory.” - The New York Times
“In The Lioness, [Bohjalian] moves to early-1960s East Africa and a Hollywood entourage on a safari that goes horribly awry when Russian mercenaries shoot their guides and staff members. Of course, the survivors have their own back stories and intrigues, which enrich the story and complicate their alliances as they struggle to stay alive.” - Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times
"Bohjalian, one of our finest storytellers, weaves his spellbinding magic... Extraordinarily engaging…Ultimately, the deadly-serious real-world tale that Bohjalian taps into — the horrifying outcomes of corruption-inducing power — is a not-so-gentle reminder that while you can’t always stop the story, sometimes you can change it.” - Daneet Steffens, The Boston Globe
“Bohjalian creates ample suspense by keeping answers tantalizingly out of reach until the last pages…Bohjalian excels at putting his story in period context… [and] leaves social, political and cultural Easter eggs on practically every page…. The Lioness is a fast-paced page-turner with likable characters and a richly crafted world.” - Jordan Adams, Seven Days
“Bohjalian takes what could be elements of a potboiler and skillfully works them into a smart and stirring look at a continent on the cusp of change.” - Virtuoso Life Magazine
"The Lioness feels like 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. Bohjalian just gets better and better.” - Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here
"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, New York Times bestselling author of The Turnout
“Chris Bohjalian’s best book yet and that is saying a lot. Of course it’s a page-turner, with the usual Bohjalian qualities of fine writing, deep characters and insight, but this time in Africa. On Safari, with Hollywood types. I was in heaven.” - Anne Lamott, bestselling author of Dusk Night Dawn and Bird by Bird
"I loved this novel so much that I blew off all my responsibilities, turned off my phone, and got lost in this mesmerizing world created by Chris Bohjalian. 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, New York Times bestselling author of Miracle Creek“The Lioness is a superb novel, satisfying on every level. Chris Bohjalian has managed a high wire act: A story that is simultaneously a thrilling page-turner, a thoughtful political history, a gripping safari adventure, and a nuanced character portrait. Jumping back and forth between the gimlet glitter of Hollywood and the violent upheavals of midcentury Africa, The Lioness is a whirlwind of a journey. I devoured it." - Janelle Brown, New York Times bestselling Author of Pretty Things and I’ll Be You
"Fame, race, love, and death collide in this thrilling read." - Zibby Owens, Katie Couric Media
“Skillfully and creatively organized. . .The character development is excellent, and the plot gripping. Bohjalian’s descriptions of the Serengeti’s animals and dangers are captivating. The glimpses of 1960s La-la land are a remarkable contrast to the 1960s East African political upheavals. Highly recommended.” - Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, Historical Novel Society
“Chilling…and…Suspenseful” - Garrett Billings, SheReads
"A blistering story of fame, race, love, and death set in a world on the cusp of great change, The Safari is a vibrant masterpiece from one of our finest storytellers." - Oh No They Didn't
“[A] thrilling story that you won’t want to put down…A great novel to kickstart your spring reading season.” - Red Carpet Crash
"[A] devastatingly cunning suspense novel... Bohjalian does a superb job of judiciously rolling out information of how past transgressions may have led to the heart-stopping episodes of chaos and carnage as the shocking, twist-filled plot builds up to the revelation of 'the real reasons for the safari nightmare.' This brilliant whydunit is not to be missed." - Publishers Weekly, starred
“The novel’s opening action may burst forth with a deadly ambush but Bohjalian doesn’t blindside loyal readers who have come to expect his signature combination of exotic locations, titillating characters, and energetic pacing. Stark and dark, violent and vivid, this may be versatile Bohjalian’s most harrowing work since Skeletons of the Feast. Intimately researched, the Serengeti’s beauty and brutality are vibrantly infused in every scene, a grounding counterpoint to the competing dynamics of human cruelty and compassion.” - Booklist, starred
"Another tour de force from Bohjalian...Hollywood elite become the hunted as their instinctual fight for survival takes priority over all else. Fans of character-driven narratives will relish traipsing through both the [Serengeti] and the souls and psyches of Bohjalian’s characters." - Library Journal, starred
“[This] fast-paced novel allows little time for contemplating sunsets as these pampered folks fight for survival against scorching sun, a lack of resources and, worst of all, dangerous animals.” - Arlene McKanic, BookPage