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The Lioness

It's been awhile since I have read a book that I could not put down. I started The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian

last weekend and was immediately sucked in. Set in the 1960's Serengeti, the setting and sense of place is glamorous and deadly. A group of movie stars and their entourage embark on an African safari, but not all of them survive. The Lioness is suspenseful, atmospheric and deadly.


Set in 1964 Tanzania, Hollywood starlet Katie Barstow and her newlywed husband David Hill take their friends and colleagues on an African safari for their honeymoon. What was meant to be a once in a lifetime trip, turns deadly and the group must fight to survive the deadly landscape, as well as their kidnappers.


Chris Bohjalian is a master of his craft. His books usually have a mystery/suspense element and are the perfect blend of plot and character driven. I felt like I was right there in the Serengeti with all of these glamorous Hollywood actors and actresses, famous film writers, managers and publicists. I swear I could feel the heat and see the giraffes and lions. This story came alive off the page and had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and had to know how the story ended.

Each chapter alternates character perspective and bounces back and forth between the present and prior events that led each person there.

The first chapter throws you into the action and we learn that not everyone will survive this trip, yet we do not know who dies and who survives. I love when a book starts out strong and has me guessing and putting the puzzle pieces together after each chapter.

The Lioness may be my favorite Chris Bohjalian novel. He is one with an extensive backlist and I plan on reading more of.

Check out @overbookedmoms reel inspired by The Lioness. Amy and Katie are two book loving moms who totally nailed the aesthetic of The Lioness. I just had to share their work. Give them a follow for some amazing book recommendations and fun #friendorfoefridays.


4.5 -5 stars

Other Books by Chris Bohjalian that I Recommend:

The Red Lotus

The Flight Attendant

The Hour of the Witch

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