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To The Lions

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  872 ratings  ·  162 reviews
A journalist must 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, Casey is always on the search for the next big story, no matter how much danger this might place her in, no matter what cost emotionally.

Hardcover, 448 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Raven Books
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  872 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Holly Watt writes a fast paced political thriller that focuses on one of our biggest contemporary global crises, that of the growth of the huge numbers of refugees and migrants that is proving to be a testing issue. Unusually, it delves into some of the causes that lie behind the forced flight of so many people to leave their home and country. After all, no-one would actually choose to put themselves in such a precarious and dangerous position, would they??? Watt provides us with insights and ob ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The best word to sum up this book is fascinating, or is it intriguing, or horrifying or......, you get the picture, many words come to mind to describe what I have just read
The basics are that Casey and Miranda are investigative journalists for The Post, Casey stumbles ( while on another job ) upon what she thinks is a story.....the story turns out to be very rich and powerful people, worldwide, going on ‘human safaris’ to refugee camps, I did say horrifying!
But it is so much more than that sho
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
To the Lions, the first novel in the Investigative Journalist Casey Benedict International Thriller Series, has some original and interesting features to it. I am a strong believer that a good thriller can excite but also contain more substantial topical issues and explorations as it did here. The major talking point of immigration was broached, as well as commentary on the political sphere and the underhand goings-on that likely takes place within it, doing things for the greater good, journali ...more
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-wins
Okay, I’ve decided I’m not going to write a description of this novel because you can just read that in the blurb on goodreads or amazon, etc. I’m going to stick to what I thought about it, because that’s why we read reviews, right? But, just in case you haven’t read the blurb, I’ll just say this real quick.. the story revolves around a couple of British journalists who are determined to break a story involving refugee camps that are worlds away from their safe, beautiful homes and they w
"To the Lions" is the phrase journalists use when talking about who they are going to rip apart and throw to the lions next. To that end, this is a story about how far a journalist will go to get a story and the hip, young journalists portrayed here who work undercover in disguise and secret identities like secret agents test those limits. They get word overhearing a conversation in a posh London nightclub that rich first-worlders jetsettting off for one last thrill are going on safari in the th ...more
Liz Barnsley
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To The Lions is just my kind of book, strong realistic characters, a tense and thought provoking story with perfectly immersive writing and a page turning quality that grips you throughout.
Investigative journalism sits at the centre of Holly Watt’s considered thriller as Casey Benedict, our main protagonist, stumbles into a dark possibility. Instincts kicking in, she sets out to expose the truth, but danger lurks around every corner.
There are some heart breaking truths ingrained into the narrati
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
To the Lions, Holly Watt's debut novel, stars Casey, an investigative journalist working in close collaboration with her friend and colleague Miranda. When Casey gets wind of an undercover operation that allows wealthy men to travel to Libya and shoot refugees for fun, she knows she must track down the truth - for the sake of the story, but also for justice. However, her pursuit takes her into some very dangerous places, as well as into the path of people from her past that she thought she'd nev ...more
Carlene Inspired
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 appa ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you are a fan of Gregg Hurwitz' Orphan X, you might love To the Lions. I am an outlier in terms of that series as well -- readers still want to argue with my 1-star rating, notwithstanding the overwhelming success of Hurwitz' series and my ignorable, amateur reviewer status -- and I got a strong and very similar vibe from this one in the admittedly 50 pages I gave it. The vast majority of readers rate the Evan Smoak series highly and wait impatiently for each next series entrant. I can easily ...more
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a stylish thriller, and it is a journalistic thriller a style I really like. Some of the scenes in this are so horrifying that it really made me stop and contemplate the hideous nature of some of our fellow humans. Yes, it is fiction, but could it be true? Could there really be such callousness in real life? I hope not.
Casey and Miranda are investigative journalists, working for a large newspaper. They go undercover to get the back story, they lurk in bars trying to hear the privat
Sid Nuncius
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
In the end I’m afraid I found To The Lions pretty hard going. Holly Watt is a fine investigative journalist, but doesn’t really manage to make the transition from journalism to fiction.

It begins very well as Casey (an investigative journalist) overhears something very disturbing while in a nightclub following another story and decides to follow it up. Watt is excellent in her descriptions of the process of investigative journalism and I was very involved as the process began. However, other aspe

This book appeared in my library and I picked it up. I don't really read contemporary thrillers but since it's about a journalist travelling around the world to try and break a story I thought it could be fun.

It was good. It's pretty heavy handed with it's commentary on refugees and North African politics. There's a chase scene near the end which is supposed to be thrilling but it's clear the good guys will get away from the bad guys. There's a bit of romance as well which I didn't care for. Th
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fast-paced political thriller. It touched on ruthless secretive groups, conflicts and moral and ethical dilemmas with regard to the growth of the huge numbers of refugees and migrants that has become such a debatable issue.

"To the Lions" was an incredibly intense and highly relevant, fascinating read.

It was well worth picking this up. Rating: 4 Stars

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Bloomsbury Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own
Thank you NetGalley and Dutton Books for granting my wish on my request for this book.

To The Lions is a debut novel by Holly Watt, who is a UK based investigative reporter who has written for The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, and The Guardian.

The story is about Casey Benedict, a star reporter for The Post who is looking for the best story in a dog eat dog and cutthroat world of journalism, where you are only as good as your last story. She overhears about a recent scandal and a game being played
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
On the one hand the idea behind the book is great. Journalist over hears finance bozos boasting of a crime and gets stuck in. The authors own experience as an investigative journal is used for good effect and the crime investigated is an attention getter. The problem is that it then gets really stupid. The two journalists are the best, they can do everything, to the extent that the whole book tips into the dreaded zone of unintentional comedy as everything possible gets thrown in. Self mythologi ...more
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Does the end always justify the means?? This debut novel addresses this question and many others as Watt delves into the lives of investigative journalism. Casey and Miranda who both work for the Post, find sketchy evidence of a manhunt in Libya and are determined to expose the truth (think The Most Dangerous Game with unsuspecting victims). With combat veteran Ed in tow, the three travel to Libya and use subterfuge and other talents they've gleaned to become part of this chilling "tour." I'll b ...more
Oliver Clarke
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘To The Lions’ is everything a thriller should be. It’s a gripping, convincing thriller and mixes a dynamite plot with believable detail. Holly Watt has delivered an extremely impressive first novel that I struggled to put down.

The plot is simple, but powerful and effective. Journalist Casey, who works for fictitious London paper The Post, overhears a conversation in a bar that suggests that rich businessmen are committing murder for kicks. The book follows her investigation as it crosses conti
Roman Clodia
I love the idea of an investigative journalist as the heroine of this story and the core idea is horribly plausible - it's a shame then that there are so many plot holes and clichés of the thriller genre from the beautiful, ruthless yet vulnerable Carey to the PTSD-suffering ex-Marine who almost strangles her in her sleep (how many times have we seen that scene played out in books and films and TV?)

I don't want to reveal spoilers but just some of the WTF? moments come from the fact that the ultr
Jillian Doherty
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a power punch of a debut!

With incredible scene illustration, true-to-life correspondent backing, and a thrilling sense of narrative adventure – this story of espionage, journalistic investigation, and female driven suspense keeps you fully enthralled.

From London to Africa, and each nail biting moment in between, you feel like this author has the chops to deliver an authentic behind-the-scenes story, that reads like a movie.

Nicely balanced for literary and commercial fans alike; just li
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The subject-matter of this international socio-political thriller is pretty dark, but it was a rollicking good read. A couple of ambitious and sassy UK investigative journalists pursue a horrifying but very newsworthy story - someone is selling "human safari" experiences to those who have the right connections and the money to pay. The chase takes them from London to the French Riviera, Geneva, Lebanon and ultimately North Africa, where the majority of the action takes place. The tension is palp ...more
Ritika Chhabra
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Follow Just A Girl High On Books for more reviews.

I received an uncorrected proof of this book in exchange for an honest review.

"You could tell a man from the woman he live with. The person they chose was a window to the soul."

To The Lions
 begins with Casey and her tip to a bar. There is a particular company she is looking into and her source at the bar informed her of his presence. And that is how one of the biggest, and the scariest adventures of her life begins. It was all about a conversatio
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
To the Lions

Holy Molly! This book was soooo good! What a ride! Casey and Miranda are journalists for The Post. While doing some investigative work at a bar, Casey overhears a conversation between two men about a manhunt at a refugee camp. Someone can pay a lot of money to be transported near a camp and shoot any refugee without retaliation. Casey and Miranda launch the biggest journalistic investigation of their career to uncover who is organizing these manhunts and bring them to justice. This will be a ver
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This amazing debut is my favorite book of 2019. So far.
The story is so gripping, the writing so razor-sharp that the compulsion to read is undeniable.
Holly Watt uses her knowledge of investigative journalism to infuse the tale with fascinating information on the techniques used in going undercover for a story and what it's like to be there.
It's brilliant.

Casey Benedict is a star reporter for the London Post.
One night, in a club, she overhears on conversation that will lead her to one of the most
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Casey works for the Post as an investigative reporter. Whilst in a club in London for a story she overhears something intriguing in the next booth. This nugget of information leads her into undercover work to discover who is killing people for kicks. This was one of those unputdownable books because the writing was so absorbing and the story reels you in. Amazing debut and I will definitely look out for the next book in the series when it's published. ...more
Elizabeth Campbell
I received an advanced reader copy of To the Lions from a Goodreads Giveaway. This is NOT the type of book I normally read. I like my books romantic and my tv full of crime, lol. I have to say though, this book was incredibly well written. Despite the book focusing nearly entirely on the story the main character is trying to crack, I still really cared for all the characters even though there wasn't much character development and at the end of the book I wanted to know what happens next for them ...more
Nicole Overmoyer
To the Lions is a stunning book.

Holly Watt has created a story that will pull you in, that will haunt you, that will make you think about horrific things that could so easily be reality. And maybe they are. I wouldn’t be surprised.

This thriller, seemingly the start of a series, focuses on Casey Benedict. Casey is an investigative reporter based in London who is adept at going undercover for the sorts of stories that do capture the attention of the world as they are released in troves and mountai
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

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, a star reporter at the Post, has infiltrated the li
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
Disclaimer: I received this book published by Bloomsbury Publishing courtesy of Pansing Distributors in exchange for my honest review.

Casey Benedict is a star reporter at the Post and is constantly in search for the next breaking story, regardless of how dangerous the situation may be.

She overhears a conversation at an exclusive London nightclub about an apparent suicide of a wealthy young British man, whose death has left his family devastated. She goes undercover, with the help of her peers a

“Remind me - who are we throwing to the lions today?” - Ross, News Editor in ‘To the Lions’.

My thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing/Raven Books for an eARC via NetGalley of Holly Watt’s debut novel.

Overhearing a snippet of conversation in a crowded London club Investigative Journalist Casey Benedict realised that it may lead to an explosive expose. She manages to convince her editor to back an undercover operation in North Africa. She is teamed with Miranda, another reporter at The London Post, and
Heath Henwood
Jan 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
To the Lions
By Holly Watt

1 stars.

Slow & Disjoined

Some books engage the reader from the first word. Others take a few chapters to draw the reader in.

Unfortunately “To the Lions” fails to do either. At least, it fails to engage the reader in the first seven chapters, at which point I gave up.

The plot follows a female reporter who tries to expose corruption in government and business, taking her on a journey through Europe and Northern Africa.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing a review copy in re
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My name is Holly Watt
My first novel - To The Lions - won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller of the year in 2019. In 2020, and my second book, The Dead Line, was named one of the Thrillers of the Year by The Times and the FT. The Casey Benedict series continues with The Hunt and The Kill, which will be published in July 2021.
Before writing novels, I was an investigative j

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