Dare to step on board The Lion’s Den?
When Belle is invited by her old friend Summer on a luxurious girls’ getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend’s yacht, the only answer is yes.
But once aboard the opulent Lion’s Den, the dream holiday quickly turns into a nightmare. Belle and the other six women Summer has invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their powerful host, locked into their cabins at night, their every move controlled – and Belle finds Summer herself is no longer the girl she once knew.
It soon becomes clear someone has a dark secret. Pulled into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, Belle realises she must keep her wits about her if she is to make it off the yacht alive…
This enjoyable and gripping debut thriller from Katherine St. John has an interesting and pacy plot, which uses different time periods to build it’s story.
Told by our main protagonist, Belle, it is a mix of thriller, women’s fiction with a dash of psychological suspense.
Belle is invited by her old friend Summer, on an all expenses paid holiday aboard the luxury yacht The Lion’s Den, owned by Summer’s much older millionaire boyfriend John. Also invited are 2 other female friends, Summer’s sister plus guest and Summer’s mother. All except one, known to Belle, and all seemingly happy to tow the line for a piece of indulgent luxury, putting aside any current feelings for Summer for a week sailing around the Italian and French Rivieras.
The moment Belle boards The Lion’s Den , however, there is an uncomfortable dynamics between the people onboard and odd things are soon noted. Cabin doors locked from the outside at night, no wi-fi or photos to be uploaded, instructions and itinerary given out each morning by John and Summer. Soon Belle starts to wonder why she ever accepted this invitation and discovers that things are about to become a whole lot more serious than she could ever imagine.
I really liked the way the author used the different time strands leading up to the trip to go back, cleverly and slowly revealing another piece of the puzzle in this story, allowing the reader to see what is behind the possible goings on, on board the yacht. The character’s of Eric and his brother are well thought out and used within the book and the images of the yacht and all the different ports it stops at are vivid and wonderfully evoked.
With the high possibility of very little summer travel taking place this year, it’s a great book to escape with to imagine a bit of Mediterranean heat, sea and sun soaked towns, even within this thriller setting. The story kept me hooked throughout and offers a number of twists and turn with a satisfying ending to top it all off!
A great debut and will look out for more from this author in the future.
A big thank you to Emily Patience at Headline for sending me a copy of this book via NetGalley. The Lion’s Den is available now on EBook and out in paperback March 2021.