THE LION'S DEN turned out to be the perfect read for my current mood. It was light, frothy, and utterly mean-spirited, a scathing critique on social climbers through the medium of locked-room murder mystery aboard a private yacht. Similar to Janelle Brown's PRETTY THINGS, everyone in the book is an awful person... but some of them are more awful than others.
Aspiring actress Belle is a little surprised when her friend Summer invites her above her rich (and older) boyfriend's private yacht for her birthday on a trip to the French Riviera. Particularly since she and Summer haven't exactly been biffles lately. But an all-expenses paid vacation is an all-expenses paid vacation-- OR SO SHE THINKS. Things start getting sinister pretty quickly. Assigned seating, restricted diets, technology embargos. John isn't just a rich boyfriend, he's also super controlling.
And then the killings begin.
Told in past and present POVs, THE LION'S DEN plunges us not just into a vacation-turned-Hitchcock-movie but also into the super secret falling out between Summer and Belle and how it ties into the events of the present day. Let me just tell you that even if you get cocky about reading this book and think you have it all figured out-- you don't. There were several things in here that shocked me in a good way, even though I thought I knew what was going to happen. Little twists keep the book interesting and spicy, so I appreciated that as a reader.
Even though Belle is vapid, she quickly proves to be surprisingly interesting-- and there's a great cast of characters in here to love, hate, or love to hate, ranging from tacky pageant-type moms to hot artists to silent and sinister bodyguards. Yes, THE LION'S DEN is pleasure reading, but it's decadent and delightful and just brainy enough to be completely guilt-free. I enjoyed it immensely!
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars