Blog Tour – April 2022 – The Shot – Sarah Sultoon

I’ve got to start with an apology – for the lateness of this review. A weekend of horrendous headaches put me a bit behind with my reading, and I’ve literally just finished this one – and what a book it was! It’s another winner from the Orenda stable, and I’d be very surprised if there’s a more timely book out there…

This is because it’s about a television photo journalist and her cameraman. Sami is the young, ambitious journalist, whose grasp of Arabic makes her a prime contender for some of the hotspots of geopolitical trouble. Her older, more experienced, cameraman is Kris, and in this book we travel around the warzones, seeing what it’s really like outside of the 5 or 10 minutes they’re on our screens every day.

Well, with the events in the Ukraine currently at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts, it does certainly sound a timely release, albeit by accident. Who else do we meet?

We’re introduced to characters such as interpreters, who put their lives – and those of their families – on the line to try to get story of the plight of their people out into the wider world – with no guarantee for their future safety (I was reminded of the plight of Afghani interpreters who, despite assurances from their British employers, were going to be abandoned to the Taliban, until there was an outcry – ironically by the media!)

Tell us a little more about Sami and Kris, as characters…

Sami is young, ambitious, and passionate. She has an eye for a story, and her career takes up the main part of her life. Kris is older, with much more experience in the field, and his cocksure attitude hides a more insecure side. His career has turned him into something of an adrenalin junkie – he’s never happier than when he’s out in the field, chasing down the perfect images to partner Sami’s reporting.

What else can you add about the book?

It makes you think about all the victims of war, documenting the emotional toll it can have not only on those who live on what essentially become battlefields, but the others: as mentioned, the interpreters, and the reporters like Sami and Kris who go to places that could easily be described as “hell on earth” in order to give us, sitting in our cosy living rooms in the West, a snapshot of where, but for the grace of God, we could be…

Any final thoughts…?

It’s a book I’ve literally put down in the last hour, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of those rare books that will live on in my mind. Perhaps it’s the timing, but it gives you a rare glimpse into a world – or a career – we don’t often consider, once the reporter’s familiar face disappears from your nightly news. As it’s Sarah Sultoon’s day job, we’re getting it straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were! I can imagine that much of this book is taken from her own experiences. I just hope it won’t be her only novel

Don’t miss it – particularly at present!

With thanks – and apologies! – to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for kindly inviting me on this blog tour, and to Karen at Orenda Books for my ARC. This has in no way affected my opinion of the book, and this is an unbiased review.

Author Sarah Sultoon

Follow the rest of the Blog Tour, and all these wonderful bloggers!

BLURB: An aspiring TV journalist faces a shattering moral dilemma and the prospect of losing her career and her life, when she joins an impetuous photographer in the Middle East. A shocking, searingly authentic thriller by award-winning ex-CNN news executive Sarah Sultoon.

Samira is an up-and-coming TV journalist, working the nightshift at a major news channel and yearning for greater things. So when she’s offered a trip to the Middle East, with Kris, the station’s brilliant but impetuous star photographer, she leaps at the chance

In the field together, Sami and Kris feel invincible, shining a light into the darkest of corners … except the newsroom, and the rest of the world, doesn’t seem to care as much as they do. Until Kris takes the photograph.

With a single image of young Sudanese mother, injured in a raid on her camp, Sami and the genocide in Darfur are catapulted into the limelight. But everything is not as it seems, and the shots taken by Kris reveal something deeper and much darker … something that puts not only their careers but their lives in mortal danger.

Sarah Sultoon brings all her experience as a CNN news executive to bear on this shocking, searingly authentic thriller, which asks immense questions about the world we live in. You’ll never look at a news report in the same way again… 

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