Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
Published October 15, 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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TW: sexual assault
File this under truth is stranger than fiction. After nearly a year of investigative journalism, Ronan Farrow published an article in The New Yorker with scathing accusations of repeated sexual abuse by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and the long-standing cover-up of the allegations by Hollywood execs.* This is the story behind Farrow’s investigation and subsequent publishing of the article–the story behind the story. Catch and Kill is exceptionally readable. It is very easy to forget that this is not a work of fiction. During the investigation, Farrow was the subject of undercover surveillance and repeated attempts by Weinstein’s team to gain access to the women he was interviewing. He was also repeatedly told by his then-employer NBC to table the report and stop his investigations (he hints early in the book about the ultimate reason for NBC’s actions but the reveal is still surprising and sad). Farrow mentions many times that this is the women’s story but he is able to weave in his own experiences during the course of his investigation without taking away from them. If you are triggered by or sensitive to details of sexual harassment or sexual assault, this book is probably not for you. If you are not triggered by details of sexual harassment or sexual assault, I highly recommend picking up Catch and Kill. The stories in this book should be heard and the cover-ups should be brought to light. It will make you sad, and angry, and hopeful, all at once. 5 stars, only because that’s the limit. Easily one of the best books I’ve ever read.
*The article, along with a parallel article in the New York Times, sparked the #metoo movement, and likely encouraged many victims to come forward with their own experiences of sexual harassment and abuse.