An act of mercy or the ultimate betrayal: The Shot by Sarah Sultoon #bookreview #TheShot

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…


Hi and welcome to my review of The Shot!

I’m not sure where to begin with this one, it doesn’t happen very often but I’m speechless. I’m not the most avid reader of war stories, they always hit me hard, and coming from an author like Sarah Sultoon, well, it’s going to take some time to come back from this one.

The Shot is told from two perspectives: Samira’s in the first person and Kris’s in the third person. Sami is the enthusiastic, overachieving newbie who is trying to work her way up the food chain, while Kris is the network’s established, somewhat elusive star cameraman / photographer. I immediately took to Sami, burning the candle at both ends, a goal in mind and willing to do whatever it may take to reach it. And Kris, well, I’m not sure I really liked him very much as a person at first, but I did admire his gumption and passion for his job. 

As with her debut, The Source, Sarah Sultoon offers a terrifyingly realistic and authentic story. She’s been there, she’s done that, she knows so many other people who have been there and done that, and it shows. The enthusiasm, the professional pride, the vigor with which a story is brought to the world, but also the much darker side of things. The Shot shows its reader a harrowing side of journalism that I personally have never really considered. The price to pay to show the world the truth can be steep and I will never look at international reporters in the same way again.

I had just started reading The Shot when Russia invaded Ukraine. The Shot may be set in a completely different war zone, but at the end of the day, war is war and we’re all people who deserve better. The current affairs made this book (even) hard(er) to read, and I think I read about half of it on the brink of tears.

Acting as a counterweight to its harrowing nature is The Shot’s beautiful prose. I could fill a whole page with sentences I read twice or thrice because they were just perfect. I enjoyed Sarah Sultoon’s writing immensely.

The Shot is part stunning drama, part riveting thriller. It is thought-provoking and insightful and I loved it. Recommended.

The Shot is out now in digital formats with the paperback to follow in April. (Pre)order directly from Orenda Books here.

Massive thanks to Orenda Books for the eARC. All opinions are my own.

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