book cover of The Lions\' Den
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The Lions' Den

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
Rookie lawyer Grace Zulu does not give up easily. She escaped an arranged marriage to put herself through university. Now she’s got her first case.

Her client is young Willbess ‘Bessy’ Mulenga, who has been arrested for offences ‘against nature’. Bessy works in a men-only bar, loves to dance, to wear dresses and live freely. But in 1990s Zambia, following your own identity can get you beaten, jailed or even worse. Grace is determined to get Bessy out of custody. Then her terrified, bruised client goes missing without a trace. She knows something bad has happened and that someone is trying to cover it up. Along with the most unlikely group of allies, Grace must take on powerful enemies at the highest levels – even risk her own safety – to get to the truth. The whole truth.

A debut novel that soars with passion and humanity, The Lions' Den is a moving story of prejudice, corruption, injustice, courage and solidarity. It shows us that no cause is ever a lost one.


Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"A smash of a debut . . . Iris Mwanza has taken it all on, from the original reverberating assault of British colonialism to what happened next, to a sideswipe at contemporary Zambia, and she's done it with literal grace." - Alexandra Fuller

"A vibrant and pacey legal thriller with a big-hearted heroine you'll be rooting for from the very first page." - Paula Hawkins

"A brave tale, written with compassion and a keen eye for detail . . . Memorable, insightful and compelling." - Femi Kayode

"An evocative, touching and - in multiple senses - moving portrait of Zambian life and politics at a moment of great transformation." - Namwali Serpell


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