Ronan Farrow’s ‘Catch and Kill’ is the Best Thriller You’ll Read All Year

"Catch and Kill" coverOf all the horrifying stories in Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators,” one aside, barely a paragraph, haunts me.

A victim of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein finally worked up the nerve to broach the subject of her alleged sexual assault with her therapist.

Not long after, she spotted her therapist at Weinstein movie premiere.

Her therapist was a producer on the film.

I can’t even imagine the sense of betrayal.

This is but one anecdote illustrating Weinstein’s insidious grasp over the entertainment industry.

As “Catch and Kill” shows, Weinstein had a legion of enablers and sycophants. He silenced his alleged victims with threats and non-disclosure agreements they felt they had no choice but to sign.

Farrow’s book (the title taken from the National Enquirer’s practice of buying incriminating stories and burying them, often for such powerful men as Donald Trump) is a meticulously reported account of his investigation into Weinstein’s alleged decades of abuse, Weinstein’s incredible tactics to fight the truth coming out, and how Farrow’s own network, NBC, thwarted his reporting.

Author Ronan Farrow
Author Ronan Farrow.

As Farrow convinced more and more women to talk on the record of the abuse they suffered, he found himself being followed. He came to suspect his phone was bugged. Fellow journalists could not be trusted. Attorney Lisa Bloom was just one of the many people who tried to cozy up to Farrow, even as she worked for Weinstein to discredit his accusers.

What Farrow didn’t learn until later was that Weinstein had hired an Israeli security firm known as Black Cube to infiltrate his life as well as that of some of his accusers. One Black Cube operative spent months – months! – undercover gaining the confidence of actress Rose McGowan and pretending to be her best friend.

The accumulation of details is damning: Weinstein had a pattern with all these women – meeting them on a pretext of business, usually at a hotel, then demanding a massage or worse. Much worse.

NBC backed away from the story, and Farrow connects Weinstein’s knowledge of “Today” anchor Matt Lauer’s vile activities – including one alleged rape – to derail Farrow’s work at the network. (He had to go to the New Yorker to get his report published.)

If Farrow had written a novel with these kinds of details, exploring a criminal conspiracy that stretches years and years, readers would consider the story too far-fetched.

As “Catch and Kill” demonstrates, the rich and powerful really do live by different rules – with the means to use other people as toys to break as they see fit.

There isn’t enough money in the world to compensate McGowan and the other women for the horrors they endured, not just for the assaults, but for the years of insidious gaslighting.

Get your copy of “Catch and Kill” here. You won’t be able to put it down.

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