Like a lot of people, I read this in close proximity to She Said, the other book published in 2019 about breaking the Harvey Weinstein story. (I liked She Said better. I liked that both authors were ladies, and I liked the close focus on true journalism and building relationships with their sources; it really centered the women’s stories and how they had been affected.) But this one is different enough in tone and style that it brings a lot to the table, as well, and it was an entertaining (if enraging) read.
First of all, Farrow writes this book as if it were a non-fiction thriller, which was definitely new. The chapters are short, and he bounces you from POV to POV, so at first you don’t know what’s going on. He constructs a thriller style narrative out of all of his research and interviews, and it doesn’t just involve journalism, but actual spies, unethical lawyers, network skullduggery, and Harvey Weinstein and his team exercising all their possible power and influence to protect Weinstein’s empire of money and not-so-secret abuse. (Seriously, fuck Lisa Bloom.) Farrow’s experience of researching and trying to first air the story on NBC and then eventually publish it in print with the New Yorker is incredibly illuminating for what goes on behind closed doors in service of protecting the status quo and the men who profit from it.
This book also centers Farrow and his experiences, and it is extremely dramatic. A good part of the book is focused on how the investigation is impacting his personal and professional lives, and his mental health. This book, as well as touching on certain other topics that She Said does, adds details about Matt Lauer. Farrow worked with Lauer at NBC and had ins to get interviews from sources there. That part of the book was almost as damning as the stuff about Weinstein.
If you only had it in you to read one book about this topic, I would probably go with She Said, because it is so straightforward, but if you’re looking for something a little more constructed and intense, Catch and Kill is a good read for that. It’s also a longer book by almost double, so it has more room to get to things that are more peripheral. I’d suggest reading both books. They complement each other well.