Blood and Oil

Mohammed bin Salman's Ruthless Quest for Global Power


By Bradley Hope

By Justin Scheck

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From award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters comes a revelatory look at the inner workings of the world's most powerful royal family, and how the struggle for succession produced Saudi Arabia's charismatic but ruthless Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS.

35-year-old Mohammed bin Salman's sudden rise stunned the world. Political and business leaders such as former UK prime minister Tony Blair and WME chairman Ari Emanuel flew out to meet with the crown prince and came away convinced that his desire to reform the kingdom was sincere. He spoke passionately about bringing women into the workforce and toning down Saudi Arabia's restrictive Islamic law. He lifted the ban on women driving and explored investments in Silicon Valley.

But MBS began to betray an erratic interior beneath the polish laid on by scores of consultants and public relations experts like McKinsey & Company. The allegations of his extreme brutality and excess began to slip out, including that he ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While stamping out dissent by holding 300 people, including prominent members of the Saudi royal family, in the Ritz-Carlton hotel and elsewhere for months, he continued to exhibit his extreme wealth, including buying a $70 million chateau in Europe and one of the world's most expensive yachts. It seemed that he did not understand nor care about how the outside world would react to his displays of autocratic muscle—what mattered was the flex.

Blood and Oil is a gripping work of investigative journalism about one of the world's most decisive and dangerous new leaders. Hope and Scheck show how MBS' precipitous rise coincided with the fraying of the simple bargain that had been at the head of US-Saudi relations for more than 80 years: oil, for military protection. Caught in his net are well-known US bankers, Hollywood figures, and politicians, all eager to help the charming and crafty crown prince.

The Middle East is already a volatile region. Add to the mix an ambitious prince with extraordinary powers, hunger for lucre, a tight relationship with the White House through President Trump's son in law Jared Kushner, and an apparent willingness to break anything—and anyone—that gets in the way of his vision, and the stakes of his rise are bracing. If his bid fails, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become an unstable failed state and a magnet for Islamic extremists. And if his bid to transform his country succeeds, even in part, it will have reverberations around the world.

Longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award


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Authors' Note

We started this project because Mohammed bin Salman is one of the world's most important new political and business figures, but he remains a mystery to those affected by the huge decisions he's making every few months. Whether it's Middle Eastern countries adjusting to his brusque use of power, technology companies growing thanks to billions of dollars he has invested, families of dissidents and regime critics whose lives have been upended, or people affected by his decision to start using oil as an economic weapon in early 2020, no one really has a clue what's driving his decision making or how he was able to rise so rapidly.

We are investigative reporters who focus on money—how it's spent, where it flows, and what it's used for—so we entered into this project believing we needed to unlearn everything we thought we knew about Saudi Arabia and Mohammed, start from scratch, and follow the money. The further along we got in our reporting, the more thankful we were for having done that at the outset. So many things we thought we knew about him were caricatures of the truth and often spun in a way to exaggerate aspects of his personality to make him seem deranged, heroic, or out of control.

Of course, this comes with the territory of writing about a new ruler imposing rapid transformation on a country that hadn't changed much in decades, but what's lost is deeper knowledge of the person at the center of the storm. Without getting a better understanding of his personality, his family, his motivations, his stratagems, and the details of the battles he fought to get where he is, everyday observers won't have the information needed to help them come to a conclusion.

That's not to justify, apologize for, or laud decisions and actions Mohammed has taken over the past five years. This is the best account we could muster of his rise to power based on our reporting, beginning with our work at the Wall Street Journal in 2017, when we were both covering aspects of his economic reform plans from London and taking reporting trips to the kingdom.

Researching Mohammed bin Salman is a tricky task. It sounds counterintuitive, but being based in London and New York has been one of the greatest advantages in finding the revelations we were seeking. Few powerful figures based in the Persian Gulf countries would feel comfortable speaking openly about the crown prince at home, for fear of being electronically surveilled (a likely possibility) or simply observed having meetings with suspicious people like us. Those same people on trips to London, Paris, or Manhattan feel a huge weight lifted from their shoulders, and the facts slide out a little easier.

The other reason being based in these two world capitals is useful is that the story of Mohammed bin Salman from his earliest days in the Royal Court is entangled with business and finance. Few world leaders are so entranced by and involved with issues of global business as Mohammed. The Al Saud family rule Saudi Arabia absolutely, so there's an element of everyday governance akin to running a family investment office, but from an early age Mohammed was transfixed by stories of entrepreneurs and tycoons, as well as famous strongman political figures from history. To understand him, it's imperative to know that he's not just the day-to-day leader of the kingdom—he's also the CEO of Al Saud Inc.

This book is the product of years of reporting, but especially that done in 2019, when we dedicated ourselves to interviewing everyone we could find who interacted with Mohammed over the years as we traveled from country to country, unearthing old financial filings and confidential government records that document his growing personal and political empires, and read everything we could dig up that had been written about Mohammed and Saudi Arabia.

Most of our sources spoke to us "on background," a kind of anonymity that protects them from being identified by name. That required us to be especially diligent about finding multiple people with experiences of the same events to feel certain of their veracity. Every anecdote is based on the recollection of multiple sources and, as often as possible, backed up by emails, legal documents, photographs, videos, and other records. The quotes and conversations rendered here were reconstructed from participant notes, recollections, recordings, and other supporting material. We also mined public databases, many of which held clues to Mohammed's personal business networks in plain sight.

We hope this book brings a new understanding of one of the world's most ambitious young leaders, one who could be in charge for decades to come.

Cast of Characters

The Al Saud

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, son of the kingdom's founder and father of Mohammed bin Salman

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud

Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, Mohammed's younger brother and former ambassador to the United States

Sultana bint Turki Al Sudairi, King Salman's first wife

Fahdah bint Falah al-Hithlain, King Salman's third wife and mother of Mohammed bin Salman

Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King Salman's half brother and briefly heir apparent

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Al Saud, King Salman's nephew and a longtime antiterrorism official close to the US government

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King Salman's half brother and predecessor

Prince Miteb bin Abdullah Al Saud, King Abdullah's son and former chief of the Saudi Arabia National Guard

Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, the seventh son of King Abdullah

Prince Badr bin Farhan Al Saud, a prince from a distant branch of the family, minister of culture, and a longtime friend of Mohammed bin Salman

Prince Abdullah bin Bandar Al Saud, another prince and longtime friend of Mohammed bin Salman and head of the National Guard

Prince Sultan bin Turki Al Saud, the son of one of King Salman's brothers, and an outspoken prince whose criticisms got him into trouble with more powerful members of the family

The Palace

Khalid al-Tuwaijri, the head of King Abdullah's Royal Court

Mohammed al-Tobaishi, King Abdullah's chief of protocol

Rakan bin Mohammed al-Tobaishi, Mohammed bin Salman's protocol chief and the son of Mohammed al-Tobaishi

The MBS Entourage

Bader al-Asaker, a longtime associate of Mohammed who runs his private foundation

Saud al-Qahtani, an advisor to Mohammed who specializes in quashing dissent

Turki Al Sheikh, a longtime companion of Mohammed who has brought foreign sports and entertainment events to Saudi Arabia

The Region

Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi

Tahnoon bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi national security advisor

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, emir of Qatar

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, former emir of Qatar

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, president of Egypt

Saad Hariri, prime minister of Lebanon

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of Turkey

Residents of the Ritz

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, a cousin of Mohammed and Saudi Arabia's most prominent international businessman

Adel Fakeih, a Saudi businessman who became minister of economy and planning

Hani Khoja, a Saudi management consultant

Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, a Saudi businessman with holdings in Ethiopia

Ali al-Qahtani, a general

Bakr bin Laden, scion of the bin Laden construction family

The Critics

Jamal Khashoggi, newspaper columnist with a long history of working for and sometimes criticizing the Saudi government

Omar Abdulaziz, Canada-based dissident who criticizes Saudi leadership in online videos

Loujain al-Hathloul, women's rights activist who violated Saudi law by trying to drive into the kingdom from the United Arab Emirates

The US Government

President Donald Trump

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband and an advisor to the president

Steve Bannon, former Trump advisor

Rex Tillerson, ex-CEO of ExxonMobil, later US secretary of state

The Businessmen

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

David Pecker, CEO of American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer

Ari Emanuel, Hollywood agent and cofounder of Endeavor talent agency

Masayoshi Son, CEO of Japanese tech investor SoftBank

Rajeev Misra, head of SoftBank's Vision Fund

Nizar al-Bassam, Saudi deal maker and a former international banker

Kacy Grine, independent banker and confidant of Alwaleed bin Talal


A note on naming: In the Saudi convention, a man is identified through a patrilineal naming system. Mohammed bin Salman means Mohammed, son of Salman. His father is Salman bin Abdulaziz, since his father is Abdulaziz bin Saud (known as Ibn Saud), the founder of the current Al Saud dynasty. "Al Saud" denotes the family name.

The Al Saud Dynasty

A Selected Family Tree

The Al Saud is one of the world's biggest royal families, with thousands of members descending from the founder of the current dynasty, Abdulaziz, who had dozens of sons and daughters. Every king of Saudi Arabia since his death in 1953 has come from that pool of sons, and many of those sons have in turn have had dozens of children of their own. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is destined to become the first king of the country from the third generation. A note on naming: bin means "son of." Mohammed bin Salman is the son of King Salman. The king, in turn, is Salman bin Abdulaziz, since his father was King Abdulaziz.


Source: Gulf family researcher Michael Field and interviews.





No dynasty lasts beyond the lifespan of three generations.

—Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah



Seize opportunities, for they pass like clouds.

—Ali ibn Abi Talib


The call just before 4 a.m. was urgent and unnerving. The king needed to see his nephew, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, as soon as possible. "Come right away," the caller from the Royal Court said.

For decades, Alwaleed had been the world's best-known Saudi businessman. He was the kind of person people wanted to be around, if only to glimpse life with a seemingly bottomless supply of money. With personal wealth estimated at $18 billion, he was, in the eyes of many Americans and Europeans, the ultimate Saudi: fabulously rich, debonair, and excessive to the extreme. He had a fleet of planes, including a 747 jet with a throne-like chair in the middle, and a $90 million yacht that comfortably slept twenty-two guests with thirty crew members to look after them. When he found something he liked, he'd buy ten or twenty of it—even if it was an expensive and bulky exercise machine. One for each home, pied-à-terre, desert camp, and yacht.

Alwaleed delighted in that image and in representations of his own image, showing visitors to his offices in Riyadh, Paris, and New York thick stacks of magazines with his face on the cover or long interviews about his business career. Some rooms in his homes contained more than a dozen photos or paintings of Alwaleed at different stages of his life. He liked drinking tea from a mug with his face on it.

The prince was a force in American business, buying stakes in Citibank, Apple, and Twitter. In a partnership with Bill Gates, Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding Company owned a chunk of the Four Seasons hotel chain, famed for its luxury accommodations. When he traveled, he brought along a two-dozen-person retinue, including cooks, cleaners, butlers, and business advisors.

Yet here he was on a cool November night in 2017, feeling a chill down his spine as he got dressed at his desert retreat for the meeting with the king. Saudi Arabia was seeing huge changes, some of them obvious, like the retreat of religious police from the streets and the sound of music in cafés after decades of prohibition on anything that could arouse the senses. The country had so long been a refuge of the ultraconservative interpretation of Islam referred to by critics as Wahhabism that Saudi citizens felt truly dizzied by the fast-paced reforms: movie theaters were going up, women were walking around with more freedoms than ever before, and there was talk of shifting the economy away from oil for good.

The country's richest and most powerful also perceived something else, a cracking sound. The very foundations of their ornate palaces seemed to be weakening. It didn't matter that Alwaleed called heads of states and the wealthiest people in the world his friends. His unassailability as a billionaire prince was disintegrating.

After more than two years of the reign of his uncle King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Alwaleed had heard the stories about royals summoned in the night or tricked onto airplanes only to find themselves dragged home to Saudi Arabia and put in confinement. The man behind those renditions was King Salman's son, Alwaleed's young cousin Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, who was only thirty-two but had already gained a reputation for his temper and for charging ahead with aggressive changes.

Mohammed was the opposite of his uncles before him, the former kings who derived power from a royal consensus and tended toward extreme conservatism for fear of imperiling the dynasty. They had been desiccated old men by the time they took power, without the courage or energy to make big changes. But Mohammed was young and vital. He was well over six feet tall, with a smile so huge it made him squint, a big nose, and a tactile approach to conversation that could be simultaneously affectionate and menacing. He had plenty of energy, sending questions and commands to underlings at all hours of the day and night. In a short time, Mohammed had declared war on Yemen, led a boycott on a neighboring country, and consolidated more power than any member of the royal family since the founding of the kingdom.

Alwaleed reassured himself. The detained princes were fringe members of the family and often political dissidents, stirring up trouble for the Al Saud from their homes in France or the United Kingdom. He had told a visitor just months before how impressed he was with Mohammed's agenda and how excited he was to see Saudi Arabia finally transition from an illiberal bastion of the most conservative strain of Islam to a modern Arab power with a diversifying economy and more equal rights for men and women. Mohammed had even adopted some of Alwaleed's most aggressive ideas for financial reform.

"This is the change I've been waiting for my whole life," Alwaleed told Robert Jordan, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, in April 2017. CEOs, bankers, and political leaders from around the world had visited him at the retreat where he was staying, a desert site outside Riyadh full of large tents where his guests pretended to re-create an idealized version of the Bedouin lifestyle his ancestors lived up until the mid-twentieth century.

What's more, Alwaleed was so generous. His crowd sat around feasts fit for a small village, complete with roast lamb, mounds of rice, and an assortment of juices. Alwaleed, a health nut who kept doctors around full-time, partook of specially prepared vegan meals. After his guests made a modest dent in the food, Alwaleed would invite poorer Saudis from the surrounding region to finish off the platters.

Afterward, he'd bring his guests for walks on the dunes and stargazing as they sat around a roaring fire. It wasn't entirely rustic. When the prince and his party retired to the tents, there were flat-screen televisions and trailers with gleaming bathrooms and hot showers.

Not long after the call, Alwaleed left the desert camp in his own car for the trip back into Riyadh. Arriving at the Royal Court more than an hour later, an aide to the king came outside to explain that the meeting was actually nearby at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. He was guided to a new car, part of a large convoy. "My phone, my bag," Alwaleed said, growing concerned. "They're in the car."

"Yes, we'll bring them," came the reply. Cut off from the world, Alwaleed grew anxious. His guards, assistant, and driver were placed in separate cars. The drive only took a few minutes, culminating in a slow journey up the grand, quarter-mile driveway from the security gate to the hotel.

Entering the lobby surrounded by security personnel of the Royal Court, he told friends later, he was struck by an eerie feeling that the hotel was empty. The Royal Court men took him into an elevator and then a hotel suite to wait. Worried and a bit bored, he turned on the television. News was flashing that dozens of businessmen, royal family members, and officials were being arrested on suspicion of corruption. He was the first to arrive. The Ritz was no longer a hotel but a makeshift prison.


The renovations had been ordered only hours earlier. Late on Friday, November 3, 2017, a team of engineers at the Ritz-Carlton fanned out across the hotel's nine floors and began drilling out the locks on two hundred hotel-room doors. Curtains were removed and shower doors dismantled. Several large suites usually reserved for visiting CEOs or jet-setting princes were converted into interrogation rooms.

The Ritz-Carlton, originally designed as a state guest house for visiting dignitaries, has a palm-lined driveway that allows visiting prime ministers and presidents to take in its grand palatial facade as they roll up in motorcades. The grounds—all owned by the nearby Royal Court—comprise fifty-two acres of benign opulence, with manicured lawns and a shaded courtyard with six-hundred-year-old olive trees imported from Lebanon. Visiting its ornate lobby, full of marble, guests are greeted by a large flower display, dramatic sculptures of stallions, and the faint smell of oud incense smoldering at tables where some Saudi men perfume their head coverings, known as shemaghs. President Barack Obama stayed on the grounds in 2014, and President Donald Trump stayed nearby for two days during a glitzy visit shortly after assuming the US presidency.

Arriving that night, a team of intelligence officers and Royal Court staff walked briskly inside to take over the hotel. Guards dispersed to posts on each floor and manned the exits. Hotel staff were directed to eject anyone still inside the building and cancel upcoming reservations.

"Due to unforeseen booking by local authorities which requires an elevated level of security, we are unable to accommodate guests until normal operations are restored," a concierge said, reading from a script, to a businessman with a reservation days away.

Near dawn, the special guests began to arrive.

For the first few nights, many of the detainees were made to stay in a function room with periodic bathroom breaks, always accompanied by an armed escort. Some of the men still had backup cell phones hidden in the folds of their thobes, since their escorts stopped searching after confiscating one phone from each man. Surreptitious photos taken that night show resigned men lying on thin mattresses with cheap, colorful blankets. The images don't make clear, however, that these were some of the most powerful men in the Arab world: would-be heirs to the throne, billionaire tycoons, ministers, and a dozen princes. Some held secrets that needed prying open. Nearly all of them had unimaginable wealth, which the new powers that be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia claimed were the fruits of decades of corruption.

The list was nearly unfathomable, including even Miteb bin Abdullah Al Saud, son of the former king and powerful head of the Saudi National Guard—a special branch of the armed forces designed to protect the royal family from any threat, with 125,000 men stationed across the country. One of its roles is to prevent military coups, but here was its chief, once seen as a potential heir to the throne, held against his will.

In the first few days, more than fifty were arrested. The coming weeks would see more than three hundred others "checked into" the Ritz and other secure locations in Riyadh.

The arrests were the work of a hitherto secret anticorruption committee created by a decree from the king. The Saudi attorney general announced he was seeking the return of $100 billion derived from corruption and theft over decades.

Though conducted in the name of King Salman, the arrests of Saudi Arabia's richest and most powerful men had been engineered by the king's sixth son, Mohammed. Three years earlier, even close Saudi watchers had never heard of him. Now the new crown prince was taking Saudi Arabia and the world by storm.


  • "Blood and Oil is the fascinating and highly entertaining tale of Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power. With fly-on-the-wall reporting and palace intrigue worthy of Machiavelli, it will keep you turning the pages at a fast clip until its tragic denouement. And more importantly, it will leave you with a deep and nuanced understanding of the Crown Prince's thinking and its implications for Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East."
    John Carreyrou, author of Bad Blood
  • "This is as close to the truth, to the real story of the corruption, vulgarities, horrors, and lies of the Kingdom and its current despot as we are likely to get. It also can be read as a Shakespearean story of utter greed."—Seymour Hersh, author of Chain of Command
  • "Blood and Oil is the best book I've read about the Middle East. It gets deep into the most opaque place on earth, without a false note anywhere. Not to mention the book is a wonderfully readable page-turner, and indispensable if you want a glimpse of the future of Saudi Arabia and the world."—Robert Baer, author of See No Evil and Sleeping with the Devil
  • "[Blood and Oil is] lively and well written, and it draws a sharp portrait of the man at its heart....Hope and Scheck have done a great deal of digging and have unearthed some eye-popping tales."—The New York Times Book Review
  • "Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck chronicle the truly incredible story of MBS's rise in the deep, multidimensional way that only experienced Wall Street Journal reporters can do. The book reads like a novel, but it also plays the critically important role of illuminating a real person who is going to shape our world in ways we would all be better for understanding."—Bethany McLean, author of Saudi America and co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room
  • "A crisp page-turner of a book teeming with telling detail...Blood and Oil is particularly good on the link-up between the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and Masayoshi Son of SoftBank....There is plenty more in Hope and Scheck's splendid book."—Financial Times
  • "An engrossing new book....Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck... deliver a vivid portrait of treachery and power grabs in the Saudi royal court, and attempt to uncover what drives some of the young royal's often reckless decision-making."—
  • "Hope and Scheck confront us with the conundrum of a young man who is doing good by his Kingdom-brilliantly describing how the enigmatic Crown Prince is bringing progress to Arabia as we would see it in the West-while operating with ruthlessness and absolutism that make the stomach curl. Blood and Oil is compelling reading. We are challenged and enthralled on every page."—Robert Lacey, bestselling author of The Crown and Inside the Kingdom
  • "Explosive."—The Times (UK)
  • "Excellent."—Forbes
  • "Blood and Oil is a revelatory book that resonates with a stranger-than-fiction quality as the authors' analysis of the crown prince's brutishness, outlandishness, and reformer's mentality is as riveting as it is profound."—Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies and co-author of Barbarians at the Gate
  • "If you thought you knew Saudi Arabia, such as any outsider could, you didn't -- and for as much as you understood the Kingdom and its politics, you don't.... Blood and Oil is a fantastic narrative read into the sweeping changes that Mohammed bin Salman has taken and is taking in Saudi Arabia. It is exceptionally well written, a compelling read.... Blood and Oil is a great addition to contemporary writing on Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman."—Joshua C. Huminski, The Diplomatic Courier
  • "A fascinating look at how MBS came to power, that a lot of people didn't see coming."—Yahoo! Finance
  • "For once, the publisher's hype is true. Blood and Oil really is a riveting page-turner, a descent into a nest of vipers, a chilling profile of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman."
    The Irish Times
  • "In Blood and Oil, Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck have gone to painstaking lengths to lift the veil on the character of a young man shaking up the country, and beyond. The result is a gripping page-turner."—Reuters Breakingviews
  • "A fiery book with never-heard-of revelations about the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia."
  • "A captivating book on the world's financial underbelly."—Corporate Compliance Insights
  • "Details some jaw-dropping incidents of corruption."—InsideOver
  • "A superb portrait."
  • "[A] valuable new important addition to the alarming portrait of the unstable, murderous 35-year-old who rules the oil-producing kingdom."—Mondoweiss
  • "Blood and Oil is a fascinating glimpse into the politics of oil, and how staggering wealth and unchecked ambition created what most would consider a true monster...Blood and Oil unfolds like a fast-paced suspense thriller with the grandiosity of a Shakespearean excellent read, an important book."—The Premise Pod
  • "This is brave, rigorous, and commendable work."—MoneyControl
  • "A thorough delineation of the rapacious, ambitious new economic plan for Saudi Arabia by the heir apparent to the throne, Mohammed bin Salman....Wall Street Journal reporters Hope and Scheck diligently chart the rapid rise-and recent faltering-of MBS....[A] meticulous, highly relevant excellent work of impressive research on a dangerous world leader."—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
  • "Scheck and Hope follow the money, emphasizing the crucial role that billion-dollar development projects, investment funds, and public stock offerings played in securing MBS's legitimacy among international elites and the chaotic and highly transactional Trump administration. The authors also caution that MBS, just turning 35, remains a work in progress."
    Booklist (starred review)
  • "A masterful biography...This fast-paced, well-researched book is an excellent primer on current U.S.-Saudi relations and Middle Eastern dynamics, and will also draw in those interested in palace intrigue."—Library Journal (starred review)
  • "Hope and Scheck take a comprehensive and alarming look at Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman....[They] marshal their research into a page-turning narrative that persuasively casts MBS as a grave danger to the region. This detailed exposé rings true."
    Publishers Weekly
  • “Blood and Oil hits the ground running at a frenetic pace with the 2017 arrests. The action and drama underpinning the desert kingdom and its denizens proves completely engrossing. The authors have done admirable work in their profile of Mohammed Bin Salman and his Machiavellian ways. A gripping biography & geopolitical narrative.”—San Francisco Book Review
  • “As for Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, they offer the readers an excellent biography of a world leader who knows how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics at its highest level, guided by an astute sense of history. Honestly, this is one of the best books I have read this year.”—Bookmarc Reviews
  • Game of Thrones has nothing on Mohammed bin Salman’s grab for power in Saudi Arabia, the cunning, lies, threats, and murderous ambition with which an also-ran of a prince in his early thirties carved his way to the top of the royal heap documented here in chilling detail.”—Daily Mail
  • “A well-told biography.”—Ben Hong, Right Click Capital partner
  • “[Blood and Oil] could not be more timely.”—Middle East Monitor (MEMO)

On Sale
Sep 7, 2021
Page Count
384 pages
Hachette Books

Headshot image of Bradley Hope

Bradley Hope

About the Author

Bradley Hope, based in London, is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale (2018) and Blood and Oil (2020) and author of the upcoming The Rebel and The Kingdom (Nov 1, 2022). He is the co-founder of journalism studio Project Brazen along with Tom Wright. Hope is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Gerald Loeb Award winner.
Justin Scheck, based in New York, has worked at the Wall Street Journal since 2007, covering white collar crime across four continents. He has been writing about Saudi Arabia since 2016. Scheck is a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Learn more about this author

Justin Scheck

About the Author

Justin Scheck, based in New York, has worked at the Wall Street Journal since 2007, covering white collar crime across four continents. He has been writing about Saudi Arabia since 2016. Scheck is a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Learn more about this author