cover image The Fortune Seller

The Fortune Seller

Rachel Kapelke-Dale. St. Martin%E2%80%99s, $29 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-28613-0

The unique and gripping latest from Kapelke-Dale (The Ingenue) examines tensions among a group of young equestrians. In 2005, scholarship student Rosie Macalister from small-town Western Plains, Ill., is heading back to New Haven, Conn., for her senior year at Yale. When Rosie arrives at the house she shares with four other members of the university’s equestrian team, she discovers that she’s been assigned a roommate: new recruit Annelise Tattinger. A skilled rider, Annelise’s arrival shifts the dynamics in the highly competitive house, causing once unspoken rivalries to rise to the surface. Before the end of the year, one of the teammates dies in a riding incident that’s hastily declared an accident. After graduation, Rosie leaves Connecticut for a low-level finance job in New York City, while the remaining members of the team return to their wealthy family homes. Before long, disturbing text messages begin appearing on the young women’s phones, casting doubt on both Annelise’s true identity and the circumstances of their senior year tragedy. Kapelke-Dale skillfully blends class concerns, character development, and a menacing atmosphere, emerging with an intoxicating mystery that defies easy categorization. Readers will be tempted to devour it in a single sitting. Agent: Sarah Phair, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (Feb.)