cover image The Photographer

The Photographer

Mary Dixie Carter. Minotaur, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-79033-0

Delta Dawn, the narrator of Carter’s outstanding debut, is a much-sought-after photographer of children’s fetes among Brooklyn’s artsy set, who has the ability to create picture-perfect moments of connection that never were through the magic of Photoshop and other manipulations. Trouble is, the egocentric young woman approaches life in similarly subjective fashion. Emotionally starved by her own parents, Delta hungers for family—even if it means insinuating herself into someone else’s, like that of her new clients, the Straubs: interior design guru Amelia; Amelia’s scruffily hunky architect hubby, Fritz; and needy 11-year-old birthday girl, Natalie. Using her well-honed manipulative skills, plus a timely offer to babysit, Delta swiftly gains the run of the Straubs’ brownstone, as well as ample opportunity to discover some of their most intimate secrets—which she aims to leverage to her advantage. Delta—arguably the inevitable product of a social media–driven universe where carefully curated images supplant messy reality—becomes increasingly scary as the depth of her obsession with the Straubs becomes apparent. Brace for hold-your-breath suspense from this dazzlingly devious newcomer. Agent: Stephanie Kip Rostan, Levine Greenberg Rostan. (May)