cover image The Legacy

The Legacy

Kirsten Tranter, Atria, $15 paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-4391-7718-1

This hypnotic debut from Australian author Tranter pays homage to Henry James's A Portrait of a Lady while offering a suspenseful story line worthy of Patricia Highsmith. Gorgeous, wealthy Australian Ingrid Holburne takes a break from her college studies to attend the Venice Biennale, where she meets much older art dealer Gil Grey, who manages the career of his artist daughter, Fleur, 13 and a child prodigy. After a whirlwind courtship, Ingrid marries Gil, to the dismay of Ingrid's close half-cousin, Ralph, and their mutual friend, Julia Alpers. When Ingrid apparently perishes in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, Ralph, still grieving almost a year after September 11, asks Julia to go to New York to learn more about what happened. What Julia uncovers is a rat's nest of clues that slowly and seductively drive the action to a shocking conclusion. While Tranter's sedate pacing avoids typical thriller antics and conventional crime plot twists, she raises some wickedly keen questions about art world wheeling and dealing. (Aug.)