cover image The Vicious Circle

The Vicious Circle

Katherine St. John. Morrow, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-322405-6

When Manhattan supermodel Sveta Bentzen, the narrator of this far-fetched but fun romantic adventure-thriller from St. John (The Siren), learns that her late father’s brother, self-help guru Paul Bentzen, has died suddenly at Xanadu, his wellness center in the Mexican jungle, she’s surprised that he left her—not his wife Kali—his entire mega-million-dollar estate. Collecting, however, will prove more than a little complicated. For starters, the lawyer for the estate, dashing Lucas Baranquilla, is about the last person Sveta’s likely to trust since he ghosted her after their hookup years earlier. And then there’s the charismatic Kali, who makes it clear once the duo arrive for Paul’s funeral at Xanadu that she’s determined not to relinquish control of the bulk of the estate. As Sveta wrestles with whether to allow herself to be bought off, and in the process ignore increasing evidence of sinister goings-on—including her uncle’s possible murder—she also fights an undeniable attraction to Lucas. St. John effectively ratchets up the suspense and the surprises. Lushly exotic locales and touches of humor add to tasty escapism that should please fans of Nine Perfect Strangers. Agent: Sarah Bedingfield, Levine Greenberg Rostan. (Sept.)