The Fortune Seller

St. Martin’s. Feb. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781250286130. $29. SUSPENSE
Kapelke-Dale (The Ingenue) captures the cutthroat nature of collegiate equestrian competition and the complicated female friendships formed around them in her latest. She perfectly portrays the complexities of class and status among privileged peers, where wealth outweighs talent and ambition spawns cruelty. Rosie Macalister is on financial aid at attends Yale, unbeknownst to her rich housemates. When she returns for senior year after studying in Argentina, she discovers that a new person has been welcomed into her elite friend group: Annelise Tattinger. Annelise is as mysterious—and rich—as she is talented on horseback. When the queen bee of their group discovers her bank account is short $20,000, a shadow of suspicion falls on the newest member of their circle. Accusations, assumptions, and ambition come to a head with deadly consequences as, one by one, the girls turn on each other. Tarot readings are woven throughout the narrative, and the cards’ subtle (and not so subtle) interpretations become a source of wonder and suspense as they reveal how luck, fortune, and identity are often projections of desires and secret longing.
VERDICT Sophisticated with just the right dose of sinister, this coming-of-age story doesn’t shy from the grisly power dynamics of privilege.
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