A PhD student uncovers dark secrets in this 'richly atmospheric and irresistibly readable' (Joyce Carol Oates) Gothic mystery set in Scotland, Italy, and France. For fans of The Secret History.
Fleeing a disastrous affair with a colleague in Boston, Isabel Henley moves to Scotland to begin a PhD, only to learn upon arrival that her advisor has died mysteriously. Soon afterwards, Isabel is informed that another scholar is about to publish a book on her dissertation topic, leaving her disconcerted and in search of a new subject.
After such a rocky start to life overseas, Isabel needs a good friend, and finds one when she reconnects with Rose Brewster, a charismatic former classmate. But when Rose reveals she is in trouble, then goes missing, Isabel's already unsteady life is sent into a tailspin. A suicide note surfaces, followed by a coded message: Rose is alive but captive, and unless Isabel can complete her friend's research, both women will be killed.
Isabel follows Rose's paper trail through Genoa, Florence and Paris. She uncovers family secrets, the legend of an enormous cursed emerald, and a chain of betrayal and treason lasting centuries. If she can put the pieces together in time, Isabel may solve a 400-year-old mystery... and save her life and her friend's in the process.
Combining epistolary elements, Gothic suspense, and an atmospheric dark academia setting, The Bequest is a gripping literary thriller that will appeal to fans of Alex Michaelides and Donna Tartt.