Maybe Mary Higgins Clark had better start researching her family tree. Publishers Weekly, the bible of the book-publishing industry, seems to be heralding a new subgenre of thriller novels: the “genealogical thriller.” In its review of romance novelist Brenda Joyce’s new book, The Third Heiress (St. Martin’s), PW predicted that the page-turner with a family-history plot could be Joyce’s breakout novel.
The thriller follows heroine Jill Gallagher, a ballerina-turned-Broadway-dancer, after her aristocratic British fiance is killed in a car wreck. Accompanying his body back to London, Jill finds a mysterious 1906 photo of two women: her fiance’s grandmother and another young woman with the same last name as Jill. From there Jill is off on a quest into her past, searching for the secret of the woman she’s convinced is her ancestor. Of course, there’s lots of intrigue, betrayal and romance along the way.
For more on author Brenda Joyce, see her site on the Web at <www.brendajoyce.com>.
From the January 2000 issue of Family Tree Magazine.