Jill Gallager and her fianci, Hal, are driving off for a romantic trip when he stuns Jill with doubts about their engagement. Distracted, Jill loses control of the car. In the ensuing crash, she is injured and Hal dies. His last words are I love you, Kate.

At his familys home in England, Jill finds a photograph from 1908 depicting two women: Lady Anne Bensonhurst, Hals deceased grandmother, and a woman called Kate Gallager. Stunned by her own resemblance to Kate, Jill decides to discover if the woman is her ancestor.

She soon finds out American heiress Kate Gallager disappeared in England in 1909 after giving birth to an illegitimate baby boy. But the Sheldon family doesnt want potentially damaging family secrets exposed. Despite a growing attraction to Hals cousin Alex, can Jill trust that any of them are telling the truth?

Best-selling author Brenda Joyce makes her hardcover contemporary debut in a tense and atmospheric thriller. THE THIRD HEIRESS adds gothic and ghostly overtones to a story of one womans obsessive quest for truth and justice. (Aug., 480 pp., $6.99—Hardcover published September 1999)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith