It has been ten years since Julie Patel was murdered at Harvard University, and Georgia, Alice and Charlie are being forced to relieve the horrors of their senior year at the Ivy League school. Raised in lives far from privilege, all three worked and schemed to make it to one of the best known universites in the world. At school they meet Professor Rufus Storrow, a man who is meticulous, clean and calculating. He convinces Georgia to have a clandestine affair with him, even as Charlie desperately pines after Georgia. Julie Patel, a bright young woman, becomes a difficulty for Storrow, and suddenly she is found dead on campus. The three students flee for separate lives, working to avoid communicating with each other and living lives free of the drama on campus. However, one by one, they are forced to come to terms with what has happened to them, and what Storrow may be after even years later.
Robin Kirman’s Bradstreet Gate is complicated and keenly plotted. Alice, Georgia and Charlie all feel like actual human beings, each with their own dramatic and screwed up childhoods. Georgia is the daughter of a famous photographer, as well as the victim of her father taking some inappropriate photos of his daughter as a child. She is seemingly open to abusive relationships, and let’s Storrow in easily. Alice is from a family of wealthy Serbian refugees. She combats bipolar disorder and anorexia, all while trying to maintain a quiet level of perfection with her writing jobs in New York. Charlie is the son of a poor family, with a mother who works for the cleaning business and a father who is anything but supportive. All suffer the horrific uncertainty of whether they could have done anything to prevent Julie Patel’s death, as well as what involvement their professor may have had. Years later, Storrow’s connection to the US Government make it appear he can be anywhere at anytime, no matter the consequences. The entire book had me shivering every few pages. Georgia travels all the way to Mumbai, and is confronted by Storrow. Charlie opens a major business in security software, and Storrow finds him in a hotel. The calculating reminded me of a character in a Thomas Harris novel.
Kirman is a strong writer, and even when the characters make terrible mistakes, you still desperately want to know what will happen to them. There are tragedies, violence and moments of genuine fear for everyone in this book.
Bradstreet Gate is available now from Crown Publishing.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.