Steven Barnett is a notable character in "The Heiresses", who previously died a week before the events of the novel took place.
Steven Barnett was an intelligent and rich man, having graduated from Harvard and who surfed in the Galapagos. Steven, who wasn't related to the Saybrooks, was a hardworking man who was Grandfather Alfrid Saybrooke's, the man who ran the family empire, protégé. Rumor has it that he was next in line for the job until Masen Saybrook, the new company CEO, picked Poppy for president instead of him, wanting to keep the company in family hands.
Steven was found dead on the shoals of the Saybrooks’ summer property on Meriweather, a sunny island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, after their annual end-of-summer party, which celebrated Poppy’s promotion to president of the company. His cause of death was widely reported to be drowning in shallow water, despite having been a supposedly good surfer. However, his blood-alcohol level was sky-high, indicating it was a tragic accident due to his drunkenness at the time of his death.
Steven was efficient and brilliant, with a keen eye for business and negotiation/PR. He was always present at Saybrook family events, becoming almost part of the family and welcomed with happy arms.