Book Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
“There’s something hidden in the maze.”
Seventeen-year-old Imogen Rockford has never forgotten the last words her father said to her, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor.
For seven years, images of her parents’ death have haunted Imogen’s dreams. In an effort to escape the past, she leaves Rockford Manor and moves to New York City with her new guardians. But some attachments prove impossible to shake—including her love for her handsome neighbor Sebastian Stanhope.
Then a life-altering letter arrives that forces Imogen to return to the manor in England, where she quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind Rockford’s aristocratic exterior. At their center is Imogen herself—and Sebastian, the boy she never stopped loving.
Combining spine-tingling mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters, Suspicion is an action-packed thrill ride.”
Suspicion combines the paranormal with a gothic feel and a bit of a mystery to create an entertaining read. As a long time fan of The Secret Garden and just the idea of mazes and labyrinth’s in general, I was immediately interested in this title.
When Imogen returns to the English manor, the story really picks up with all the tradition things that go bump in the night, subtle clues, and those household staff that just put you on edge. For a while you aren’t sure who is the whodunnit, and as the pieces begin to fall into places I was satisfied. I did think there was a twist element that required a huge suspension of disbelief, and I do mean HUGE. It will be interesting to see whether or not teen readers will be satisfied by the ending or find themselves with the same sense of “huh” that I found. But the truth is, in terms of paranormal mysteries, this is pretty decent and I can see it circulating.
Imogen as a character is interesting; she struggle with her loss and I was actually quite surprised when she made the decision to go back to run the manor in large part out of a sense of duty that I don’t think she would necessarily have had having been removed from that life for so long. I actually really like the main character and her support network in New York. And I liked that she recognized her privilege and felt compassion for others who did not have that same privilege.
For me, the most interesting part was the idea of the maze and the mystery component. It would have been just as effective for me without the paranormal element, but the paranormal element is there and it doesn’t detract from the story. It gives the character some interesting challenges to navigate and add some back story to the mystery.
The love story part is kind of a hot mess, but no more so than anything else out there at the moment and it too is part of the twists and turns necessary to help make the basic plot all come together in the end.
This is definitely a midlist title with readability but some flaws, so if you have the space and the money I would recommend it.
Published December 2014 by Delacorte
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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