Book Review: Suspicion
By: Alexandra Monir
Published By: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Page Count: 368
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Mystery
This was another novel that sucked me in solely based on the cover. Well, almost. I also have read Alexandra Monir's Timeless series and loved it. I had high hopes for this one based on my previous experiences with Monir's work. I also couldn't resist once I saw that Amy Plum had mentioned that it was like a magical version of The Princess Diaries and Jessica Brody stated that it was an Alfred Hitchcock directed version of Downton Abbey.
Suspicion is the story of Imogen Rockford. Imogen comes from a long line of British aristocracy, but her parents chose to raise her in New York City. Every summer her family crosses the pond to spend the summer at the family manor in the English countryside. Imogen's summers are filled with fond memories of her cousin and the handsome aristocrat who visits often. Imogen's world is shattered the summer of her 10th year when a devastating fire takes the lives of her parents. She is forced to make a choice and she can't bear to remain in England after the tragedy so she ends up going back to New York to live with close family friends.
Imogen's life is fairly routine until she turns seventeen and tragedy strikes once more. Her grandfather and cousin have died leaving her the next in line to run the estate. Imogen never asked to be a Duchess, but she feels its her duty to honor her family and step up to the responsibility. This aspect of the novel was reminiscent of The Princess Diaries, but it wasn't as light hearted and fun as that work. Imogen's transition from normal teen to European aristocracy is fraught with deadly secrets and paranormal elements. I loved loved loved the supernatural aspect in this one.
As with Monir's previous work, there is also a sweet romance. I was instantly smitten with Imogen's love interest. It was also nice to see that there were strong, long lasting feelings. The romance made sense and I could understand the developments of the feelings. There was no sourness on my part due to an instalove connection.
In addition, I enjoyed the characters in this one, but I would have liked to see more growth for Imogen and Sebastian. Suspicion is heavily plot driven so the characters don't get a chance to develop as deeply. I wasn't put off by this though as the plot was well paced and intriguing. I was fascinated by Imogen's gift and the mythology of Lady Beatrice.
Furthermore, I was swept away by the setting. I couldn't help seeing the Rockford Manner as the home in Downton Abbey. I also envisioned many of the staff members as actors from the show. It was impossible for me not to go down this route after the suggestion was planted by Jessica Brody in her blurb for the novel. It was a lovely way to connect a show I love with a new story. I kept hoping for a plane ticket to the English countryside to land in my lap. The setting is gorgeous and atmospheric.
My one complaint with this one is the ending. I loved the mystery and the build up to the big reveal. I honestly did not see that twist coming, but that is part of the issue. Once everything becomes clear I found it hard to believe. It just didn't seem plausible to me. I kept poking holes in the resolution and was not satisfied with the solutions the ending chapters provided. I still enjoyed the story, but the ending was somewhat lackluster compared to the rest of the novel.
Suspicion is a perfect read for the cool nights. The wind howling outside my window and a cup of pumpkin coffee kept me cozy as I raced through the gardens of the estate with Imogen and I tried to piece together the clues to find out what was truly happening on the estate. I also have read that this was inspired by the novel, Rebecca. I haven't read that one so I can't commit on any allusions in this one, but I did decide to add it to my TBR list since I enjoyed this one so much.
One Last Gripe: I can't speak of it without spoiling the novel, but it goes along with my complaint about the ending.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I was intrigued by the Elemental aspect.
First Sentence: I should know this room.
Favorite Character: Imogen
Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one.
"Take The Princess Diaries and add magic, murder and mystery, and you've got SUSPICION. A delightful read!"—Amy Plum, author of the of the international bestselling Die For Me series
"If Alfred Hitchcock had directed Downton Abbey, the result would have been this book. Alexandra Monir takes us on a gripping, nonstop thrill ride with just the right amount of supernatural and an ending that you definitely won't suspect. I devoured it in one sitting."—Jessica Brody, bestselling author of the Unremembered trilogy
Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.
"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.
Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.
All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?
Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.