I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Delacorte Press on December 9, 2014
Source: the publisher
"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.
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Suspicion blog tour! Today, I’m sharing with you my review of this creepy, magical murder mystery. Enjoy!
I was really excited to read Suspicion when I first read the description and saw that gorgeous cover – It sounded epic and exactly like the kind of book I would love! And Suspicion EXCEEDED my expectations. It was such an amazing, fun, creepy and thrilling book, I wish I had a physical copy so I could hug it and re-read it!
First of all, Suspicion is described as The Princess Diaries meets Downton Abbey. One friend described it as The Princess Diaries meets The Secret Garden. And as I read, I pictured it as The Princess Diaries meets What A Girl Wants. So, which is it, you ask? All of the above! I could completely feel the The Princess Diaries vibe of the book from very early on and I completely agree with my friend about it also having a Secret Garden feel. And then, about 29% into the book, I got the whole What A Girl Wants vibe, since Suspicion has a young American girl who is suddenly thrust into the British Peerage system.
I’ve always loved YA historical fiction, especially when it’s set in the 1800s and early 1900s and especially when it has royalty, castles, fancy gowns and ballrooms, horse-drawn carriages, etc. But I must say, reading Suspicion – which takes place in present-day – really opened my eyes. I love ANYTHING to do with England and royalty and that whole world. I think that’s one of the reasons I loved this book so much. I was completely fascinated by that part of the book.
I really liked Imogen. She had a great voice, a great personality and she was relatable. The beginning of the book is a bit odd because we have a prologue and then the book starts off in the past, when Imogen was ten-years-old. It’s only for one chapter, to give the reader context. But it threw me a little bit. I had a hard time relating to a younger Imogen, although the back-story was intriguing and a bit horrifying – and something we definitely needed before moving forward with the book.
Imogen was committed to honoring her family and her duties. She may have run from Rockford Manor when she was younger, but now that she’s older, she accepts that she can’t let her father’s legacy be ignored. I admired that about her. She was, essentially, leaving everything she knew and everyone she loved behind to go to a place that she hadn’t been in almost a decade, a place that held bad memories for her, just to do what she knew had to be done. She also didn’t just sit back and accept things as they were. She dug into her family’s history to discover the truth.
Sebastian was… an interesting character. I wasn’t crazy about him in the beginning. There was just something off about him and his temper was scary. I also couldn’t see him and Imogen as a couple in the beginning. But then, when there was a major plot twist with him, I didn’t believe it at all, despite my not trusting him. I really liked Theo, though, and really shipped him and Imogen for awhile. But by the end, I was totally Team Sebastian!
I didn’t trust Maisie or Mrs. Mulgrave from the absolute beginning. There was something about them that irked me out. I chalked it up to Mrs. Mulgrave being a creepy, bitter woman and I was half-right. Now that I’ve finished the book and I’ve discovered the truth about the two of them, I feel like I need to re-read the book and read the parts with them more carefully the second time around.
Other characters worthy of being mentioned were Oscar and Alfie. They were like the father/uncle/brother-figures for Imogen. And they were so loyal to her. I never doubted them or suspected them for a second.
The ending was… an insane Parent Trap-esque thrill-ride that had me scratching my head and thinking back on everything that had happened. So many revelations!!! This is a stand-alone and the ending was brilliant. A few things were left open-ended, just enough to hint at what could come. But there weren’t any huge cliffhangers or unanswered questions that left me feeling annoyed or wanting more, though I’d LOVE a sequel, if there’s any chance it could happen. I’m not 100% convinced the supernatural elements were necessary to the story, but since I love supernatural/paranormal books, it was like an added bonus.
Overall, I do highly recommend this book. If you’ve read the reviews, you might be skeptical, but I urge you to put those thoughts aside and give it a chance. It might just surprise you! I really loved it and can’t wait to read more from this author!