Paranormal Young Adult
Available December 9th
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
Suspicion is a page-turner from beginning to end, the mysterious circumstances of the prologue blending seamlessly with a flashback in the first chapter to a devastating night seven years prior to pique our curiosity instantly. The flashback not only introduces us to the eerily gorgeous grounds of Rockford Manor, a character unto itself in this tale, but also to young Imogen’s heartbreaking crush on Sebastian, the son of the equally wealthy family in the neighboring estate. It’s this seemingly unrequited love–enormously painful despite the fact that Imogen is only ten at the time–that connects us with Imogen immediately, hoping that the subsequent pages will take us on a journey that ends with her every romantic wish granted.
Once we return to the present, we find ourselves with a remarkably well-adjusted seventeen year-old Imogen, a young woman who’s happy and settled in a new life even though her mind never stops returning to Rockford Manor. Once things take a dramatic turn once again and she finds herself back in England, she stays the girl we first met and liked instantaneously, feeling understandably awkward at her new near-royal status and failing to loft her title over those who now work for her. She approaches the mystery surrounding her cousin’s death and the secrets of her life logically, looking into them smartly and never overreacting when those secrets come to shocking light.
Her romance with Sebastian is fraught with tension given his romantic history with her late cousin, and Ms. Monir does a beautiful job of making us feel Imogen’s longing for things to be different between them. She doesn’t moon over him or obsess about his every move, we can just feel how much the distance time and circumstance have put between them affects her, and our desire to see things work out in fairy-tale ending style grows with each chapter.
The only small complaint to be had with this story is related to the paranormal element. We’re given glimpses of Imogen’s ability and its tie to the Manor’s grounds, but we don’t get to explore it with much depth before the last page is reached. The ending also feels just a touch rushed, everything surrounding Lucia’s death, Imogen’s ability and the secrets Rockford Manor has been hiding for years wrapped up quickly and easily, though that’s a minor drawback in an otherwise hugely entertaining story.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.