ARC Review: Suspicion-Alexandra Monir


17285326Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

Release Date: December 9, 2015

cooltext1544204149 copyA modern-day twist on the classic thriller, Rebecca, with a dash of the supernatural, a powerful romance, and a deadly family mystery. 

“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.

-via Goodreads

cooltext1681280251 copy3/5 Stars

***I received this as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Delacorte Press

Suspicion reads like a Gothic novel, complete with spine-tingling suspense, mystery, and upper class sophistication. The setting is bleak yet filled with the magical aura of something supernatural that you just can’t quite put your finger on. Between the rich family history, the whispers of a wicked past, and secrets too sinister to fathom, Suspicion is a gripping contemporary that transports you to another world. 

PROS:

  • The history of Rockford is rich and torrid. Between the sweeping descriptions of the lavish lifestyle of English aristocracy and the foreboding of the Shadow Maze, there are stories within stories. It’s complex without feeling overwhelming and the imagery conveys more magic than a fairytale while fully capturing the gritty uncertainty of a Gothic romance. 
  • I was absolutely floored and astounded by the role of elemental magic in this story. It’s everywhere. Lurking beneath the surface it is the axis and the foundation of the plot without being a blunt a paranormal read. The mythology that speaks of witchcraft and curses reads more like a fantastical tale than family history yet, it also reads as a chronicle of this great estate-Rockford. It’s ghostly, bewitching and there’s just the right about of suspicion to confuse the reader. You won’t know whether hallucinations are real or merely a production of hysteria.
  • The character descriptions scream treachery and hidden truths. From the precise ways eyes dart to stance to actions viewed on the peripheral, everything is a puzzle without enough pieces to solve. 
  • Imogen’s adjustment into upper class life is almost like The Selection or The Princess Diaries. The training and makeovers, the very English events like polo and state parties all culminate into a wonderful coming of age story within a dark murder mystery.
  • Imogen’s terror is real, raw, and her sense of betrayal is almost too much to deal with. Her thirst to right the wrong she’s done by neglecting her family in a time of need is palpable and her determination will have you rooting for her.
  • The cover is beautiful. 
  • Romance took the back burner and allowed for the tension to escalate into full on horror at some points and mistrust at others. 

CONS:

  • The span of time between the horrible accident in the maze and the second life-changing event was a gaping hole that didn’t leave enough room to build powerful emotions or to fully grasp Imogen’s connection to her English family. It would have been beneficial to see the shift into American life and how the relationship with Zoey and her parents grew if only to glean how this family became more influential than her true family.
  • Imogen’s infatuation with Sebastian is abrupt and evolves so quickly that it loses some of the whimsy and exhilaration of a blossoming romance.  
  • Lucia had a huge role to play in the overall drama and intrigue of the plot and barely had any face time in the book. Her presence was larger than her actual time interacting with the protagonist and other key players. Additionally, characters like Zoey and Lauren fell out of the story pretty quickly and while it was not hard to grasp their overall personalities (they are very vibrant characters) the popped in and out so much that I couldn’t form a solid opinion on their relevance. 

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