Suspicion by Alexandra Monir was a bit of a disappointment. It promised Downton Abbey meets something else I adored, but it really didn’t deliver that. Instead, it was more Rebecca meets The Princess Diaries with a magical element I hadn’t bargained for. Which still sounds good, right? Well . . . I think if you are a discerning reader, you could pass this one up, but most of us are not able to resist such a pretty cover, so prepare yourself for a lukewarm suspense in a nicely developed atmosphere. I rated it four out of five stars because I think that it is a well paced, light YA suspense that many of my high school students will enjoy, but most adult readers will probably find it lackluster and silly.
In 2007, a tragedy took Imogene far from the life of nobility she was born into; in 2014, a tragedy brings her back home as the new Duchess. As she wrestles with her new station, Imogene also struggles with powers that seem to come alive when she sets foot on her new estate. Questions about her cousin’s death haunt her as she works to uncover the mysteries surrounding the origins of her powers. The strength of this novel is really the atmosphere, which manages to be lightly dark and menacing. Readers will understand why Imogene is troubled by what she encounters in her new home, but it seems perfectly reasonable that she doesn’t feel overwhelmingly threatened and seek out help. It evoked memories of one of my favorite British suspense reads, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (which I can never get any of my high school students to read, even when I promise them it is going to rock their world). The plot is far-fetched, even for a book with supernatural elements, and most of the twists were predictable, but it moves along at a nice pace. Imogene is a fairly well developed protagonist, though the other characters are rather one dimensional. I enjoyed reading Suspicion and I think my high school students will as well. Though I didn’t think this was a perfect read, none of the flaws diminished my enjoyment. This is a YA thriller, written for a YA audience, so the intensity is dialed down. It is a light read with a haunted note that I enjoyed curling up with for a few hours of escapism on a cold and rainy afternoon. Language and light sensuality appropriate for 13+.
This book is available in the MHS library.
Someone deserves a raise for this cover art!