Friday, November 21, 2014
ARC Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
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.
The main reason I was interested in this book (besides the gorgeously gothic cover) was that it's supposed to be perfect for Downton Abbey fans. I wouldn't quite call that an accurate description. Instead, I think it is more like The Princess Diaries, as author Amy Plum said in her blurb. Unfortunately, this book was good but not great. It felt like it was littered with cliches.
First off, the main character was very much a Mary-Sue. Everything about Imogen seemed cliched, from her awkwardly cute personality to her naive and cheerful attitude. As for the love interest, I found him to be incredibly bland. He was a handsome, wealthy heir who acted distant and rude. And Imogen still liked him. So the romance made me feel very irritated. Sure, they were good friends as children, but they had no connection as teenagers and so I didn't feel their chemistry. Oh well, at least it wasn't insta-love.
The plot and the setting were the main reasons I liked this book. The story did take a while to actually start because there were so many flashbacks to Imogen's childhood, but I didn't mind it. The flashbacks held my attention and were crucial to the storyline. The plot certainly had a good deal of suspense, always leaving you to wonder who Imogen can trust. Although I didn't figure everything out, I did guess some of the reveals. The big twist at the end was decent, but I have to say it was ultimately a little unbelievable. But the setting was done pretty well. There wasn't an overabundance of description, but it was just enough to make me feel like I was in England!
In the end, this book was a fast and decent read, but not particularly memorable. I disliked the main character and the romance, but the plot was good enough to make me keep reading. I wouldn't recommend buying Suspicion right away - maybe get a Kindle sample to see if you're really interested or wait till your library gets it.
* I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars