Yay it’s the weekend and today is Book Friday! Today’s book was a great read that I couldn’t put down!
I’m a huge fan of the TV show Downton Abbey. The difference between the class of characters such as those that live downstairs, the servants, and those upstairs, the high class family, intrigue me. I also like a good mystery. One that keeps me guessing until the end. It’s not often that I can’t solve the crime or see what the secret are before they’re revealed. This book had a huge revelation toward the end I didn’t see. I just love when that happens! Today’s book is Downton Abbey meets Alfred Hitchcock for young adult.
- Title: Suspicion
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (December 9, 2014)
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.
My Review: The first things that grabbed my attention was the cover. It’s gorgeous! The colors are so captivating! Beyond the cover is an intriguing plot with a Downton Abbey-esque setting in modern London. Suspicion is a gothic tale about Imogen Rockford full of romance, tragedy, mystery and a little bit of magic.
In the first chapter we’re introduce to Imogen Rockford, a ten year old girl returning to Rockford Manor for the summer in London. Her cousin Lucia and closest friend/crush Sebastian are there waiting for an adventure. A strange thing happens when they’re in the garden. She can grow flowers out of thin air. Afraid, she hides it from her family because she doesn’t know what it means. However, soon there’s a fire that takes the life of Imogen and Lucia’s parents. Lucia becomes the heir to Rockford Manor staying with their grandfather in London. Imogen is sent back to New York to live with her parents’ best friends the Marinos.
Seventeen years later, Imogen is contacted by the manor estate explaining that both her grandfather and Lucia are dead. She is now the heir to Rockford Manor as the new Duchess. Imogen returns to the manor to find that some things haven’t changed. The butler Oscar, who help erased her father, the unemotional housekeeper Mrs. Mulgrave and her daughter Maisie are secondary characters that interact constantly with Imogen throughout the book. Sebastian returns into her life, the sad ex-boyfriend of deceased Lucia and the sparks start to fly.
Strange events start to happen within the manor that help show Imogen the way toward solving the mystery of her families’ death. Those strange magical episodes that happened when Imogen was a child reignite, sending further questions of why this is happening. With twist and turns at every corner I was enthralled in this book. I couldn’t put it down.
The plot had me guessing until the very end. The twists were enough to confuse me. I thought I knew who the murderer was until the end, which floored me. I never guessed it!
No spoilers here!
Alexandra did a wonderful job in developing her characters. Imogen was a girl with a sense of purpose. She wanted to help her families estate and bring back the once vibrant Rockford Manor. Imogen was brave and definitely cared for her staff. The secondary characters grabbed my attention the moment Imogen returned to Rockford. Oscar was caring and looked after Imogen with heartfelt love. Maisie and her mother Mrs. Mulgrave irked me to no end. And when an author can make me start to hate characters I love it. It means Alexandra did a great job at developing her characters and feeding on my emotions. Each character had a piece of the puzzle in the mystery and played a part. I would suggest you watch them closely!
With British culture and aristocrat rules, Suspicion was a fantastic young adult thriller. Throw in a little bit of magic and you have a unique story. Alexandra’s writing was vivid and the words flowed on the page. She kept the secrets of the murders at bay and added a small romance to play with our hearts.
Should you read it? Yes! The plot was great and the ending SHOCKING! Alexandra gives a new Hitchcock mystery for young adults. And she brings the Downton Abbey world to teens, which I wholeheartedly love.
About the Author:
Author and recording artist Alexandra Monir broke onto the scene in her early twenties with the release of her popular debut YA novel, the paranormal romance Timeless (Delacorte Press/Random House). The book caught on quickly, landing on the Barnes & Noble Bestsellers chart and being named one of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month.” The sequel, Timekeeper, was published in 2013. Both books in the series have been featured in a variety of media, from USA Today to teen magazines and websites such as J-14, JustJaredJr, Teen.com and Justine Magazine. Suspicion (Random House; December 9, 2014) marks Alexandra’s first novel outside of the Timeless series, as well as her first foray into the mystery genre. Her fourth YA novel for Random House will be published in April 2016.
Alexandra is also a singer/songwriter, known for integrating music into her books’ pages. She wrote and recorded three original songs to accompany Timelessand Timekeeper, which were released as the album The Timeless EP and distributed by Jimmy Buffett’s record label, Mailboat Records. She additionally recorded a new song to be released along with Suspicion, and is composing a stage musical geared toward Broadway. Alexandra is the granddaughter of the late Monir Vakili, the foremost Persian opera singer.
Alexandra currently resides in Los Angeles, California. She has been invited to speak at middle schools and high schools across the country, and at major events including Comic-Con, Bouchercon, the Iranian-American Women’s Leadership Conference, and New York Public Library’s annual Teen Author Festival, among others.
Until next time!