Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
Release date: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte (Random House)
Length: 368 pages
Rating: No. I'm sorry, book, but... no
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.
This book has all the set-up ingredients to be a gothic, creepy, vaguely Rebecca-esque mystery with a paranormal twist. And yet Suspicion is just plain lame.
That's the only word I could come up with. Lame. It seems like an awful word, but this book is so undercooked and unsurprising and weirdly short that all I can do is sort of be confused about its existence. Instead of true supernatural horror, the "mysteries" amount to mostly "I saw something nasty in the woodshed". The characters all have kiddie-pool-depth which undercut what could, were it executed better, be a compelling mystery. And while for a bit there I was super curious about what was happening and whodunit and WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT, the actual answers are LUDICROUS.
|u tried book u tried|
Suspicion is about Lady Imogen Rockford, granddaughter of the Duke of Wickersham and cousin to the future duchess, Lady Lucia (which is an odd name for a noble British girl to have, but whatever). Imogen lives in New York (or Tribeca, specifically, which she keeps mentioning for reasons I cannot explain) with her parents, but she lives for her summer visits to Rockford Manor so she can see her bestie Lucia and her other bestie and crush, Lord Sebastian Stanhope. But during her tenth summer, a terrible fire breaks out, killing both Lucia's parents and Imogen's. Imogen, utterly traumatized, decides never to go back to Rockford and cuts of all ties with her grandfather and cousin.
Also, Imogen can grow flowers with one touch. She's like Stanley the troll.
But when Imogen is seventeen, she finds out that a) her grandpa has died (we hardly knew ye! No seriously, we hardly knew ye), and b) Lucia has died, and so Imogen is now a duchess! Sads and happies! Or it would be, if Imogen had a personality beyond "I miss my parents and I don't want to be a duchess". Apparently, though, Imogen is right not to be excited, because being a duchess (at least according to this book ) is extraordinarily dull. Seriously. YOU'RE A DUCHESS. YOU GET TO HAVE POLO WITH PRINCE HARRY. And all she does is Google shit and wander the gardens. PRIORITIES.
|This is how you do "surprise! I'm British nobility!", Imogen|
So she leaves her really boring family and goes to Rockford Manor, and then that's where the only interesting things happen. You see, something is AFOOT. Somebody murdered Lucia (prob...ably?). There is something nasty in the woodshed. And Imogen's powers, long dormant, return with a vengeance the moment she steps on Rockford soil.
And yet none of that set up ever really goes anywhere? Like... Imogen solves the mystery by using Wikipedia and reading books and summoning her deus ex machina powers? And then the REVEAL OH DEAR BELLAMY ABOVE. I laughed so hard I fractured a rib. It was so ludicrous that any belief I might have still had was strained to breaking point. (Also... the confession? Was typed up... like a novel? With dialogue and adverbs?!?!?!!?!? Who... does that???)
Note I haven't mentioned the romance. That's because it's really weird and not swoony. She's been in love with this boy her whole life. When she's ten (TEN), he gets together with her cousin (who is twelve, like him. TWELVE). Then tragical fire and seven years of separation during which Imogen can think of no other boy but him. And then of courrrrse, despite the fact that he was dating her late cousin, he's all "blah blah only you Imogen" after five minutes and blahhh and then spoilers that I can't talk about, but it almost became okay and then no. Actually... no.
It was so long ago that my silly, childish self loved him, but... did I ever really stop? Isn't he the reason I was so unsure about Mark Wyatt, and every other guy who has ever paid me any attention? I've never forgotten him--I couldn't if I tried. But none of that matters now. He belongs to Lucia. He always has.
And then there's the writing, which is serviceable in some parts and irritating in other.
My face wears the glow of a child who has never wanted for anything
That's cool that you can see your own face in your memories. Most people can't do that.
And then there are just the weird logic fails. If death was ruled as "a blow to the head with a blunt object", HOW IS THAT NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL? Everyone's all, "oh, totally an accident, people frequently bluntly... blow... their heads...?" And then Imogen, once fully duchessed, is all like "No way will Oxford accept ME as a student, I'm sure they frequently turn down DUCHESSES". And then there's Imogen's ancestor, Lady Beatrice, hanged for being a witch in... 1850. About a century and a half after the last known witch hanging in Britain. (You'd think Imogen woul dhave learned this during her investigative Googling.)
Unfortunately, I can't bring myself to recommend this book.