Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
2014, Delacorte Press

Synopsis: “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.

The Good: Suspicion contains a wonderful murder mystery. Had the book focused solely on the mystery and cut all the other distracting nonsense, it could have easily been a five star book. An orphan girl raised in America becoming duchess and uncovering the hidden details of why her entire family is dead is more than enough to carry a book.

The Bad: The aforementioned nonsense. A unrequited love, from 10 years previous, who she never even looked up on social media? Right. He dates her cousin for an entire decade, until the cousin dies, and then just maybe realizes he really loves Imogen? Sure. Randomly thrown in supernatural gobbledygook, in a feeble attempt to make the book more marketable? Great. Wrap that all up in a tidy Princess Diaries ripoff bow, where Imogen has duchess lessons in etiquette or whatever. Wait, that could have worked, I guess, if she had cared a whit about being duchess rather than pining over some boy who'd been banging her cousin forever. All unnecessary attempts to appeal to current book trends that ultimately drag the book down to barely a 3 star rating.

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