It is said that we all have a secret in life.  Something from our past which we really do not want anyone to find out.  It could simply be a silly and embarrassing incident.  Or perhaps it could be much darker and sinister in nature- something which we would stop at nothing to hide from others.  However, the problem is that virtually nothing remains concealed forever.  It all eventually leaks out like a sieve.  The question then becomes how on earth do we react when this deep, dark secret is at risk of being exposed?  Will we take it all in stride?  Or will we double down in our desperate efforts to maintain secrecy…whatever it takes!  If these concepts intrigue you, then Suspicion by author Brenda Guiton will be right up your reading alley!

The story begins with our protagonist, Holly, discovering love in the form of a handsome thrill seeker by the name of Nathan.  The two have a whirlwind romance and quickly become married.  Their plans are to settle at Nathan’s beautiful, family run log-cabin park.  Sounds like the perfect outcome for a love at first sight romance does it not?  Unfortunately, things are not at all what they seem to be.  Almost as soon as she arrives at her new idyllic home, peculiar things begin to happen.  What is even more unsettling is the fact that they are all directly tied to Holly.  Someone is clearly not very happy with her arrival, and Holly is pretty sure she knows who that “somebody” is.  Nathan’s surrogate brother Kyle seems to be at the root of these series of malicious and unfortunate events.  What’s worse is the fact that he seems to have some sort of unnatural hold over Nathan.  A grip which Holly is totally unable to undo.

After investigating for herself why this is the case, Holly finds out that there is much more to all of this than meets the eye.  In fact, a missing girl cold case mystery may somehow be inexplicably connected.  Will the mystery ultimately be solved so that Holly and Nathan can enjoy their life together?  Or was their fate already decided long ago?

I found the plot of this novel to be fast-moving and thrilling.  I always felt somewhat on edge as I was reading, which can be attributed to the suspense and tension which is skillfully created and built up throughout the story.  The theme of trust and secrecy is brilliantly supported by the user of such literary devices as foreshadowing and flashbacks.  In fact, I am usually not a big fan of flashbacks as I often find them somewhat confusing and can tend to disrupt the flow of the story.  However, in this case I believe they were used exceptionally well. They actually enhanced understanding and connection with the novel’s current events as opposed to detracting from them.  The entire plot structure is presented in a unique fashion which makes the story quite easy to follow and become immersed within.

There can also be very little doubt that the characters play a huge role in the development of this story.  While Holly, Nathan and Kyle play the primary roles, there are a number of others who aptly support their growth.  They ultimately provide key information about their interactions with one another which allows the reader to reach a deeper understanding about the story events.  Each of the main characters experience significant growth by the end of the book.  In truth, none of them resemble who they started out as in the beginning.  This is truly character development at its best.  I suppose in this case we could call it “character metamorphosis”.

Overall, I quite loved Suspicion. It had all the elements a reader would look for in a top-notch thriller and mystery novel. It will undoubtedly keep you guessing right until the very end.  I would highly recommend it to an adult audience.

5 out of 5 Suspicious Stars for this one!