Review by Nancy Mehl for MyShelf.com:
Robin Finley, just shy of her eighteenth birthday, is sent to live with her uncle in Lorens, Wisconsin after her mother’s death. Although life with her mother wasn’t easy, she is furious when she is sent from California to a place she has no ties to – and to a man she doesn’t even know. She plans from the beginning to save up enough money to go back to California when she turns eighteen. She finds that life is very different in Lorens. Although she is free from her over-protective mother, she has no use for the mild-mannered uncle who runs a bookstore.
She settles into her temporary existence with a resentful attitude – until her world is turned upside down by two men who come into her life. Philip is handsome and exciting. Justin is introspective and down-to-earth. But there are secrets swirling around Lorens.
Robin discovers a deserted mansion – a place where one woman fell to her death, and where her own mother, Tiffany, was injured in a fall when she was Robin’s age. While staying in her mother’s old room, she finds a diary and tries to understand what changed Tiffany from a carefree teenager into a fearful woman who watched over her daughter constantly, even forbidding her to date until she turned eighteen.
As her relationships with Philip and Justin deepen, she finds that there is a mystery afoot. There is gold hidden somewhere in the old mansion, and Tiffany may have had a map to its location. While Robin searches for the map, she realizes that the gold may be the key to everything. But is she setting herself up for the same fate as her mother? Is she being stalked by someone who wants the gold at any price? It is difficult to sort the truth from the lies, but Robin must – before it’s too late.
Therese Heckenkamp began work on Past Suspicion when she was eighteen. Although she is now twenty-three, she writes with a talent usually seen only in older and more experienced writers. She has crafted a marvelous story with layers and depth. Her characters are richly drawn and intriguing. Past Suspicion is a page-turner, and Heckenkamp is an author to be reckoned with. I expect to see her work in the future and suspect that she has a long and successful career in front of her.