SUSPICION by Barbara Rogan


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Rogan’s (Rowing to Eden, 1996, etc.) best so far goes strictly commercial in a winning, flat-out all-nighter. Is Rebecca a commercial novel? Of course, in Rogan’s updating of familiar du Maurier elements, Manderley becomes Morgan’s Peak, complete with the haunted house on Crag Road which beetles over a rocky cliff going down to Long Island Sound. This time, ghost-story novelist Emma Roth, who keeps her maiden name, and husband Professor Roger Koenig, a research physicist who teaches at Columbia, decide to move from Manhattan to Crag Road when Emma is seduced by the lonely huge old house for sale at a reduced price: it has a fantastic octagonal library/studio tower overlooking cliff, sea, and air. Yes, their ten-year-old son Zack, over whom Emma is excessively watchful, will have to leave his private school and find himself a new soccer team to play on. But why is Emma so watchful? A few years ago she bad a horrible driving accident: rainy night, a skid, and the death of a father and daughter in another car she plowed into. Though it was an accident, there’s been enormous guilt for Emma. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, but when one of her haunted house stories begins writing itself and other extraordinary things appear on her computer, and when the lavender-scented ghost of the house’s former tenant, the widow and ex-schoolteacher Mrs. Virginia Hysop, begins appearing, as does the blood spot under the carpet where she fell on the stairs, and when a hallway turns frigid and earthworms wriggle in the sugar bowl . . . what is Emma to think? And then things get really creepy. Strong characterizations, especially of Emma and of her sister Maggie, acerbic of tongue, suck the reader with unerring skill into the joys of total entertainment. Du Maurier, however, could pull off her climax without gun or knife.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-81415-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999


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