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Past Suspicion

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  335 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Don't trust anyone ... So whispers Robin 's mother just moments before she dies. As this intriguing story of suspense unfolds, seventeen-year-old Robin is forced from her California home to live in Wisconsin with an uncle she never knew existed. Here in her mother 's hometown, Robin meets two young men and, while unraveling the secrets of her mother 's past, becomes involv ...more
Paperback, First, 244 pages
Published July 14th 2003 by Publish America
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Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've just spent a pleasant weekend in the mind of a precocious 18 (well almost 18) year old. This book is so completely authentic that you can almost hear the main character popping gum as she sighs..."whatever". In fact, she neither pops gum, nor says "whatever", but you get the point. From the first chapter, almost the first few paragraphs, the reader KNOWS Robin Finley. She is a bright, but sad, young duckling who hasn't yet realized that she's become a swan.

After reading PAST SUSPICION, I re
Age Appropriate For: 16 and up for mild violence, intensity, and mild romantic themes
Best for Ages: 16 and up

I was not expecting absolutely to love this book. I started reading it because I was trying to get through a lot of the books by homeschoolers on my Kindle. This book is one of the best suspense stories I have read in a long time. The story gripped be from the opening and kept me reading until the very end.

If you looked at random pages from this book, you wouldn’t understand how it could
Leslea Wahl
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a mystery lover I was excited to start reading this Christian suspense novel. The only bad news is that I enjoyed it so much that I finished it much too quickly. The author drew me into the spell of this book immediately. Her ability to build suspense made me nervous and anxious from page one. Somehow this quaint small town and its residents felt spooky and odd, filled with secrets. This sense of eeriness was so palpable that I found myself extremely frustrated when the lead character trusted ...more
Ellen Gable
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Past Suspicion is an intriguing young adult thriller which tells the story of orphaned 17-year-old Robin Finley. Before her mother dies, she whispers, "Don't trust anyone."

Robin, a gifted artist, thinks that her mom has been too protective of her and continues to control her life even after she's dead. Robin is forced to travel across the country from California to Wisconsin to live with an uncle she never knew existed. Unbeknownst to her uncle, she is planning to return to California as soon as
I do like this novel, and it can boast of the privilege of being one of my comfort novels.

Past Suspicion has a secret diary, a hidden treasure, and romance. What a combo.

Robin was a complex character, much more than the typical heroine in a YA book. She did go over her deepest fears and frustrations with the reader (which why many don't like her), but I think it makes her a normal human being.

Philip ticked me off from the get-go, ever since he said, "Some people were on fire. Figures I miss
Susan Peek
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If only there were more books like this one! Therese Heckenkamp has written yet another thoroughly enjoyable suspense novel; if you enjoyed her "Frozen Footprints", you will love this one too. One of the remarkable traits of the author is that, being a Catholic, she spins an enthralling tale, without resorting (as so many modern writers do) to vulgar language, blasphemy, and sexual content, which, if you're like me, is always so disappointing to find in an otherwise enjoyable novel. Christians c ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great read! Even though it is written more for teens, I was really into it. The heroine is definitely a teenager in many thoughts and actions. She learns some important lessons throughout the book. There is a mystery with an interesting twist. A little predictable, but yet not totally sure of the outcome. I enjoyed reading this!
Gloria Winn
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book very much. I was drawn into the building of tension in the relationships and enjoyed the author's working out of the drama of trust or lack of trust and the life-threatening circumstances and people who were causing the suspicion. Recommend it!
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: catholic-fiction
I started reading this book, and I thought it was amazing. I was going to give it a five star rating. Then we met the love interests. What is it about love-triangles that authors find so attractive? At first neither of the boys, Justin and Philip, were very interesting. Justin was the stereotypical annoying, sarcastic guy who the girl likes, but doesn't know why, and Philip was the stereotypical handsome, charming guy who is practically a Ken doll he's so perfect. Justin actually did become more ...more
Kelli Pizarro
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this read a lot. It was a simple story, nice plot twists near the end. No profanity or sex scenes. The writing was easy to follow. It was definitely "stay up and read" worthy.
Helen Pickering
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Past suspicion

Bet book I've read in ages and I read all the time it's the kind of book I like best Christian suspense couldn't put it down
Barb W
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Past

A great storyline on allowing the past to heal in order for the future, with God’s help, to unfold naturally without fear and anxiety.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
very good and suspenseful!
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
"Christian Suspense". The words stopped me in my tracks as I gazed down the list of free Kindle books. There's always a fascination in a genre you've never heard of, especially when the author puts the genre in the title in parenthesis.

I'm not sure if this genre obsession ever existed in the pre-Internet era; as far as I can tell, there was science fiction, there was detective fiction, and then there was everything else. But once Google and Goodreads came into being, people started looking for a
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I seriously believe this author is the new Mary Stewart or Victoria Holt. A lot of the romantic suspense written these days feels churned out like toilet paper rolls in a factory--but this author doesn't just give you good, high quality suspense. There's a little flavor of something else in her work too, that makes the books stand out from the other suspense stuff--namely, interesting characters.
The heroine, Robin, was a bit angsty and sorry for herself at first, but she straightened up pretty
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Robin Finley loses her mother, and in turn everything she has known. As if the young orphan's life were not already in a tailspin, she is handed over to the custody of an uncle she never knew existed, to a small town in Wisconsin she imagines nobody else knows exists, to wait out the days until she reaches adulthood.

Grudgingly accepting a job at Uncle Peter's bookstore, Robin bides her time between Victoria Holt novels and counts the days to freedom. Having
Melonie Piper
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book had a lot of things going for it that were right in my wheelhouse. For one thing the character was religious, and that's hard to find. It meant I could relax and not worry about reading things I didn't want to read about. I don't like "dark" and "edgy" stuff. I like a nice comfy book I can sit down and read and feel good about afterwards, and this book did that for me. I particularly enjoyed the aspect of the crumbling mansion. Again, right in my wheelhouse since I'm an interior design ...more
Kay Defreese
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
This book is classified as youth fiction but I still enjoyed it. The heroine in the story is just 3 weeks shy of her 18th birthday. Her father had died when she was quite young and her mother has recently died. Since she was a minor she was sent to live with her mother's brother, an uncle that she had never met. Robin did not know anything about her mother's past. Her mother had kept her past a secret. Robin grew up in California and the uncle lives in Wisconsin. Robin cannot wait until she is 1 ...more
Y.I. Lee
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is not a genre I would normally read, but the title 'Past Suspicion,' and the words Christian and suspense caught my attention. So I purchased a copy and I'm glad I did.
I found it dragged a little in the beginning, but there was enough intrigue to keep me reading.
The main character Robin annoyed me at first. However as the book progressed, I warmed to her. She was brave and feisty.
The author's writing is wonderfully descriptive, especially in regard to the spooky mansion.
Her characters hav
After her mother’s death, almost 18-year old Robin moves from California to small town Wisconsin to live with her mother’s brother, an uncle she’s never met – never knew existed. There she meets Philip, a handsome young man who sweeps her off her feet. She isn’t entirely comfortable, however, in his presence.

Robin never knew of her mother’s past and upon asking her uncle, she’s left with more questions than answers.

This is more of a mystery with romance instead of a romantic suspense, and the s
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was a great book. I took a star off because some of the beginning chapters where the characters are being introducted were slow and it took a really long time to figure some of the things ( such as details) that were mentioned in the begining that didnt make a difference in the book. I loved the story and the plot I thought that the author did an exellent job. I absolutely loved the thrilling and exciting parts. She did a great job setting the mood. It took me a while to get through be ...more
Not my style

I have never written a book, however I've read hundreds and hundreds. My least favorite genre is fiction but I had hoped the suspense tag would make up for that. My main problems with the book are choppy writing style and an unrealistic story line. It didn't flow and descriptive terms were awkward. The last problem was that the book supposedly was Christian suspense. Other than the mention of the Catholic church, it was void. Three stars because she wrote a book, more when the polish
Therese Heckenkamp
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: catholic-fiction
Disclaimer: I'm the author of this book, so I'm adding it to my shelf. Please note that the 2003 version of Past Suspicion is outdated, and I recommend you read the revised 2012 edition published by Ivory Tower Press. It's currently available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format. You can also find it on Goodreads here:

If you want more details about Past Suspicion, feel free to visit Thank you!
Therese Heckenkamp wonderfully creates a tense, eerie, introspective mood throughout Past Suspicion that, coupled with the spooky mansion and first person narration, consistently reminded of Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca.

Like the (nameless) narrator of Rebecca, Robin (and we learn, her mother) are vulnerable to charming men. Men with big secrets.

A well-written, engaging story with a touch of romance perfect for teens as well as adults.

(The author is a fellow member of the Catholic Writers
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I truly did. But I couldn't stand Robin's character. Yes, she lost both of her parents but she acted like a spoiled brat for about 90% of the book. There were some parts where I wanted to reach into the book and slap her. She annoyed me that much

I loved the storyline, though and it did keep me in suspense until the end. I wasn't expecting who the villian was or the ending/ending. I will read this book again. Maybe next time, I can see through Robin's faults.
When I downloaded this free book, I didn't realize it was for young adults. If I had known, I probably would have passed it up and in so doing would have missed an enjoyable read. Robin is a fan of Victoria Holt novels, as I am, and Past Suspicion reminded me of Holt's work. I was surprised to know this book was written when the author was eighteen. She must have been remarkably mature because both teens and adult romantic suspense fans will enjoy this story.
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I got this for free on Amazon and it was a pretty good book since it was free. There was nothing really outstanding about this book but it wasn't bad either; just average. The characters possessed nothing extraordinary that will make me remember them amongst any other book. I did finish it fast because it had me wondering what was going to happen next but towards the end it got a bit predictable but sometimes that's not bad. If the writing's good, I can look past flaws.
Jessica Phipps
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
While this book is well-written, I really did not care for it. The last few chapters were really good and had a good lesson to them but the first 20 some chapters were rather flat. The story is told from a first person viewpoint of the main character, who seems to be a typical teenager in that she jumps from one topic to another without much transition. There is very little development of other characters in the book. The ending is rather predictable and ends somewhat abruptly.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
The protagonist is very much like many older teenage girls: moody, charming, struggling to find her identity, sure she can live independently, but desperately needing wise adults in her life. Having raised 4 teenagers (one a girl), and working in a high school, I'm impressed by the author's portrayal of Robin. Learning that the author was herself about the same age, I'm even more impressed.
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
A Gothic novel set in modern-day America! It had all the stuff Gothic novels are famous for, without the bodice-ripper feature, and was an entertaining and suspenseful read. You'll think you know what the next plot twist will be--but you'll be surprised every time.
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Therese Heckenkamp is the author of three Christian suspense novels: Past Suspicion, Frozen Footprints, and After the Thaw.

Past Suspicion and Frozen Footprints have both reached #1 Bestseller in various Amazon Kindle categories, including Religious Drama, Religious Mystery, and Inspirational Religious Fiction.

A busy wife and mother of four, Therese fits in writing time whenever she can manage (and

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